Last time our son came home to visit from Australia, he took one look at my laptop and in exasperation said, ‘Mum! No wonder you and Dad always look fuzzy when I call you on Skype - you’ve still got the plastic film over the webcam!’ There were smiles, raised eyebrows, shaking of heads and not a little teasing over the next few days. It wouldn’t have been so bad if we hadn’t been Skyping on this laptop for the last two years! Oh dear! The sudden realisation that in all that time, it didn’t matter how much Dan had tweaked his latest gadget on the other side of the world, or how hard he’d stared and squinted, he was never going to get a clear image of us!
After the laughter had died down, it struck me that many of us have filters over the lens through which we view God, and the spiritual truth and the promises He gives us to walk in. And unless we recognise these filters and are willing to let go of them, we are always going to have a very distorted view of who He is and who we are to Him.
Looking back now, I can see that for many years all my perceptions and beliefs were quite severely tarnished by filters, the most damaging being those of unbelief and negativity. I didn’t believe God could really love me or forgive me. I didn’t think other people liked me or wanted to be with me. I thought everyone was angry with me. Of course, I needed healing for the hidden wounds from the past that had sparked off these kinds of thought processes in the first place, but even after receiving God’s healing I was in danger of continuing in life with this negative, depressing outlook.
God had more, and He has more than the healing of past wounds for each one of us. He wants to help us let go of those debilitating filters that cloud our view, and give us clearer, truer vision (Matthew 7:5). When we took the plastic film off the webcam there was an immediate clarity in the picture it produced. And what excites me today is the radical change in my whole outlook on life: the picture I have of my heavenly Father and who I am to Him, my perceptions of others, the clarity that is coming, the gradual correction of the distortions. And it has begun to come as the Holy Spirit has first convicted me of those horrible filters, and then helped me in the process of confessing, repenting and letting go of the attitudes and thought patterns I had developed, that gave the enemy a right to keep the filters in front of my spiritual eyes.
It’s not easy to face up to and deal with filtered vision. It takes quite a bit longer than it did to peel off the plastic film from the laptop. And of course it’s only in eternity that we will truly experience 20/20 vision. Paul tells us, ‘For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.’ (1 Cor 13:12) That’s a wonderful and very exciting prospect – to really see our Father God as He truly is!
But in the meantime, let’s resolve today to ask Him to reveal to us and help us to deal with any filters we might have, that distort or cloud, falsify or block anything of our view of who He is and who we are to Him, so that we can go into this new year with the clearest and truest vision we possibly can, of what it really means to belong to Him.
Prayer: Father God, Will You help me to recognise anything in my thought life, my attitudes and beliefs that is distorting my outlook on life, and in particular my vision of You and who I am to You. Please will You help me to confess and repent of these things so that through this new year I may see You more and more clearly, love You more and more dearly and follow You more nearly. In Jesus` name Amen.
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