Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The Power of Getting What We See

WYSIWYG; pronounced "wizzy-wig," the acronym stands for "What You See Is What You Get." To relate, it is the tech-world equivalent of the "As-Is" section of a superstore. There are no hidden programs or further assembly required. There is nothing else that comes with the package. What the product or service appears at first glance, from the buyer's perspective, is the total extent of the product or service.

Recently I heard a similar phrase, spoken in regards to the Christian's perspective on life. "You see what you're looking for." Most of us who are familiar with Pollyanna will remember the quote on the locket she wore, which she quoted often. The one from Abraham Lincoln: "If you look for the bad, you will surely find it."
Both these phrases mean the same thing. One is just phrased in a more positive manner. We see what we're looking for in life; and what we see is what we get.

So what are you looking for?

Are you looking for blessing? Are you looking for guidance? Are you looking for God's power in the world?

Or are you looking at the failures of today's culture? Are you looking at the digression of morality in today's society? Do you hunt for apostasy in the church?

We see what we're looking for, and what we see is what we get.

The thing about God's blessing is that, according to Ephesians 1, God has already blessed those who are in Christ. There's nothing that happens in between that; no intervening time between committing to Christ and then attaining God's blessing. "Praise be to the God and Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in Christ..." There is not so much as a punctuation mark between being "in Christ" and receiving God's blessing! Paul goes on from there to list seven major blessings God has given us, (in one drawn-out sentence), which basically cover every aspect of our lives.
Do we want Him to clean us, forgive us, make us holy and blameless in His sight? Do we want the power and the desire to do His will? Once we are in Christ, God says "Done and done!"
Do we sometimes give in to the feeling of helplessness, when we look at the turning of the world and all we see is despair and destruction? Once we are in Christ, God blesses us by giving us His pleasure, showing us His will, and assuring us of His inimitable sovereignty.
Do we battle feelings of being the "only fish swimming against the current"? The lonely outsider with nowhere to belong? In Christ, God chose us since before the beginning of time, and when we accept His gift of adoption, He welcomes us with open arms!
Do we feel like we're in a war against ourselves, against wrong desires and bad choices? In Christ, God gives us redemption from slavery to sin. In Christ, our identity, our fundamental desire is to do that which is pleasing to God. He changes the things we want to do, to help us be able to glorify Him!
Do we struggle with overwhelming regret? Are there things in the past that come back to haunt us? In Christ, God freely bestows the blessing of forgiveness; He has cleansed us, and when God cleanses, it stays clean!
Ever wonder how far God expects you to go on your own? Ever worry when a decision comes up, whether you'll end up screwing it up and picking the wrong one, and your bad choice then obligates the Almighty of The Universe to come behind you like a maid and clean up the mess you made, shaking His head and wondering how you could have missed the signs He provided? Ephesians 1:8 says He "LAVISHES grace upon us" in Christ. No word is too superfluous to Paul when it comes to recounting the blessings of God.

God doesn't just give us the blessings, in equal measure spooning them out over Christians. He hands us the open bag and says, "Have at it!"

So what have you been looking for all this time? Have you been looking for His blessings? I know I haven't; it's so easy to get mad at my sibling for being jerks, to bemoan my upbringing when I compare it to that of my friends and find that they got more privileges than I did, it's easy to think that there are things in life that I can't do, so I succumb to "paralysis of analysis" because I fear I am not qualified to do things right, to do well enough to be worth the salary.

God looks at the newborn Christian and the seasoned saint together, and He says, "You'll do; here's my Son, I give you Myself, and while we're at it, let Me give you EVERY SPIRITUAL BLESSING."

You see what you're looking for; are you looking for God's blessings? Can you see them in your life? How about the lives of others? Other Christians, other believers--even other churches? There may be many "hamlets", but it's all God's Kingdom, and every single one of God's Kingdom receives these same blessings when they receive Christ. Can you see God's blessing, even in these ones? When a sibling gets on my nerves, when people are being irrational and selfish--can I still look for God's blessing in their lives?

Just imagine what life would be like, what it would look like if we went through it looking for as many of God's blessings as we could possibly find. It's not a word-search or a puzzle. It's "Where's Waldo" when Waldo is the only person in the picture. God has already blessed you and me; we are already lavished with His blessings and His grace. This is the Power of Getting What We See: Once we start looking for the blessings God has given us in Christ, we then see them everywhere, and we are then free to live in these blessings.

Are you looking? What do you see?