John 15:21 “But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me.”
Perspective, how we see things, means everything. This includes, first and foremost, how we see God. Before we actually know God, we can think we know a great deal about Him, but our perspective is always wrong. The apostle Paul, before he was a Christian, thought he knew God very well. He was so convinced that his perspective of God was correct that he was motivated to persecute Christians because their perspective of God was so wrong in his eyes. They exalted Christ as God, which to Paul was anathema.
Paul had had a man-centered view of God for his entire life. His god had been created in his own image, and because the human heart is sinful, and even hateful, it is that image that he projected onto God. He and the other Pharisees thought that they were serving God when in reality they were serving Satan, and they were in league with him in opposing Christ (John 8:44). All men who don’t really know God will do the same thing. Their view of God will be an expression of their view of everything else. If they think something is good, they will view God as thinking the same way, and if they view something as bad, then they will believe God agrees with them. Thus, we hear people say “My god wouldn’t do this or that” or “My god would do this or that.” Of course, this is true for them, because they have created God in their own mind – an image that is anything but the true God.
However, when man sees himself from God’s viewpoint, everything changes. Thus, when Paul saw the real Christ, he was blinded. All of a sudden, his own view of God meant nothing. What mattered was that Christ saw him and he was a sinner – a wicked sinner, and he needed help. Isaiah, that great Old Testament prophet had the same experience. Although a godly man, when he actually saw a vision of the true God in the temple he was overwhelmed and could only say “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!” The same holds true for Job, who was described by God as a man who was “blameless and upright, one who feared God and turned away from evil (Job 1:1).” Yet, even at this, Job had a lot to learn about God, and when God revealed himself to Job as he never had before, Job’s response became “I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you; therefore, I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes (Job 42:5-6).”
So, what’s your view? Do you think you know much about Him or even know Him? You can be assured that if you’ve never seen yourself from His perspective, you don’t know Him at all. And if you truly want to know Him, get ready to have your eyes opened to the condition of your own heart. It is only then that you will join those who, like Peter, when he truly saw Jesus for who he was, “fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, ‘Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord (Luke 5:8).’”