That Which Is Least Obscuring That Which Is Most
How would you define a False Perspective? Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary defines perspective as a "point of view." A False Perspective would be one that is based on mistaken ideas; inconsistent with the facts; not true. How many of us today have a False Perspective when it comes to the things of God?
"The laws of perspective are such as that a minute thing near at hand shuts out the image of a massive thing far off, and a hillock by my side will hide the Himalayas at a distance, and a piece of money may block out God, and 'that which is least' has the diabolical power to seem greater to us than - and to obscure the sight of - 'that which is most.' - Encyclopedia of Sermon Illustrations
In your life, what "minute thing near at hand" is shutting out "the image of a massive thing afar off"?
What is that "something by your side" that is hiding "that which is at a distance"?
Are you allowing "a piece of money" to "block out God" ?
Is "that which is least" obscuring the sight of "that which is most"?
Think about it! You may have a False Perspective without even knowing it!
Your point of view, concerning certain matters of life, may be - "based on mistaken ideas," "inconsistent with the facts," or simply "not true."
The Scriptures offer us several verses which deal with having a False Perspective. Let's examine them and see what particular instruction the Holy Spirit would have for us today in our study of His Word.
Psalm 49:10 says - "For he seeth that wise men die, likewise the fool and the brutish person perish, and leave their wealth to others."
In this life, it's often true that the rich and the "wise men" seem to be made the exception to every rule. In other words, they seem to rule and reign among us and "get away with murder."
Hence, oftentimes, they have the False Perspective that they will never die or that their money or "intelligence" can cause them to escape the "chilly grasp of Death." They are so used to "pulling strings" in order to escape any form of troubles that they think that perhaps their money could help them to escape this final trouble as well.
Or many live as though they will be able to take their wealth and riches with them when they die.
The truth of the matter is that the rich, proud, and wise men die just like the poor, foolish, and senseless ones. They have no certain "lease on life" to prolong their days because they display greater management skills of their assets or because they are intelligent and hold many degrees from prestigious institutes of learning.
None are saved from death. Nothing can secure them from the stroke of death. No amount of money can pay it off; no amount of learning can outwit it.
Neither can any carry away their money with them when they leave this earth. It's left to those who remain - whether they be wise or fools.
Proverbs 27:24 says - "For riches are not for ever: and doth the crown endure to every generation?"
Here again is the False Perspective which so many entertain, supposing that riches will last for ever. Unless wisely managed and attended to, they can disappear fast - "Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not? for riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven"(Proverbs 23:5).
And even though they are wisely managed, they can be swiftly taken through no fault of our own - men steal and waste that which is not theirs.
Whether through poor management or no fault of our own, honors or high positions - "the crown" - can also be taken from us in the "twinkling of an eye." There is no certainty that they will be passed on to the next generation. Circumstances beyond our control can come and snuff out all of our assets and overturn any high position in a moment's notice. Those who sit in high places can quickly find themselves reduced to ashes. Nothing is secure or predictable in this life. All is transitory and subject to change.
Matthew 13:22 says - "He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he become unfruitful."
Mark 4:19 says - "And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful."
Luke 8:14 says - "And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection."
Many - especially today - equate the Bible with Prosperity. They seem to indicate that the man who has the Greatest Faith has the Greatest Amount of Wealth. Although there can be those whom God endows with Great Riches in order to be a Blessing unto others, it is a False Perspective to assume that Prosperity is promised to all or that it is a sure indication of God's approval on one's life.
In these Scriptures, we see that the desire to be rich is very deceitful and fools many. Just as the "thorns" hinder the growth of the "seed" planted in the soil, even so do "riches" choke out the time and attention that should be reserved for God and the pursuit of spiritual matters.
Contrary to what most believe - "riches" carry along with them pleasures and provoke "cares" which all serve as obstacles to spiritual fruitfulness. Pleasures and attractions - worries and cares - lusts, desires, and the lure for other things - all quench spiritual growth. They cause men to abandon any concerns for their eternal soul. They cause them to barter the things of the Spirit for that which is temporal. They divide and distract the mind - resulting in much anxiety and stress, while wiping out any peace, comfort, or true happiness.
Luke 12:16-20 says - "And He spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God."
Once again, we see the False Perspective in this passage of Scripture, delineating that "riches" can prolong life or avert any approach of trouble, pain, sorrow, or even death itself.
Along with that, there are the misconstrued ideas that -
...a man's comfort and peace depend upon temporal things;
...this life is his portion;
...it's not necessary to be concerned about the future - there are no chances of him ever coming to want or lack.
Here is a perfect display of the mindset of one who had filled his life with great possessions - lived for himself and money. Pride, idleness, and luxury filled his life. In the eyes of the world, he was a Great Success; in the eyes of God, he was a "Fool!" His "riches" blinded him to the concerns for his never-dying soul and the sobering thoughts of a Judgment to come.
Did you notice that all of the Scripture references above dealt with money?
Isn't it interesting that men have a tendency to have a False Perspective when it comes to the "cares and riches and pleasures of this life"?
In so many lives, the case is sad but true that "That which is least" - the riches of this life - are responsible for obscuring "that which is most" - the true spiritual riches.
What is the solution?
Suppose you do have a False Perspective on certain issues in life - especially when it comes to money matters and the Kingdom of God. Suppose you are guilty of allowing "that which is least" to obscure "that which is most." Or perhaps you have allowed something so small as "a piece of money" to block out that which is so vital in your life - like the call of God or purpose for which you were brought into this world. You have been so busy pursuing wealth that you haven't had much time for the weightier matters of your eternal soul, for instance.
What is the solution to this madness?
The answer can be found in Colossians 3:2 - "Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth."
It must be an ongoing decision. We must constantly discipline ourselves to focus on that which is eternal rather than temporal. We must seek after, study, love, and be entirely engrossed with heavenly things. We can't afford to allow ourselves to dote upon the things of this earth like houses, lands, enjoyments, fashions, pleasures, and honors. We will be deceived if we do - "the deceitfulness of riches."
Believe it or not - it was the False teachers who were instructing the Colossians to concentrate on temporal blessings. It took an Apostle Paul to refute this error or False Perspective in the Church and turn the Saints' focus back on eternal realities.
What is it in your life which is "least" that is obscuring "that which is most"?
It may not be the pursuit of wealth and prosperity. It may be something entirely different.
Allow the Holy Spirit this day to shine His Spotlight on your heart and reveal to you any "point of view" that you have which is "based on mistaken ideas," "inconsistent with" the truth of His Word, or simply "not true."
We close with this Scripture from the Apostle John, depicting the heart of God for His people -
"Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth. For I rejoiced greatly, when the brethren came and testified of the truth that is in thee, even as thou walkest in the truth. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth."(3 John 2-4).
May God Bless His Word.