Divine Viewpoint Versus Human Viewpoint
There are two viewpoints in this life. The first is the human viewpoint, which looks at circumstances through our own natural mind, our own natural understanding, and with our own natural wisdom. The second viewpoint is the divine viewpoint. This is looking at trials, troubles, and tribulations through the eyes of God, through the Word of God, through the promises of God by the power of the Holy Spirit. The Bible reveals that human viewpoint is always at war with divine viewpoint.
One example we find in the Word of God is the account of David and Goliath. David’s father, Jesse, sent him to take food to his brothers on the battlefront. When David arrived, he was surrounded by the human viewpoint of the situation. The armies of Israel talked about the size and power of Goliath. They talked the weight of his armor, the weight of his shield, and the weight of his spear. Daily Goliath would challenge the armies of Israel and daily the soldiers were in fear of him.
When David heard Goliath’s threats he asked of those around him, “Why does this guy keep threatening our armies? Why hasn’t anyone gone out to fight this guy? Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?” This was the first divine viewpoint that had come to Israel in two months. No one had talked about the promises of God. No one had said, “Goliath is not coming against us, he’s coming against God!”
After hearing David, they sent him to speak with Saul. Saul asked David, “You think you can go out and beat him?” and David responded, “Of course I can.” Saul asked David to explain why he thought as he could since he had never been trained in the military. David answered, “Well, I’ve torn apart a lion and a bear. I realized they were coming against God, not me. My protection was not in me but in God. The same thing is true of Goliath. It will not be me going against him, it will be God. The battle is the Lord’s!”
So, David went out to fight Goliath. Goliath came against David in the name of his gods, and David came against him in the name of the Lord Jehovah, the captain of the Lord’s host. One stone hit Goliath killed him, and the battle was over. Immediately following Goliath’s defeat, all of the armies of Israel ran out shouting the victory. It is amazing how many naysayers abound before a victory. What is even more amazing is how many of those naysayers join in shouting “Hallelujah! I knew it could be done!” when the victory manifests!
Our attitude should be the same as David’s when we are threatened by the troubles, trials, and circumstances of the enemy. The battle is not ours. The battle belongs to the Lord.
No One is Immune to Human Viewpoint
Everyone is subject to seeing life from the human viewpoint. There are times when we battle with Satan for so long that we begin to look at things from our own viewpoint rather than God’s. We begin to think, “How am I going to get through this problem? How am I going to get the money? How can I get over this sickness?” When we begin to think this way we need to remind ourselves, “The battle is not mine; it’s the Lord’s.”
Colossians tells us we are to set our affections on things above, not on things of this earth, for we are dead and your life is hidden with Christ in God. (Colossians 3:2-3). Our affections, our mind, our thoughts, our emotions, our viewpoint should all be fixed on things above, from a heavenly rather than earthly perspective.
Romans chapter 8 is a powerful passage of scripture in which Paul defines the Christian life from God’s view rather than man’s. Romans 8 can be compared to our being elevated off the earth and seeing every problem through God’s eyes. People often use the expression, “I can’t see the trees for the forest.” However, when we look at our problems from God’s perspective, it is like leaving the ground in an airplane. As the airplane ascends higher and higher, the things beneath on the ground become smaller and smaller. Using this analogy, you can begin to see how God looks at our problems. The earth seems like a big place until, like an astronaut, you begin to see the earth from outer space. Then the earth seems so small. If God is able to rule the entire universe, certainly He can handle our problems.
Israel sent twelve spies into the promised land. Ten of the spies looked at things from the human viewpoint and returned with an evil report. However, two of the spies returned with a good report and with a divine viewpoint. They said, “There may be giants in the land but they are bread for us because God is on our side.” They returned talking about the grapes, the crops, the land flowing with milk and honey and the great prosperity. The other ten spies could only see the giants.
Each day we wake up, there are grapes, there is honey, there is milk, there is prosperity, but there are also problems. Our focus should be on the promises, not the problems.
God Works All Things for Our Good
The Bible never teaches, “All things are good.” The Bible teaches, “God can work all things for our good.” Some Christians have the idea that when you are born again, everything in life will be good. There are times when things get worse after you are born again; problems often seem to multiply. And when you receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit, you can really become a target for the enemy. When you were born again you became a target, but once you were filled with the Holy Spirit and began studying God’s Word, Satan’s plan became to unleash all of hell against you. The good news is Jesus said, “The gates of hell shall not prevail against you (the Church).”
Where sin abounds, grace does much more abound. Where problems abound, God’s answers to those problems abound. It is not that we will never again have problems. The difference is, when those problems come, we can walk in the Word of God and by the power of the Holy Spirit and God will cause all things to work together for our good. Anyone who has been born again for any length of time has seen problems in their life. But we can also look back and see when God provided finances where there was lack, healing where there was sickness, peace where there was confusion, joy where there was sorrow. There were times when it looked like there was no way for God to come through and yet, with a sacrifice of praise God brought us through.
We need to get our eyes off the problem and onto God’s promises. There is a promised land for each one of us. It is the overcoming Christian life and looking at everything from God’s viewpoint rather than our own.
A Great Test to Following God
Not only do problems bring us into an arena of trusting God, so does prosperity. When people have pressing problems, they will be in church every time the door is opened. They will be there week in and week out with their notepad, shouting “Hallelujah,” marking up their Bible and carrying their Bible under their arm. They arrive early and stay late. They volunteer for everything. But as soon as the money starts to manifest, the car gets repaired, the house payment is made, the kids have clothes on their backs, and the savings account is healthy, church becomes less of a priority than it once was.
Prosperity is one of the things that will most quickly cause Christians to get their eyes off of God. When every need is supplied and money is in the bank, many Christians stop coming to church. They stop being faithful. Prosperity becomes a great test as to whether or not a believer will continue following the Lord. Whether we are facing problems or prosperity, our attention and focus must be on the Lord at all times. God is able to see past everything and get us to the other side!
How Much More After Salvation?
vs. 32 “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?”
If God sent His only Son to the cross to die for you so you could receive salvation, how can He do any less now that you are born again? God did the most for us when we were still part of Satan’s family. God said, “Even though he is in the family of Satan because of Adam, Jesus Christ is going to the cross because I love the world so much. The Bible says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). God did the most for us when we were yet sinners. Now that we are in His family and are His children, how can He do any less?
Think how blasphemous it is to think you can face a problem God cannot bring you through. He already brought you from death to life. He already brought you from darkness to light. Now that you are His child He will certainly not do less for you; He will do so much more! If He did the most for you as a sinner, He can do more for you as a saint! Only God can do more than most! The Word of God says everything He gives to us He gives us freely. Salvation, healing, deliverance, provision—everything pertaining to life and godliness has been freely given. The cross not only provided for our salvation, it provided for each day of our life. All we need to do is reach out and receive what God has already freely given.
The Way of Escape
When we look at things from the human perspective, the giants can appear very large. The problems can look big, but God is waiting for us to remember His promises. I am no longer a child of Satan; I am a child of God. God made a way of escape before the problem ever began. I can confidently face a problem saying, “I may be confronting a problem in my life, but the way of escape was accomplished at the cross and God is going to reveal it to me!”
vs. 33 “Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies.”
vs. 34 “Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.”
Satan is our adversary. Our adversary tries to bring things to the charge of God’s elect. Our adversary brings condemnation. But whatever Satan tries to do, God has already countered it. All of us have sinned since we were born again and the moment we do, Satan goes directly to the throne of God and begins to bring accusations against us. But verse 33 tells us what happens when he accuses us; God justifies us. Satan is the one who condemns. God is the One Who justifies. Satan may come to accuse us, but Jesus ever lives to make intercession for us. He pleads our case on the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. All we need to do is ask Jesus to forgive us and when we do, His blood cleanses us from all unrighteousness, and Satan’s case is thrown out of court.
We must endeavor to see things from God’s viewpoint rather than our own human viewpoint. Satan charges us, Satan condemns us, but God justifies us. Christ died and is risen again, even at the right hand of God and He makes intercession for us.
When Satan Comes Against Us, He Comes Against God
In Matthew 25, Jesus said to His sheep, “I was hungry and you fed me, thirsty and you gave me drink, in prison and you visited me, naked and you clothed Me.” And their response was, “When did we do these things?”Jesus said, “When you did these things for your fellow believers it was the same thing as doing it for Me.” If feeding, visiting, and clothing others are the same as doing it for Jesus, think about what actually happens when Satan comes against a Christian. When he comes against us, he comes against God. God will justify. He will make sure we are taken care of.
vs. 35 “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?”
This is pressure from circumstances. Sometimes the devil may not attack us directly, but he is working through circumstances. You may be going about your day and not just one or two things go wrong, instead, it seems that everything is coming against you. You just get one problem settled and two or three other problems surface. People are talking, the phone is ringing, the circumstances are bad, and the pressure mounts. Suddenly, you feel like, “What’s going on here? I feel like David standing in front of Goliath!” But then you remind yourself, “I’ve got a rock called the promises of God. The promise says, ‘Many are the affliction of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all!’” (Psalm 34:19) God will bring us through pressure from circumstances.
Distress refers to mental anguish. Sometimes we will hear a negative report and immediately our imagination begins to run wild. We start thinking of the worst case scenario. Our mind begins to become flooded with negative thoughts, which ultimately lead to confusion. We are in a state of mental anguish. But the promise of God says we have not been given a spirit of fear “but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (II Timothy 1:7).
Persecution, Famine, Nakedness, Peril, or Sword
Persecution is demonic attack. Famine is a lack of food; lacking provisions for your natural life. Nakedness is a lack of clothing. Peril is impending doom. You may not have seen anything but people are predicting it is coming. Future terrorist attacks, a failing economy, a lack of natural resources are just a few examples. “Sword” is a reference to war.
Whether the enemies you are facing are simply in your mind or whether they are actual circumstances that the enemy is using to work through, our promise is, “Nothing can separate us from the love of God.” No matter how difficult the circumstances I am facing, the love of God is always greater.
What will bring me through peril? The love of God. What will bring me through war? The love of God. What will bring me through lack? The love of God. God loved me as a sinner, He loves me more as His child. God loved me when I was unrighteous, He cannot love me any less as His child! Because He loves me even more as His child, nothing can separate me from that love.
Accounted as Sheep for the Slaughter
vs. 36 “As it is written: “For Your sake, we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.”
Some people read this verse and think, “That is exactly my point! Because of Jesus, I am being killed all day long. I am just a sheep for the slaughter.” However, we are not sheep for the slaughter, but this is how Satan views us.
The meaning of the word “accounted” in the Hebrew stems to a practice shepherds had in the ancient world. During this time, the shepherds numbered their sheep. On the day of slaughter, they would look for the best sheep. Those that were ready would be slaughtered, but the ones that were not would be given a few more days or months before being killed. Those particular sheep would be labeled with a number identifying them.
Satan does the same thing. He looks at us and says, “This one is fat and ready! Let’s label that one over there and in a couple of months I’ll get him!” Satan sees us as stupid sheep. He sees us as a walking lamb chop. He is like the coyote in the cartoon looking at a sheep and even though he is staring at the sheep, he is seeing lamb chops roasting over the fire. Just as the coyote sneaks down the hill at night to grab the sheep unaware, he is met by a huge sheep dog! Satan may try to sneak up on us, but just like the sheepdog, Jesus is right there to meet him face to face and destroy him!
Persuaded by the Promises of God
vs. 37 “Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.”
What are “all these things?” In distress, tribulation, persecution, famine, nakedness, peril, sword—in all these things we are not just conquerors, we are more than conquerors! Conquerors bring themselves through, but more than conquerors allow God to bring them through.
vs. 38 “For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come,”
The word “persuaded” is a key word. Our enemy is a perceived enemy and he wants us to perceive him as bigger than he actually is. The battle is in our mind. Isaiah 14:16 tells us that one day when we see Satan as he really is, we will say, “Is this the one whocame against us and made the nations tremble?”
There is only one way to be persuaded; it is through the promises of God. We become persuaded when we open to God’s promises day after day and meditate on them. It is then that we can come to the conclusion, “I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, or powers, nor things present, nor things to come can separate me from God’s love.” Nothing in life can separate us. Nothing in death can separate us. Angels cannot separate us. Evil spirits cannot separate us. It does not matter what we perceive with our mind, it cannot separate us from God’s love.
vs. 39 “nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
We need to be absolutely persuaded by the promises of God. Instead of seeing ourselves defeated, we need to see ourselves as already having won because that is how the Word sees it. God does not see us winning the battle; He sees us already victorious. He sees us with our resurrection bodies around His throne and that is how we need to see ourselves!
When we begin to see things from this perspective, our problems become smaller and smaller. It does not matter how big the giant seems when we see our problems in comparison to God and from His perspective! One promise from God is bigger than any demon. It is greater than any circumstance of life. One promise from God is stronger than Satan himself. In fact, if every negative circumstance and even hell were put together, one promise of God is bigger, greater, and stronger because He has taken the Word and exalted it above His own name!