What do you think of when you think of perception? We all have one, especially when it comes to life and how we see or heavenly Father. How we perceive Him will largely define how we see ourselves and how we treat others.
Perceive means to become conscious or aware of something. Perception is the process of perceiving, a way of conceiving something, and or the representation of what is perceived.
What we perceive to be the truth about God's love for us, will be the same as what we are able to give.
If we see God as a demanding, scornful, waiting to punish you, rub your face in the dirt, type of father, this is how we will treat others, this is the perception we will give others about who God is.
If we see God as a giver, a loving caring Father who wants to come along side of us and not excuse the sin in our lives, but give us the desire, motivation and power to be free of its reign, this is the perception we will give others.
In the Greek the word perceive can also mean to intimately get to know someone, in the book of Matthew the word virgin, when talking about Mary being kept, is also translated as perceive.
I love the fact that God is not after us simply modifying our outward behavior, but He wants to have an intimate connection with us. He wants our obedience to freely flow out of our connection with Him. This is my perception.
How much of our perception of God is influenced by "religion" and our society here in the U.S., or anywhere else for that matter.
There is a place in my heart that wishes, I could have been "kept" for a time, away from the influence of who others perceived God to be, until I really truly saw the heart of my Father.
Paul says that after He met the Lord He went away for a time and did not immediately consult the other disciples. Could it be that He took this time to get to know for himself, the One who had called him?
Don't get me wrong, I know we learn from each other and I LOVE talking about Jesus with the people God has placed in my life. I just know, that much of what I used to believe, much of my being in bondage for so long, was introduced into my life from my not truly knowing the heart of my Father, yet trying to "do" all that I was told I should.
Even the famous quote "What Would Jesus Do?" also know as "WWJD" is only answered based on perception. Is it not really saying "What Do You Think Jesus Would Do?" Our perception of what He would do, how He would handle a person, or a situation is based on our perception of Him, and how we think He perceives us. Is it not?
I know we have the Bible to guide us in truth, yet we all perceive that differently as well. We can each read the same passage and come up with a different perception of what it means. I once read (paraphrase) that the Bible was like a gem, with many different sides, all shining and glittering in their own special way. Each side holding a different angle of truth, to show the multifaceted love of God.
I believe that the Bible is a love story, it is a story where I can find Jesus hidden in the pages and lines. It is a story that shows me all of the horrid things that I have been saved from, rescued from and delivered from. It is a story of God's love and passion.
Could it be that none of us have it all right? We are all on a journey, are we not? I can tell you that five years ago, I did not perceive God the way I do today. If you would have told me then, many of the things that I perceive to be truth now, I would not have believed you. And, I hope in five years five years from now, my perception of God is not the same as it is today.
What is your perception?
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