Elevated Eyes

Look above: Fix your eyes on Jesus and see life from a different perspective

Category: Thought

Short from the heart thought

Change your Thinking: Standing to Sitting

Final part in the the change your thinking series is here. We’ve looked at victory in the Christian life is so much more about changing the way that we think than changing our actions. Out of the heart the mouth speaks and it’s so often the thought life that dictates the type of fruit that grows in our life. If you want to read my two previous posts you can do so here (Part 1 – http://elevatedeyes.org/change-thinking-death-to-life/) (Part 2 – http://elevatedeyes.org/change-thinking-sin-saviour/)

 

In this final post in this series I wanted to look at the idea that we need to learn to sit with our saviour  Jesus.

 ‘And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.’

Hebrews 10:10

You’ve been forgiven once and for all.

 ‘And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God,’ Hebrews 10:11-12

Christ is our great high priest.  He made one sacrifice, for sins, forever. He bled out on that cross, once and for all. The saviour of this earth breathed his last and then rose from the grave.

To destroy death and what is His position?

He is no longer standing He is Seated because the job is done.

Our high priest sat down.

The other priests we’re told here are standing up daily making sacrifice but He is seated.

He is seated.

He is seated before His enemies.

He’s not shocked,

He’s not worried,

He says it’s done.

Meanwhile as Christians on earth, worrying and freaking out because we’ve sinned, or because things are going wrong.

Jesus saying it’s fine I am still seated. I am still in control. It is still finished. I’ve still won and you’re still mine.
The next time Jesus stands is to wrap this whole thing up. He is still seated.

 

Ephesians 2:5-7 Jesus made us to sit.

even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.’ Ephesians 2:5=7 

We often don’t want to sit.

Jesus is saying be seated.

We want to run around I will sort it out, I will fix things, I will deal with things.

Jesus is saying I’ve already taken care of it, sit down.

I want you to see that our position, needs to change from standing to sitting.

In the Hebrews 10 passage that we have been looking at it says ‘The blood of bulls and goats can never take away sin,’ this is a creative way of saying your striving, your works can never take away sin.

Only your all conquering victorious seated Jesus can do that.

You are not controlled by your sin, you are not defined by your sin, you do not have to spend the rest of your days focussing on your wickedness, on your faults on your failures.

You have been set free, you can now live preoccupied by your champion Jesus.

Our champion Jesus has done what you could not do for yourself. He has cut the power of sin off. He has crushed him, he is gone It has been buried, your sin has been removed from you as far as the east is from the west.

This will change the way you live.

It is time for you to celebrate again, it is time for you to stand up again, speak up again, dream again and walk in victory, and be all that God made you to be.

Lets start living this way, lets start living in the light of our seated saviour.

Know that what was dead has been brought to life and because we have been raised with Christ our sinful nature did not.

Know that the theme of our lives is not Sin, but it is falling in love with our saviour

Stay conscious of our seated victorious saviour and know that He is still seated through it all. And stop being paralysed by our sin and celebrate His victory sit with Him, rest in Him and be all that He has called you to be!

Change your Thinking: Sin to Saviour

A few weeks ago in a post titled ‘Change your thinking: Death to Life’ we looked at how it’s not a change of behaviour that’ll be the main cause of life change but it’ll be a change in your thought life that will bring about change.

Today I wanted to write about one key thought that so often plagues many Christians. It is the concept that we are sinners and need to focus on our sin to see change.

Hebrews 10 looks at the idea of the sacrifices that the priests brought to the temple & tabernacle.  Every time they bought those sacrifices back there was a reminder of sin.

The priests were busy, they had lines out of the tent, killing one sacrifice after another.   There are Christians today that approach our gatherings, purchased by a blood so greater than the blood of goats and bulls and yet still want the focus to be about sin.

If constantly focussing on sin, was the way to overcome sin then the Israelites would have done it years ago. They would have found the way to true holiness.

But they did not.

What world do we live in where we think that the blood of a bull is greater than the sacrifice of a living majestic, prince of peace and son of God.

A son of God who hung on a cross and said ‘it is finished’. I have come to forgive once and for all.

And now our theme of our gatherings is not sin , it is saviour.

 

Now the theme of everything we do is not sin it is saviour.

Our life is not defined any more by sin but by saviour.

We gather together not to be reminded of Sin but to fall in love with our saviour. Because in the consciousness of Christ we can live free from sin.

Don’t let sin become a self fulfilling prophesy over your life.

Kris Vallotton said ‘If you believe you are a sinner you will sin by faith’

When we fix our eyes on Jesus, when we see it is not about sin but it is about trusting the saviour. The things that we are facing, the things that we are tempted by and we are struggling will fade.

There is a beautiful line of an old hymn.

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.

Fix your eyes on the saviour because in the consciousness of Christ we can live free from the trap of sin.

 

What sin do you need to live your eyes of off today?

Change your thinking: Death to Life

Change is hard, we all struggle with it. Maybe it’s those new year resolutions that by this point in the year you have given up on. It’s hard to change but I believe that the call of the Christian life is a call to move from one degree of glory to another.

The biggest call over the Christian life is not so much a change of behaviour as it is a change of belief.
So often our behaviour flows from our belief. It flows from what we believe about ourselves, about our world and about others.

In Christ we have  new identity, we’re born again. The old has gone and the new is here and it’s here to stay.

The learning process is not about getting rid of the old but it’s in changing our thoughts from our old mindset to our new mindset.

In 3 posts I want to set out 3 ideas that need to shift from old to new.

Death to Life

Sin to Saviour

Standing to sitting

 

Let’s look at that first one, Death to Life

1 Corinthians 16-28 says

16-20 If corpses can’t be raised, then Christ wasn’t, because he was indeed dead. And if Christ weren’t raised, then all you’re doing is wandering about in the dark, as lost as ever. It’s even worse for those who died hoping in Christ and resurrection, because they’re already in their graves. If all we get out of Christ is a little inspiration for a few short years, we’re a pretty sorry lot. But the truth is that Christ has been raised up, the first in a long legacy of those who are going to leave the cemeteries.

21-28 There is a nice symmetry in this: Death initially came by a man, and resurrection from death came by a man. Everybody dies in Adam; everybody comes alive in Christ.

In life there’s often the idea of digging up old stuff as if it is important. I’m sorry if you’re a fan of that kind of tv show,  you know the kind, where they search through old antiques trying to find hidden treasure.  The truth is that a lot of the time the stuff is just junk with little value.

In life we often try to dig up these old things as if they are still important to us. The truth is they so often aren’t. They aren’t important they don’t have control and they aren’t that relevant to our lives now.

How many of  us believe that Jesus, actually, physically rose from the dead. If we’re christian it would be most of us, I know I do.

1 Corinthians 15:17

‘And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sin!’

Your sins whether they are alive or dead, hinges on this verse. If He rose then your sins didn’t and if He stayed in the grave then your sins rose.

Maybe it makes more sense to look at it this way ‘though we still sin, you are not in your sin’. Which is to say our sins that bind us do not define us, our sins do not stick to you, our sins no longer make us who we are. Because we’re a new creation.

What does it say in 2 Corinthians 5:17

‘Therefore if anyone is in Christ he is a new creation, the old has passed away, behold, the new has come’

You are no longer a sinner, but you are a son or daughter of the king. You are righteous, you are a saint. You can say I am His. Though I sin it cannot change what my risen Jesus has finished.

Because He moved from death to life, and clothed you with new white robes. You’ve been moved from death to life in His power. You have resurrection power in Jesus.

The old has passed away the new has come, we need to change the way that we think sometimes we need to see that Jesus has taken us from death to life with Him.

Let’s jump back to that 1 Corinthians passage just one more time

1 Corinthians 15:17 ‘And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sin!’

If Christ did not rise, you did not rise and you are still in your sin but He did rise He conquered.

Yet we as Christians so often think that sin has resurrection power. We need line our thinking up with what God has finished in our lives.

When Jesus says the words ‘it is finished’ the actual Greek word is tetelestai, it means to endto bring to completionto bring to a conclusionto completeto accomplishto fulfill; or to finish.

In Him you’ve been brought to life and your sins have not.

Have faith that you can walk free from the power and control of sin and live life in the resurrection power of Christ that is in you! You died in first Adam and you have life in Christ, live like it.

What areas of your thinking needs to move from death to life? Maybe it is how you view your finances, your relationships, your spiritual life. Remember today that God comes to speak life not death into every area.

Live life with a green light

One of the main questions I’ll get asked by teenagers, students and adults in my church is how do I know I’m in the will of God? How do I know that the decisions I make and the things I do are in the will of God for my life.

Who should I marry?

Should I take that job?

Should I move city are questions we all think about.

If we see our lives as a set course and the will of God like a program that we walk along then it is very hard not to be troubled by these questions.

The will of God is not one little road for your life, it is a way of living and it is a state of being.  If Jesus is our good shepherd that gives His life for the sheep. If through His love He welcomes us into the pasture and provides us with fullness of life. Do we have freedom in the pasture? Does the Shepherd bring a blade of grass to us, and then when we have eaten that, He brings another one and then another. Does He direct what we are allowed to do.

Paul says in the letter to the Corinthians that where the spirit of the Lord is there is freedom.

How is this way of living in the pastures of our Shepherd freedom?

This is often the lens that we interpret and see the world through.

When God is ready He will speak, guide and direct us to that ‘next thing’. And yes of course He speaks, guides and directs but He also gives us the responsibility to live our lives with wisdom in the power of the Holy Spirit.

There’s so much more freedom than we realise.

I believe that as we enter the kingdom, through the good shepherd we’re given freedom in the pasture. We’re given the green light, to eat, enjoy life, live and learn to love well.

So if there is so much freedom and it isn’t about a pathway through life. What is the will of God?

Rejoice always,  pray without ceasing,  give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.’

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

The will of God in Christ Jesus is to

rejoice always

pray continually

and give thanks in all circumstances.

This is the same that any good husband would want for his wife. We are the bride of Christ. Does our good husband Jesus want to control us with one clear, set pathway. We say to our loved ones  I want you to be happy, communicate and that you are content. Jesus is saying to us, be happy, communicate with me and be content. That is His will for us it is a state of being.

‘For it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.’ Philippians 2:13

God is in you and is working out his will in you (A state of being) for his good measure.

‘I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship 2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.’ Romans 12:1

What is God’s will for you? To have your mind renewed and transformed from the way of the world.

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.’  James 1:5

We are in God’s will and now.  It is a state of being in Christ Jesus. We are in the flock the pasture and now you need to ask for wisdom. The will is a state of mind, when you are in the will you need to ask for the wisdom of God.

The apostles lived with a green light. They didn’t spend their lives waiting for the green light as to whether to serve, help, preach or pray. They went, they lived and the loved. They spent their lives living in the green light of the Spirit of God that says I am with you, you are my representatives on the earth and I give you authority to represent me well.

If you were an ambassador in a foreign country and every time you’re asked to help and see an opportunity make the country better you said “I need to wait and double check if the country that has sent me will allow me to help” you wouldn’t be a very good ambassador. As an ambassador you have been given authority by the home nation to go, make a difference. In Life we have been given authority by the king of kings to go.

And they went through the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia. 7 And when they had come up to Mysia, they attempted to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them. 8 So, passing by Mysia, they went down to Troas.’

Acts 16:6-8

The apostles lived with a green light, they heard go and they are going, they are healing the sick, preaching the good news and casting out the demonic. Then as they are going they are asking for wisdom and guidance and they’re then blocked by the holy spirit. They are directed by a vision in the night. The direction came as they went, not as they sat and did nothing.

We’re not supposed to live in fear of being blocked and redirected. We’re meant to have a green light, enjoy the pasture. We aren’t meant to let anything hold us back until the holy spirit redirects us.

Ask for wisdom in the process,

live life not questioning the will of God,

live life with the green light of the Holy Spirit,

rejoicing always, praying constantly and always being thankful.

2016 Refresh

This is a very personal post, I want to get back to blogging in 2016 with a new look site and plenty of new material & ideas to share with you. So I thought I would start 2016 with a personal post sharing a bitabout me and some of my dreams and aims for the 2016

This time of year is amazing for looking back & reflecting and looking forward and dreaming.   As I look forward to 2016 I have faith & hope that God is going to do even more in my life & in the lives of those around me.

I wanted to share with you some aims, dreams & goals for 2016.  There are three key areas I want to focus on this year.

Firstly, I want to look after my Physical Health. Throughout 2015 I began running again, it’s been great.  I love running & the difference it has made in my health, body & mind. I want to continue running in 2016 increasing the mileage, training for a half marathon & a Tough Mudder. Keep updated with my runs on STRAVA & NIKE+. I am also changing my diet this year, I’m not set on exactly what yet, but I know I want to move to a partially vegan diet.

Secondly, I want to look after the Mind. I have read a book a month in 2015 & I want to continue doing that through 2016. I will review books on my blog  & if you’re interested in what I’m reading check out my Good Read & my Amazon Wish List. I want to read the bible in a year again in 2016. This time I’mgoing to do it chronologically in the message translation, stay updated with my Youversion Account . I am also aiming to blog regularly. I know I haven’t been on here recently, but my goal this year is to be more  open, to share my thoughts, beliefs, opinions & ideas. Honestly & regularly. Make sure you sign-up to get the latest posts sent to your inbox (SIGN-UP).

Finally, I want to look after the Soul. I want to minimise & de-clutter, I find I am far more anxious & stressed in the middle of clutter & possessions. I am cutting back on possessions, I believe simplicity brings balance, freedom & joy & I want more of that in 2016 .  I want to pause more, enjoy more, laugh more & be less distracted by possessions & more focussed on who I’m called to be. In 2016 I want to be more ME.

What are some of your aims for 2016?  

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