In I Samuel 16 God had instructed Samuel to go to the house of Jesse to anoint the new king of Israel because God had rejected Saul with all of his pride and arrogance. Samuel is quite hesitant because Saul was still king and very much alive and well. Samuel was afraid of what might happen if Saul found out what God had commanded him to do. Never the less, Samuel went to Bethlehem to offer sacrifices and to anoint the new king. When Samuel arrived he saw Jesse’s son Eliab and thought to himself, “Surely this is the anointed one!” However, God’s response is found in I Samuel 16:7: “The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."
So many times we look at things through the eyes of man and not God’s. God does not see things the way we do nor does He think the way we think. His ways are higher than our ways and He has the big picture in mind at all times. Our vision is clouded by all kinds of things that makes our decision making flawed. Samuel was clouded by fear and doubt. He was looking at the outward when God was looking at the inward. He simply had the wrong perspective in the way he looked at things.
We need to, on a regular basis, take a look at things from a different perspective. We need to see things from a different angle, from a different point of view. Sometimes our vantage point simply is not where it needs to be. For example, look at this photo.
From this vantage point the chalk drawing on the sidewalk looks totally weird and strange. I did not stretch this photo, this is the way the artist drew it. However, if you move and change your perspective, it looks like this
Interesting, isn't it? Looking at the chalk drawing one way the image looks very strange and out of proportion, but when you look at the proper angle you can see what the artist intended for you to see, an amazing drawing of the world. I am constantly amazed when I talk to people about the idea of going to Honduras, or Brazil, or any other country to do mission work. People in the states, who have never traveled very much, simply do not get it. They do not get the “big picture” of the great commission in Mt. 28 and Mk. 16.
I am afraid that the great commission has become the great omission because our viewpoint has become so inward that we cannot look outward anymore. I just showed the movie, “End of the Spear” to my Bible classes at school. Nearly all of them agreed it was a great film. Very moving, very touching, very inspirational. But very few of them could see themselves going to do mission work somewhere like that. As a matter of fact, NONE of them could see it. They openly said that they could not give up their “stuff” and live in tough conditions to try to reach sinners to Christ.
Torch Missions strives to provide an opportunity for us to go to other countries to do mission work. It provides the opportunity to see the “rest of the world” and to understand the importance of mission work. Hopefully, through Torch Missions, seeds are being planted for participants to understand that we CAN become full time missionaries and that it can be done.
Warning: Changing one’s perspective has some serious side effects. By changing your perspective you could change the way you think and the way you see things, and it could cause you to change the way you live and act. Wow, wouldn’t that be something?