Friday, March 16, 2018

Beyond What You See

"Look beyond what you see," is the slightly-cheesy-yet-actually-wise quote a baboon once said in one of The Lion King movies. If I remember correctly, it wasn't even the original Lion King, but one of the later ones that never quite measured up to the original. Regardless, the quote came to mind today and got me thinking...

How often do we actually get stuck in only looking at what's right in front of us?

"For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace" (Romans 8:5).

Romans 8 has been on my mind often, as I grapple with questions that do not yet have answers. Amidst much life change, the Lord keeps reminding me of the word wisdom. A book I read recently said it well, "We will be wise when we desire with heart, soul, mind, and strength only the things that God also desires for us - and nothing else compels us or even catches our wandering eye" (E.F. Davis).

How do we do this? If wisdom begins with fear of the Lord, what step does that mean we take in the midst of our desires being reordered by the Lord? There are lots of steps, but one of them is to "set our minds". Davis also says, "Fear of the Lord is the deeply sane recognition that we are not God." If this is true, then we ought to set our minds on the power of God and the "smallness" of us.

When we look beyond what we can see right in front of us in our daily struggles and questions, we with eager hope, along with the rest of creation, await the day when we will join with God's children in glorious freedom from death and decay (Romans 8:23).

We acknowledge that we are weak and still in a world of sin (Romans 8:23-26), but that God has rescued us in his great mercy and salvation happens both now and on the day of Christ's return.

We recite yet again the confession of old, "I am not my own. I belong to God," and thus daily set our sights on the great and mighty LORD and choose to worship him. All the while, God is shaping our desires and giving us right standing before him, and also inviting us to come to him (Romans 8:29-30).

I have much to learn. How I praise the Lord that he lifts our heads and lets us see him as we confess our sin and believe in his son Jesus.

What are you setting your mind on today? 

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