by Commissioner Heidi Bailey, Territorial Leader for Leader Development
Although I’m similar to my mother in many ways, when I was growing up I was often told I had my father’s eyes. I loved that because his eyes were beautiful!
As we grow spiritually, however, if we only see life through our human eyes we can be blinded to the deepest, most freeing truth of the gospel.
The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart. (I Samuel 16:7b, NLT)
You see, our human eyes are fixed on the packaging, while our Father’s eyes are fixed on the purpose. In Luke 13 we read that following the Sabbath healing of the woman bent over for 18 years, Jesus rebuked the religious leaders of the synagogue for doing just that—not seeing the purpose because they were focused on the packaging:
You religious leaders are such hypocrites! Every single one of you unties his ox or donkey from its manger every single Sabbath Day, and then you lead it out to get a drink of water, right? Do you care more about your farm animals than you care about this woman, one of Abraham’s daughters, oppressed by Satan for 18 years? Can’t we untie her from her oppression on the Sabbath? (Luke 13:15-17, The Voice)
Scriptural paradoxes (or human absurdities!) are plentiful in scripture and should lead us quickly to self-examination: the weak shall be strong, the poor shall be rich, the humble shall be raised and, the most absurd of all in our “selfie” (self-absorbed) society, the first shall be last, and the last shall be first!
You’ll watch Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and all the prophets march into God’s kingdom. You’ll watch outsiders stream in from east, west, north and south and sit down at the table of God’s kingdom. And all the time you’ll be outside looking in— and wondering what happened. This is the Great Reversal: the last in line put at the head of the line, and the so-called first ending up last. (Luke 13:29-30, The Message)
Central Territory, God is blessing The Salvation Army every day with thousands of opportunities to see people as He sees them, not by their packaging but by their purpose. Who can you help untie from their oppression, even on the Sabbath?
Oh, and don’t forget the end of the story…
As the impact of His words settled in, His critics were humiliated, but everyone else loved what Jesus said and celebrated everything He was doing. (Luke 13:17, The Voice)
As we learn to see as through our Father’s eyes, may it be so, friends. May it be so.