Perception Vs Reality
"According to your faith will it be done to you."1
A Daily Encounter reader wrote, "I'm still out there seeking what God's plan for me is, but how can I go from the cradle to the grave without ever having any prayers answered. I have stepped out of my so-called comfort zone often in my life, but no great discoveries or blessings have I found. How do I get a job like yours where I can publish doggerel and shopworn biblical phrases for fun and profit?"
"Dear, Terry," (not his real name), I replied, "You can get a job just like mine—minus the doggerel, the shopworn biblical phrases and the profit—if you do the same as what I had to do; that is, spend several years getting trained in Bible school, college and graduate school, and working part time all the while, to pay for the privilege, at any job I could find, including scrubbing floors. It also took many years to build the ministry of ACTS International, and I continue to work 60-70 hours a week, including working a second part-time job to help support myself."
True, God feeds the birds of the air, but he doesn't throw the food into their nest. God's will is never handed to us on a silver platter. God gave the ancient Israelites the Promised Land but, even with his help, they had to battle to gain every inch of it. Had God not given it to them, they never would have been able to conquer it. God has a plan for you and me too, but we also have to work diligently—with God's help—to see it achieved in our life.
The reality is that what we see is what we get. It all lies in our perception, and that, no matter how distorted, becomes our reality. Distorted perception, like distorted eye lenses, distorts everything we see in life. It also distorts our prayer life, our faith, and our view of God. Jesus gave us a divine principle when he said, "According to your faith will it be done to you." With distorted faith our prayers will be distorted and the results will match our distorted perception of reality.
So how do we get to the stage where our perception is based on reality instead of our "reality" being based on our perception? Not easy. However, we get there by becoming real; that is, honest at the gut level with one's self (that includes our true emotions and our motives), with God, and with at least one trusted friend. The fact is, the more dishonest I am with my inner self, the more I will distort all other truth—including God's truth. Only personal gut-level honesty will deliver us from distortion so we can see reality as it truly is—and as God sees it.
As God's Word says, "Behold, You [God] desire truth in the innermost being, And in the hidden part You will make me know wisdom."2
For further help be sure to read, "Dare to Be Honest" at: http://tinyurl.com/dare-to-be-honest.
Suggested prayer: Dear God, please confront me with the truth about me. Help me to see myself as you see me so that I can, with your help, resolve every issue in my life that causes me to distort reality, so that I will become truly authentic in every area of my life—honest with myself, honest with others, and honest with you for the glory of your name. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus' name, amen."
1. Matthew 9:29 (NIV).
2. Psalm 51:6 (NASB).