The Technique of Thinking Divine Viewpoint, No. 1

Techniques of the Christian Life

TL09-02

We have been studying the techniques of the Christian life which are simply procedures for growth into spiritual maturity. There is a fifth technique which we begin now, and this has to do with a believer's mental attitude or his viewpoint. A person's mind may meditate on Jesus Christ, and consequently function on divine viewpoint. Or a person may ignore Jesus Christ and function on human viewpoint in his life. This has very realistic and practical consequences in our life choices. Your ambitions in life and your goals in life are entirely determined by your mental attitude and your mental outlook. Your viewpoint, whether it be divine or human, has determined what you are out to get in life and what it is that you're going to pursue tomorrow morning. Your life is already directed in a certain pattern and a certain path. You will get up and you'll move back into that pattern because of certain outlooks and certain viewpoints that you hold.

If you are operating on human viewpoint which originates in the old sin nature stimulated by Satan, then you will be seeking certain ambitions and certain goals which are pleasing to his majesty the devil and which are detrimental to God's blessing upon your life. But if you're tied into divine viewpoint, you will be making choices and you will be moving out into the world tomorrow morning in a way that God can bless, and He can prosper the thing that you are seeking and that you're pursuing. The very habits that we have--that we form and that we pick up--obviously stem from the viewpoint that we have in our minds.

Every young person moves along through life. He moves from the innocent stage where he is a little youngster. He was trained at that stage with a certain viewpoint and outlook on life. He moves up into those very precious junior years and for those very excellent and often attractive intermediate years. He moves on up into his grades in junior high up into high school and frequently at that level he is now pressured to make certain decisions concerning his life. He gets to high school and, if it's a secular high school, one of the things he notices that those who are in the in-crowd do is smoke. They smoke different things. He notices that this is one of the things they do. This youngster has two kinds of a mind. You send him to school with a brain. That brain can be one of two types. Within this brain can be divine viewpoint or within this brain can be human viewpoint. He will react consequently according to his mental outlook. So here comes a cigarette. Each viewpoint will take a look at that. He sees that this is what is done. This is the accepted thing. This is what is around him in high school. He is forced to make a decision according to his viewpoint. If he has divine viewpoint, he will very easily reject that appeal. If he is operating on human viewpoint, he will be very tempted to accept it.

You might say that that really is a kind of a stupid thing to do. It's a kind of a stupid habit to get into. It's got nothing but bad features and qualities to it. Why would he do it? For one reason. For the frame of reference that's in the mind. That guides the choices of our habits. This is true about our children. It is true about ourselves. We make choices accordingly.

There's one thing that you notice about these two points of view. You may summarize the divine viewpoint with the word "smart." We may summarize the human viewpoint with the word "stupid." That will very aptly describe your choices. You can almost always describe the choices, without exception, as choices that originate from human viewpoint are stupid, and choices that originate from divine viewpoint are very smart.

This is very hard to handle because all of the other brains floating around you in the school that you go to are all filled with her human viewpoint. Therefore, they are all condoning the stupid choice. How is a youngster going to make an opposite choice? Only one way. If he doesn't have divine viewpoint, he will go along with that which is destructive to himself; with that which displeases the Lord; and, with that which goes along with the crowd. In other words, one of the things you may observe about divine viewpoint is that it makes you a man and it makes you a woman. Manliness and womanliness is nurtured by divine viewpoint. By the same token, human viewpoint undercuts your manliness and your womanliness. It tends to move you into an animal level of being and of expression. The people who are living like snarling cats and dogs with one another are those whose minds are filled with human viewpoint. Those who are living in peace; in restraint; in tolerance; in understanding; and, in sympathy are those whose minds are operating on divine viewpoint.

So which point of view you have in your mind is very crucial. Consequently, the school that you send your child to and the viewpoint which is going to be poured into his brain makes a very great difference. Unless that school (and hear me well), unless that school can stand up in the morning and say we are ready to begin and we begin with a word of prayer to the living God who is out there, and we will approach Him not as the Supreme Being as we could approach his majesty the devil (as his Majesty the devil would like us to approach him), but we will approach Him through his Son the Lord Jesus Christ who revealed Him. Unless everybody in that classroom can bow in prayer in perfect freedom, and the teacher is capable of leading in prayer because that teacher is on a ground of a relationship with that living God, I will guarantee you that that child will spend his day having human viewpoint poured into his mind.

It would be wise for you as parents to project to the years ahead the choices, the goals, and the ideas that this will form in the human viewpoint training that your youngster will receive. It's tragic when a person has had the opportunity to be introduced to divine viewpoint and he has gone negative toward it, and he is thereby elected to operate on human viewpoint. He will suffer the consequences. But, at least it's better that he should have had a chance. What he is experiencing is the direct result of his own negative volition.

We have this in government leaders. What this nation is looking for, without realizing it, is government leaders who are functioning on a mind filled with divine viewpoint, and that's pretty hard to find. The best you can find is a government leader, by and large, who is operating on moral qualities, on the basis of morality. To have divine viewpoint frame of reference would be a marvel in a political leader. There's no telling what such a man, were he ever to arise, would be able to accomplish.

The responses to your rights are going to be determined by whether your mind is filled with divine viewpoint or human viewpoint. The last time somebody crossed you; the last time somebody stepped on what you felt was your right; or, the last time you were not treated in the way that you felt you should be treated, your reaction to that was determined by what was in your brain. Hopefully, you responded to that encroachment upon your rights according to the divine viewpoint that was there, in which case you acted in grace, you acted with restraint, and you acted with understanding. The thing you certainly did was say, "The Bible is the Lord's." You faith-rested the problem, and you didn't get pushy and strike back. On the other hand, if you were filled with human viewpoint, you did all of those things. You demanded that your rights be recognized. I want to tell you that human viewpoint is always stupid, and your demanding of your rights is going to bring you the consequences of that kind of a stupid choice, as it would bring you the consequences of blessing did you make the smart choice of the divine viewpoint that God has provided for our guidance.

Your attitude toward material things, obviously, will be governed by your divine viewpoint or your human viewpoint. If your mind is tied into human viewpoint, you'll foam at the mouth over material things. If your mind is plugged into divine viewpoint, you will be able to hold onto your material things lightly, and you won't become an enraged person over material things. They will be things that you take in stride. They will be things that will be something that you use for the Lord's glory, but not something that you abuse. It is something that you possess. It is not something you allow to possess you. In other words, you will have a mastery of the details of life. Your attitude toward the mistakes of others will very excellently demonstrate your divine viewpoint and your human viewpoint.

I want to tell you something else. It is sometimes difficult to be able to identify to yourself just what you are operating on. There are many times when you think you're operating on divine viewpoint when it's just as human as it can be. One of the easiest places to show this is in your treatment and your attitude toward other people--toward other people who act inadvisably; toward people who make mistakes; and, toward people who exercise poor judgment. One of the qualities of human viewpoint is that you cannot recognize the good that a person does. You cannot recognize that here is something that may be inadvisable and that needs to be corrected, and that you should seek to bring healing and strengthening to this person's performance. Instead you want to slash and cut him down. If you find that within your heart there rises this rebellion against the weaknesses of other people, and that you want to give them what they've got coming (and God help you if you got what you had coming), but at least you want to let other people get what they've got coming, it's a sign that you've got human viewpoint mentality, and you are not plugged into divine viewpoint at all.

Therefore, it is quite evident as we think about this, that our minds function in one way or another. So which viewpoint dominates your mentality is going to determine everything that you do outwardly. Since all of our actions begin in the mind, a Christian's viewpoint is the key to his living. A person is what he thinks. Remember that Proverbs 23:7 says, "As he thinks in his heart, so is he." I realize that what we think is not always evident on the outside. We know how to play poker face and we know how to play con games. However, ultimately what we are begins seeping through and slipping out of us in one way or another, and pretty soon we have shown what we really are. The fronts that we put on in various circles that we move in cannot forever cover up the human viewpoint on which we may be operating. What we think is what we are. What we think is developed by the frame of reference which we have developed from information which we have taken into our souls. Therefore, every fact that you and I have, consequently, is either human viewpoint or divine viewpoint.

In Isaiah 55:8-9 the prophet says, quoting God, "'For your thoughts are not my thoughts, neither are your ways my way,' says the Lord. 'For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.'" There is a difference between human viewpoint and divine viewpoint. In 2 Corinthians 10:3-5, we have this evidenced again--the difference of the two viewpoints--where Paul says, "For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God through the pulling down of strongholds, casting down imaginations in every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ."

The Bible everywhere indicates to us that divine viewpoint is one thing, and it is maintained through the intake of the Word of God, and human viewpoint is another thing, and it is arrived at by ignoring the Word of God. Divine viewpoint then is occupation with Jesus Christ so that His thinking becomes our thinking. In 1 Corinthians 2:16 we read, "For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him? But we (we Christians) have the mind of Christ. In Philippians 2:5 the Apostle says, "Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus." It is possible for us to have the divine viewpoint of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is God's plan that our natural human viewpoint should be gradually replaced with God's divine viewpoint. At the point that you are born again, you come into life with a little speck of divine viewpoint, just enough to understand the gospel and to enter that new life. From then on it is the plan of God that gradually your whole mind should be covered in its entirety with God's divine viewpoint. You are not born with this. No matter how intelligent and cultured and sincere you may be in your human viewpoint, it's still ugly in the sight of God, and usually expresses itself in an ugly way in the sight of people. The only source of divine viewpoint is the Word of God.

While you may agree to all of this, I want to caution you that, as I said, we may have a bad heavy case of human viewpoint while we think we're right there in touch with the Lord. Consequently, the Bible warns us that human viewpoint has one characteristic deception of thinking that it is right. In Matthew 7:3, we have the expression, "Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?" Human viewpoint can have the worst possible personality and character breakdowns and weaknesses in the world and yet human viewpoint does not see one's self in the gross light in which we should be viewing ourselves. Instead, we actually think that we have nothing wrong with us, and we run around and make a big thing over something that is a speck on somebody else. That's the point of this passage. We have a big log hiding our own vision but we think we can see enough to identify the problems of a minuscule matter in somebody else. Proverbs 14:12 says, "There is a way that seems right to a man, but at the end thereof are the ways of death. This is again an expression concerning the blindness of human viewpoint. It thinks it's right. But God says the result is going to be death. So, beware of your confidence in your rational mind.

God Himself, of course, is never deceived by what we put on outwardly, on which human viewpoint is ready to commend us. In Hebrews 4:13, we have it made clear to us that God sees inside as we: "Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight. But all things are naked and open unto the eyes of Him with whom we have to do. Then in Proverbs 21:3, it says, "Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the hearts." God weighs the mind--"the hearts" here means the mentality. God looks to see what kind of a viewpoint we are functioning upon. The world society operates on the human viewpoint that Satan instills. This is no pattern for Christians to imitate. However, if this is all you know, then that's exactly what you are going to do.

Luke 5:1-11 - The Apostles' Catch of Fish

As we turn to the Word of God, we can find some pretty good examples of how this business of human and divine viewpoint works. We may take a look, for example, at the Apostle Peter, one who played a very outstanding important role among the twelve. Turn to Luke Chapter 5 and notice the first eleven verses. In the life of Peter, we have here in this passage the description of Peter the professional fisherman who is in partnership with his brother Andrew and his friends James and John hearing Jesus Christ preach the wonderful words of life. The Lord actually used their boat as a pulpit, as a preaching point as they were washing their nets. Here is a professional fisherman, and here comes the Lord Jesus Christ. He uses their boat to preach. After the service, they go out; they put their net down at the Lord's direction; and, they pull in a fantastic catch. You may look at this from two viewpoints. If you look at this from human viewpoint, you will say, "Wow, what a lot of money we've made today. However, if you look at this from divine viewpoint, you will recognize that there was something spectacularly wonderful and different about the person of Jesus Christ who made this possible. That's exactly what Peter did.

In Luke 5:8 we read, "When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees saying, 'Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.'" So, we could start off with a little graph with a line representing divine viewpoint, with Peter right up there at the top of the scale. He had really responded to what he had seen from a divine viewpoint frame of reference. He recognized Jesus Christ as God, and he saw himself as a sinner. The result of this was that Peter followed Jesus (Luke 5:11). In other words, he did what Colossians 3:2 said, "He sought the things which were above, not the things which were below." So we've got Peter moving along in life functioning on divine viewpoint under the blessing of the Lord.

As a result of this contact and following the Lord, Peter received, as you know, several years of training. He was constantly in the Lord's presence receiving divine viewpoint instruction. But part of the problem of our lives as believers is that we go up and down in this business of operating on divine viewpoint. We are tossed to and fro. We are what James 1:8 calls double-minded. Therefore, we tend to be unstable. What it means to be double-minded is that sometimes we are divine viewpoint-minded and sometimes we are human viewpoint-minded. You and I can fluctuate between the two. Peter learned how to have divine viewpoint. In 1 Peter 1:13, Peter says, "Wherefore, gird up the loins of your mind. Be sober and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ." "Gird up the loins of your mind" means to operate on divine viewpoint. Jesus Christ taught him. Peter was preoccupied with Christ and his divine viewpoint capacity grew. His brain began to be filled with this viewpoint.

Matthew 14:22-31 - Walking on Water

In Matthew chapter 14, we have another incident recorded in the life of the apostle Peter. Here is the situation where they're out on the lake; it's 4 o'clock in the morning; there's a high wind; and, suddenly they look out and they see Jesus walking on the water. In Matthew 14:22, this boat is being tossed to and fro, and suddenly they see this figure walking on the water. There are two ways to look at this. One response, which we read of in verse 26, was the human viewpoint response. "And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled saying, 'It is a ghost' and they cried out in fear." The other response was that which was represented by Peter who, because his mind was operating on divine viewpoint and because he was free of fear, turned his eyes to the Lord and asked to come out to him. Verse 28: "Peter answered him and said, 'Lord, if it is you, bid me come onto the water.' And He said, 'Come.' And when Peter was come out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus."

Now this is great. The water was churning and tossing around. The Sea of Galilee is pitching here and there. And here is Peter walking on the water. This is better than water skiing any day. He was walking up one wave then down the other wave. He was having a great time because he was operating on his divine viewpoint. We have him moving around, consequently, on our graph, up on the divine viewpoint line. However, notice verse 30: "And when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid." Here he is all the way down on human viewpoint. And the result was he began to sink crying, "Lord save me." The Lord stretches out his hand, saves him, and rebukes him for his lack of faith. He says, "Why did you doubt? Why did you resort to the human viewpoint pattern of doubting what I had said to you?" In other words, he was doubting the word of the Lord Jesus Christ, which had told him, "Come out. Walk on the water. You can come out to me. It will be alright." Fear is an element which always reflects human viewpoint. It's caused by unbelief and it always ends in defeat. 2 Timothy 1:7 tells us that, "We have not been called to a mind of fear." And yet this is one of the things that always reflects our human viewpoint--when we are afraid. The mental attitude of Peter caused him to lose his stability.

Matthew 16:15-16 - Who Jesus Is

Another incident in the life of Peter is in Matthew 16:15-16. The Lord says to his disciples, "But who say you that I am (in contrast to what the Pharisees and the people and others were saying in identifying Jesus Christ)?" And quick as a wink, Peter comes right back and says, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." So here we have Peter right back up here operating on his divine viewpoint of reference because he recognized who the Lord Jesus was.

Matthew 26:31-75 - Peter Denies Christ

In Matthew 26 we have another incident in the life of Peter beginning at verse 31. Here the Lord Jesus tells his disciples that all of them will desert Him. When Jesus said this, Peter answered and said to him, "Though all men shall be offended because of you, I will never be offended." He's back down on human viewpoint. With the arrogance of thinking he can stand without any problem, what he was revealing was again the weakness that is inherent in human viewpoint. The Lord said, "What you're going to really do, Peter, is deny me three times." In Matthew 26:62-75, we read the sad experience down here on the human viewpoint of Peter where he denied any association with Jesus Christ.

So you can see that in the life of Peter, just the few incidents that we've looked at, there is this bouncing back and forth between human and divine viewpoint. Whichever level he was operating on determined his action. When he was on divine viewpoint, his action was compatible to his calling as a child of God. When he was on human viewpoint, he was denying that call and he was being compatible with what Satan thought.

We're happy to notice in the Word of God that the apostle Peter bounced back to his divine viewpoint. In Acts 2:14 ff, after the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, we have his great sermon that resulted in thousands of people being saved, indicating that Peter is back up here on his divine viewpoint level. The last admonition that we have from him is in 2 Peter 3:18, which is an admonition in effect to pursue divine viewpoint: "But grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. However, though he was generally upward, we do know that he failed. He was back down to human viewpoint. He came back in the attitude of salvation toward the Gentiles that we read of in Acts 10:14-15. He also refused to eat with Gentiles, so he functioned along again on his human viewpoint level when he wouldn't have any contacts with the Gentiles. But always our failures are to be resolved by the use of 1 John 1:9 that takes us right back up to the divine viewpoint level.

Worldliness

Of course, you cannot operate on divine viewpoint if it's not in your mind. You can see what happens when we are weak on divine viewpoint and strong on human viewpoint. We tend constantly to gravitate down toward this level whenever we have decisions to make, rather than functioning on the divine viewpoint plateau. However, we have to have that viewpoint in our minds before we can act according to it. This is very amply exemplified in the book of Romans where the Apostle Paul refers to human viewpoint in terms of relationship to this world system, or to what you and I might call "worldliness."

Romans 12:2 - Don't Conform to the World

So let's look at Romans 12:2. Paul says, "Be not conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God." Here the apostle Paul is actually referring to a matter of a mental attitude. This is the attitude concerning worldliness. He says, "Be not conformed." The word "be not conformed" is kind of a long Greek word. It is "suschematizo." This is a very important word because it tells us a great deal about the subject of worldliness. Any Christian who is serious about his spiritual life does not want to displease the Lord Jesus Christ, and does not want to grieve the Holy Spirit, but wants to operate in a way which is compatible to his calling as a believer. What this word means is not to fashion yourself after some pattern. It's like a lady who will lay out a piece of cloth and put down a pattern, and then take a pair of scissors and cut around that pattern. She is "suschematizo"ing that piece of cloth. She is outwardly shaping that cloth to the pattern that she laid on it. This has to do with an outward relationship. It is related to the word "schema." "Schema" is a word that refers to something which is external; or, something, for example, like an actor who comes on a stage and he plays the part of a soldier. He is performing a "schema." He is not really soldier. He is just dressed like a soldier outwardly. He's pretending to be a soldier, but inwardly he is not a soldier. This is an outward fashioning.

This is used in 1 Peter 1:14 where the word "conform" is used of the outward expression of the old sin nature in sins and human good. Peter says in 1 Peter 1:14, "As obedient children not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance." When he says, "As children of God not fashioning yourselves," he means outwardly not acting the way you used to act before you were believers. He uses this same word which has to do with our outward expression and conduct.

Therefore, believers, this word says, are not to be outwardly fashioned to something. It is in the present tense which means that they are not to pattern themselves in this way continually. It is middle which means it's a benefit to them if they do not outwardly form the patterns of the world. And, it is a command. It's imperative. A Christian is under obligation to avoid this outward fashioning.

Now, fashioning to what? It says, "Do not be conformed," do not pattern yourself outwardly to this world. The word "world" is actually the Greek word "ion" which means age. It doesn't mean "world." There's another Greek word "cosmos" for "world." This simply means the age. We're told in Galatians 1:4 that the age in which we live is an evil age. This is because Satan is the one who runs this age. It's an age that he controls. It's an age that is evil because it operates on human viewpoint which he promotes. He is the one who designs its ways (2 Corinthians 4:4). This age is evil because 1 John 2:16 tells us that all the motivations of this age are evil. They've all been instigated by Satan.

This is a reference to the pattern of life in our society. When it says, "Do not be outwardly conformed in what you do in life to the patterns of our society," it is saying do not follow the human viewpoint outward expressions of our society in its various patterns in which that expression is to be found. Do not be worldly. What does that mean? Don't act and look outwardly in the form of a worldling. What makes you a worldling? It is something in the mind. It is operating according to the human viewpoint of this world. It is living in your speech; in your dress; in your goals; and, in your values as the people of the world do. Just because the people of the world outwardly dress immodestly, that doesn't mean that you as a Christian have to dress immodestly.

One of the signals that your mind is filled with divine viewpoint is that you won't dress in such a way that is immodest to your Christian calling and testimony, to one who is a member of a family of God. I don't care what the fashions of the world are, and I don't have to explain to you how insane the fashions of the world are, particularly women's fashions. They struggle to expose as much as they can. This is the world's fashion. You don't have to do that. The Bible says, "Don't cut the pattern of your life outwardly to what the world says is OK." You look at that and you say, "Just a minute. I want to see whether that style is human viewpoint or divine viewpoint, then I will make my decision as to whether I go with it or not." The world gives us the means of associating ourselves with the human viewpoint at this age.

What's the solution for worldliness? The next part of verse 2 says, "But be transformed." It says, "Don't act outwardly according to the pattern of this world." How will I not act outwardly? By being transformed. This is a different word. This is "metamorphoo." You can very easily see the English word "metamorphosis" there which is a change. It's related to the word "morphe." Here's the importance of this word. "Morphe" has to do with the essence of a thing. In Philippians 2:6 we read that Jesus Christ had the form of God: "Who being in the form ('morphe') of God thought it not robbery to be equal with God." Now what that verse tells us is that Jesus Christ inwardly is really God. He looked like a man on the outside but he was inwardly in the form of God. In Philippians 2:8, we're told that Jesus Christ fashioned himself as a man, and guess what word it uses there. It uses this word "schema" meaning that outwardly He looked like a human being, but inwardly He was God, and thus He was the God man. So in Philippians 2:6, He has the form inwardly of deity, and in Philippians 2:8, He has the form outwardly of a man.

If you had a piece of land, maybe a field of corn, and you came along and you decided to make it a field of cotton, that would be an outward change. It would be a "schema." There would be no essential change in the thing. It would still be a place for crops. However, if you took that corn field, and you change it into a city, into a subdivision, that would be a "morphe." You would be changing it completely from what it had been before. The importance of this is that in 2 Corinthians 11:14 we read about Satan transforming himself into an angel of light. What word do you think it would use? It uses the word for the outward change. It uses the word with the "schema" root, meaning that Satan inwardly does not change into an angel of light--only outwardly. He comes along and he looks like he belongs to God. He does not use the word with the "morphe" root because Satan inwardly does not change into an angel of light. Therefore, believers are told not to look like the world outwardly, but inwardly they're going to have a change. Now, what is on the inside of you that's going to change that would keep you from living according to human viewpoint? A change that would cause you to live according to divine viewpoint? That is the renewing of the mind.

Verse 2 says, "Be not conformed (outwardly) to this world, but be transformed (inwardly) at that point of the renewing of their mind." It is your mental viewpoint which has to be affected. This mental viewpoint is what will make the difference of the way that you're going to act. What is worldliness? Worldliness is human viewpoint, and it expresses itself in immorality and any number of other things. It is the patterns of the world being expressed. The outward form of the world expressing its inward quality of human viewpoint.

If you want to overcome worldliness, the first thing you have to do is to seek to wipe human viewpoint out of your thinking, and to fill your mentality with divine viewpoint through the Word of God. In order to seek to change your outward pattern so that you will do that which is becoming as a Christian, you will have to change the mind upon which you are functioning. If you have been operating on human viewpoint, you need the renewing of your mind. Worldliness is an expression of human viewpoint. When you're in a certain place, or you're engaging in a certain activity, it's just reflecting the viewpoint that you're operating on.

People can do things that nobody would call worldly. You may have studied something here that offends you; something that has disturbed you; or, something that you doubt and you question. You may have not been interested in anything you studied here. As a matter of fact you may have sat through this whole study and your mind may have been on something else. But you've been reading here. Once in a while, you nodded. Yet, you've been just as worldly as you can be. Your mind at that point has been operating on human viewpoint. Don't think that worldliness means something dirty and nasty. It is very frequently among Christians not dirty and nasty. Its expression is just as ugly, but it is often done in refined ways. What I'm trying to say is that human viewpoint operating inwardly will have a variety of outward expressions. Never forget that the world puts on a front. It is that characteristic of human viewpoint to put on fronts with people and to deal with people on a false basis. The world is very expert at doing that. The world operates on that which is for its own self-interest.

Therefore, thousands of Christians, because of their mental attitude, are worldly but they don't know they're worldly. They don't realize they're operating on a human viewpoint attitude so they don't think they're worldly, but they are. Worldliness is every thought and action contrary to divine viewpoint. That's expressed in a variety of ways. It's expressed with slavery to the circumstances of life; spirituality through legalism; human growth through the old sin nature; playing ball for personal gain; or, the desire for public prominence and attention.

That's a beautiful piece of worldliness. Do you have a secret desire to see your picture in the newspaper? Would you like to be able to open the paper tomorrow morning and see your name there? Maybe we're standing outside of the little corn field that you just grew. You're standing there very proudly with this 20-foot-long ear of corn you grew. All of the community is just awed that you could grow a 20-foot-long ear of corn. Isn't that going to be wonderful 100 years from now that you got your picture in there demonstrating what a classy hot shot you were?

Please do not forget that all of us are headed for eternity. All of us are headed for death, sooner or later. Many a Christian has tied himself into human viewpoint. Sometimes it's a Christian who had operated on divine viewpoint. I've had the occasion several times in my own mind, and I might have mentioned it to Mrs. Danish, saying, "So-and-so has now moved to his death. There is nothing more in this person's life. They may have a few years left, but they have tied themselves into human viewpoint values and they've done for. It's all over. Their significance to the Lord is practically nil, and there's nothing before them except to die."

Human viewpoint can squander your life. If you had this kind of a yen for what the world loves to have as honor and recognition, you better watch it. You want to stop and recognize that as God's sign to you that you're operating on human viewpoint. If you were on divine viewpoint you couldn't care less that you had grown a 20-foot-long ear of corn. You couldn't care less whether anybody ever knew about it. You would not degrade yourself by being made a public spectacle in the local newspaper.

The opposite of worldliness is preoccupation with the Lord Jesus Christ and His Word. It's the knowledge of doctrine that produces divine viewpoint in our minds. That's how we renew it. If we do not renew it, the only place we can be is that with which we were born: human viewpoint. Colossians 3:2 says it well: "Set your affection on things above, not on things on this earth." Divine viewpoint will cause you to be in love with the things that are above. It will cause you to be preoccupied with Christ and His value system. Human viewpoint will cause you to be in love with things that are below; with the old sin nature; and, with Satan's value system which is expressed in human viewpoint. Which will you choose?

Dr. John E. Danish, 1973

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