Words are pretty powerful things. For instance, whether you heard the 5 words “Happy Valentine’s Day, my love” today or not could have shifted the balance of your mood considerably. I know it used to for me. But today it does not and I am sure it is because of 5 other words that jumped off the page of my favorite book, the Bible. Words I had never paid much attention to, until today.
40 days ago I started a fast from sugar based on a book whose title also contained 5 words. The 40 Day Sugar Fast. It is a book by Wendy Speaks and it literally has transformed me; not only is my body better, but my soul is better too. She begins the journey with a question that stirred my hungry heart. She said, “what if Jesus came to you today and said, “Do you love me more than sugar?” Truthfully, I would not have been able to say yes to that though I deeply wanted too. As God used the resource of her book to change where I go to get my soul filled from sugar, media, shopping etc. to get its satisfaction in God, a metamorphosis began.
Today, the butterfly is breaking out of its cocoon. I sense a fullness of soul I have not had before. Not because of the 5-word title of that book but the deeper understanding of the 5 words that jump out at me as I read today’s Bible passage in that book. Just read this and see if you see them too.
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.Romans 12:1-2
Now I must say that in the past, I have noticed another 5-word phrase that has brought conviction like “holy and pleasing to God.” Yet, today it was something totally new. Before I tell you what it is. However, I want to tell you a little about where my life has been over the last year.
Though I can say that it has been a year that has brought some good things, it has mostly been a year of battles. Spiritually and physically, it has been a season of a war raging in my mind and soul. The turmoil in the news and some in my family was affecting mine deeply. So much so that I fell into a deep period of depression, the darkest I have had in my life. It was like what I knew and what I felt lived on different planets. By the end of 2019, I was desperate to get out of this pit that seemed to be getting deeper by the day.
Though my doctor, after diagnosing me with clinical depression, gave me some great medications, spiritually, I was still in the middle of the desert with no sign of oasis. That is when I came across Wendy’s Book and knew that it was that “voice behind me telling me which way to go.” The impact of following that voice was life-changing. But I didn’t really see it’s full impact until today. Until I saw those 5 words.
Look back at the verse again and see them. “In view of God’s mercy.” My issue has been all about perspective. All about the lens, I saw my life through. It was like taking off glasses with the wrong prescription and getting the right ones. The clarity is stunning. With this new lens, my wilderness suddenly had a lot of green pastures.
I remember hearing a phrase from my daughter that said that your perspective becomes your reality. This has been key to me understanding the view of others compared to mine and has gained me compassion and clarity when I hear how someone perceived differently from me. In fact, the word I felt I heard from the Lord for this year was the word “perceive.” It jumped off the page of my Bible in another 5-word statement. This time a question.
See, I am doing a new thing!Isaiah 43:19
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland.
Today, I could finally start to answer that question with a “Yes, I think I do.” The way in the wilderness, the stream in the wasteland is only seen “in view of God’s mercy” My view of all of life’s hills and valleys must be though those 5 powerful words. So here, I will briefly highlight each of those powerful words as an Optical technician would craft your prescription to give you the best way to see.
In: used here as a preposition, which governs the noun. It means; expressing the situation of something that is or appears to be enclosed or surrounded by something else.
View: used as a noun, the word that needs to be identified. It means; the ability to see something or to be seen from a particular place.
OF: this word is another preposition, in this case, it is indicating the material or substance constituting something. It is the word that is leading us to know what our view must be of.
GOD’S: The noun, the main idea that all the other words are drawing from. His definition is beyond the limits of this post, but briefly, I will say this, He is in His own words: “I AM WHO I AM and I WILL BE WHO I WILL BE.” We also see that there is an apostrophe “s” indicating that the next word is something that God owns.
MERCY: Another key noun to this phrase. It means compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one’s power to punish or harm. This word mercy, used in other verses of scripture, has also be described as compassions or in the words of the commentator, “His motions of tenderness and pity.
Are you starting to get the picture I am? Our perspective must be surrounded by the substance of the Great I AM’s tenderness and compassion toward us, who are within his power to punish. WOW! Thankfully, this phrase points back to the verse, through the word “Therefore” that holds the truth of why this perspective is best of all.
Oh, how inexhaustible are God’s resources and God’s wisdom and God’s knowledge! How impossible it is to search into His decrees or trace His footsteps!Romans 11:33
From now on, as I watch the news (including all things political), experience disappointment and trials, and simply walk out each and every day seeing the world and the direction it appears to be heading and when people and situations cross my path that mess with my plans, I can let that 5-word perspective changer lead me to a 5-word simple prayer.
Help me see this mercifully!
Try it, I think it can change your life like it will mine.
Oh, and if you haven’t heard it yet I can honestly say to you, my reader, in view of God’s mercy, “Happy Valentine’s day, my love”.