Watch what you see; Know what you say

The Bible tells us we are made in the image of God (who is Creator God) and particularly, He has provided us two key instruments of creation. What do you think they are?

While there are many, the two innate ways most are born with that have great creative powers are our sight, and our tongue/words. What you see and what you say can shape your reality…and of those around you.

Then Jesus cried out and said, “He who believes in Me, believes not in Me but in Him who sent Me. And he who sees Me sees Him who sent Me. (John 12:44-45)

For I have not spoken on My own authority; but the Father who sent Me gave Me a command, what I should say and what I should speak. And I know that His command is everlasting life. Therefore, whatever I speak, just as the Father has told Me, so I speak.” (John 12:49-50)

What lens do we look through? – What is our perspective or how do we see?

When it comes to vision, your focus determines your world. You see what you are looking for, it is part of our design to cope with the myriad of inputs that come to us from the world around us.

ACTIVITY: Try looking for a particular a colour in a room, are you amazed how much of it is now present in your living area or office. It was there before, but until you focussed on it your mind didn’t recognise it. When we stop to observe specific things they become more apparent. Our vision is not really about what is there to see, but about what we see or chose to see.

Consider the following image, what do you see?

What can you see?

Can you see the familiar farm animal? If not, look to the end of this post[*] to learn what is hidden in plain view. Sometimes we need others to help us see what we cannot see, this is the gift of the watchman. Encourage the seers in your midst, they can help reveal that which is hidden (even in plain sight).

Your brain shapes your reality depending on what you focus on or pay attention to. You can determine what you see as truth, and will only see that. You don’t see other truths because your brain is not looking for them. Your brain reinforces what it is looking for.

Can you see the ship: Consider the invisible ships in the harbour scenario, that occurred with early explorers such as Captain James Cook. Here Joseph Banks recorded how sometimes they were able to moor in a harbour quite close to the local indigenous Australians, and apparently create no reaction until they went to land. And yet, in others locations, their large ship was spotted by the locals as they came in to harbour. Could it be they some were blinded by what they had been conditioned to see over hundreds of years, or were to focussed on the task at hand to miss the life changing event that just sailed in to there presence? Others were open to see the unusual, perhaps their watchman were looking to the horizon and able to see the change, or they were simply willing to focus on the new?

Your Reticular Activation System (RAS), in the top of your brain stem (which links you conscious state to your subconscious) is designed to filter out extraneous stimuli and allows you to pay attention to what is most important or relevant to you. Thus:

  • You hear your name in a crowd
  • You buy a new car and see your car everywhere

You filter out what your RAS believes is important, which is determined by what we put our focus on! Negative personalities often only see the negative. Focus on one thing can often colour how you see many other things. So,

  • If you work in a hospital, isn’t everyone sick?
  • If you work with budgets and dollars, isn’t everything about money?

Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, But the Lord weighs the hearts. (Proverbs 21:2)

We look from an earthly perspective if we do not keep our eyes on Christ, and His heavenly perspective. As the Lord’s prayer states, God’s will is to see heaven on earth, so from heaven to earth we are to look…rather than only looking from the perspective of things on earth.

For as he thinks in his heart, so is he. (Prov. 23:7)

The lamp of the body is the eye. Therefore, when your eye is good, your whole body also is full of light. But when your eye is bad, your body also is full of darkness. (Luke 11:34)

Jesus, also speaks to this truth, saying this of those who have not seen Him, or believed in Him, ‘seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand’ (Matthew 13:13).

We need to learn to see well

Moreover, the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Jeremiah, what do you see?” And I said, “I see a branch [staff/rod] of an almond tree [to be alert, on the lookout, watching].” Then the Lord said to me, “You have seen well, for I am ready [watching] to perform My word.” (Jeremiah 1:11-12)

It maybe human nature to find yourself focussing on the blemish or mark of an otherwise perfect flower, or maybe even the stick or plank in your neighbour’s eye. But the only problem is, it not God’s nature..even though He is all knowing, all seeing, and all powerful! As we look again with the eyes of our Father, by being in Jesus Christ, we gain a healing perspective, and one that draws out life.

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7)

Do you look at things according to the outward appearance? If anyone is convinced in himself that he is Christ’s, let him again consider this in himself, that just as he is Christ’s, even so we are Christ’s. (2 Corinthians 10:7)

The Shulamite, “Rightly do they love you. I am dark, but lovely, O daughters of Jerusalem, like the tents of Kedar, like the curtains of Solomon… The Beloved, “Behold, you are fair, my love! Behold, you are fair! You have dove’s eyes. (Song of Solomon 1:4d,5,15)

As we look with the eyes of Christ, and have as our central focus on Him, we to begin to see what He sees. Learning to look with eyes of faith.

while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:18)

These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland. And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return. But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them. (Hebrews 11:13-16)

Indeed, we create through what we see (and think), both as it shapes our minds eye, but biblically[1] it can shape our reality, and this is even supported from a neural science[2] point of view (neural plasticity), as well as quantum mechanics[3], what we observe defines the state.

Creative power in our speech?

By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible. (Hebrews 11:3)

Curious fact: Do you how much weight the tongue can hold? The greatest weight lifted with a human tongue is 12.5 kg (27 lb 8.96 oz) by Thomas Blackthorne (UK) who lifted the weight hooked through his tongue on the set of El Show Olímpico, in Mexico City, Mexico, on 1 August 2008. This may seem like of not, but in practice it is much more powerful than that. For inn God, with it you can move mountains, or bring life where there is death.

Thus, we come to the other weapon of creation…or destruction. For as important what we see is in terms of what we create, so too is what we say we say.

God spoke the word, and the world was created. Jesus is the Word of God, and everything was made through Him, that was made. Made in His image, we have creative power in our words…particularly the spoken variety.

Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit. (Proverbs 18:2)

Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by [e]hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and creature of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by mankind. But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so. (James 3:5-10)

There is great power in our words to shape our own destinies, and those around us. But is can be used for good and …not so good.

So, we need to speak well and in the understanding our words have power! And provide light for others…

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. (Psalms 119:105)

God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did; (Romans 4:17b)

Our words really matter, and we need to be conscious of where our heart is when we speak, and what we say we are seeing.

“Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or else make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for a tree is known by its fruit. Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things. But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” (Matthew 12:33-37)

How do I improve the use of these powers of creativity?

Seek God! Look to see Him and what He is doing, and what He is saying. Wait, listen, and watch for the Lord.

When You said, “Seek My face,” My heart said to You, “Your face, Lord, I will seek.” (Psalm 27:8)

Seek the Lord and His strength; Seek His face evermore! (1 Chronicles 16:11)

Be in His word[4] (the Bible) – to know the word of God, you need to be in the Word.

Ask Him to reveal our true motivations, and expose our blind spots.

Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties; And see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. (Psalm 139:23,24)

If I start from a position of faith, I will see things much differently than if I start from a position of fear!

Isaiah 55 points us to the idea that God’s ways and thoughts are beyond us. He sees things from a higher perspective. From a higher altitude, you see a lot farther than from the ground. You also see things you would never see otherwise.

Spend more time with our Lord, and learn the way of His leading and knowing His voice and character, knowing He can guide our words.

But when they deliver you up, do not worry about how or what you should speak. For it will be given to you in that hour what you should speak; for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you. (Matthew 10:19-20)

And, believe as you speak He works through you in His power not fancy words

And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. (1 Corinthians 2:1-5)

[1] Deuteronomy 30:19; Romans 12:2; Jeremiah 1:12; Gen. 30:32,37-43; 31:8-13; Amos 3:7

[2] Dr. Caroline Leaf says this in her book ‘Switch On Your Brain’, “As we think, we change the physical nature of our brain. As we consciously direct our thinking, we can wire out toxic patterns of thinking and replace them with healthy thoughts.”

[3] The ‘observer’ or ‘observation’ effect;  “no elementary quantum phenomenon is a phenomenon until it is a registered (‘observed,’ ‘indelibly recorded’) phenomenon.”

[4] 1 Tim 4:13

[*] The animal hidden in the image is a cow. See below. The darker shades near the bottom centre being the nose, toward the top left the dark shape is an ear, and near top right is the other ear. Once seen, it is hard not to see. Sometimes we need others to help us see what is in front of us.

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