I enjoy messing around with photoshop and just out of personal interest I checked out a couple of tutorials on You Tube this week. Photoshop is a computer programme that allows a person to edit, adapt and improve digital images and photographs. In the old days (i sound like a grumpy old man now) they used to say the ‘camera never lies.’ Not any more, Photoshop has changed all that! Nowadays most of the professional photos you see in the media have been enhanced or touched up to improve the image. Its amazing how you can get rid of spots, blemishes and any sorts of defects to give the appearance of perfection and make you look absolutely beautiful!!
Whats more, with modern cameras you now have the ability to fit all kinds of lenses and filters to further alter your images. My point is this, the image you see at the end is no longer an accurate image of what the camera saw!!
All life is seen through a lens; the lens of personal experience, personal preference, background, training, upbringing, culture, education or class. Things are not always as they seem, and it is important in this day and generation that we as the people of God see clearly what Gods image or blueprint is for our life, our families our church and our community. We need to see what God sees, and not keep enhancing it and embellishing it to look how we want it to!
Paul says in 1 Cor 13:12 ‘For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.‘ Sure we do not see everything now or understand every situation perfectly. Some things in life are hard to understand and often our attempts to see Gods purposes are obscured by the pain or frustration of our circumstances. But the true picture is out there. In fact it is stored in the heart of God to be released to us in his time. I believe that some stuff will only be revealed to us when we see Jesus face to face and look into his eyes. Then we will get a true image of who we are and who he is and how he has worked!
For now, as we look ahead, lets aim to get the best picture we can and here are three things to help:-
1. Focus on what’s important
Heb 1:1-2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Phil 3:17 Join together in following my example, brothers and sisters, and just as you have us as a model, keep your eyes on those who live as we do
Any photographer knows, you only get a clear image of what you focus on! Maybe things are not clear to you at the moment because you are focussed on the wrong things. For example, i was chatting to a good friend this week and the Lord said to tell him ‘the steps of a righteous man are ordered by the Lord’. Then he said ‘tell him to focus on being a righteous man NOT on the steps’ It was important to say this because the direction of his focus was crucial to him receiving the revelation. Let Christ become the lens through which you see everything and let his purposes be the subject you focus in on.
2. Develop your masterpiece from the negative
Jas 1:2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
Turn your negatives into a positive. Know that God is not only with you in the negative moments but more than that, he is at work in them. Someone once said the beauty of the piano comes from the intense tension that the strings are under. Out of that tension and stress God can play his best tune. You either stand or stumble on your struggles. It depends what or who you are looking at. In fact to get the positive photo image it must first have a negative.
3. If things don’t turn out right just take another shot.
Prov 24:16 for though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again, but the wicked stumble when calamity strikes.
Watch a professional photographer, and you will see them clicking away furiously at the subject, perhaps taking 20 or 30 shots in a few seconds. Why? Because in order to get the ‘on the money’ image he knows he cannot not limit himself to one shot. We are often easily put off by one or two failures. Sure we will fail now and again the issue is how we respond. 1 Jn1:9 encourages us to continually return to the throne of grace to receive forgiveness and be put back on track. Keep taking shots!! If you mess up, keep confessing and keep getting forgiven! Thats the power of the cross!
So what lens are you looking through?