IHOP-KC, Lens Changes, & Love Covers
I don’t know if you’ve ever had an eye exam or are familiar with the process. But the last part that gets you to clear vision involves you staring at a chart some distance away while the optometrist flips different lenses over your eyes one at a time.
“Clearer now….or now? Okay now this one…or that one?”
The chart remains unchanged and slowly lens change after lens change you come to your right prescription to have perfect vision.
Graham Cooke was who made me think of this. He has a series called: Mind of a Saint. In this series, he says that we go through many “lens changes” throughout our walk with Christ and that this is how we go from glory to glory.
I thought about the physical process of lens changes and it made some sense analogically to me. You see, I have gone through lens changes in my journey already any times. Different teachers, ministries, biblical focuses & interpretations have all been flipped down over my perception of the unchanged truth in my vision.
To some these lenses would not seem right. If my husband put on my glasses, they would hinder his vision and would probably give him a headache. If I wore the glasses I wore 5 years ago, my vision would not be as clear as it should.
IHOP-KC was a lens for me that allowed me to see the unchanging truth in a beautiful light. This lens highlighted contemplation, worship, and the romance of God. Many years later, this lens is not what it was to me, but I regret in my ignorance being critical of this beautiful lens that escorted me to another level of glory & that highlighted some beautiful facets of my Triune God.
IHOP-kc’s focus and ministry may not be the lens that some need right now (or ever), but that’s not to say that it should be dismissed or called heretical because it is not the lens appropriated for some.
In my Facebook feed, I saw a fellow sister in Christ being critical of a high level pastor. This pastor has been a lens that God has used greatly as a lens change when it comes to the truth of grace.
I walked away from IHOP-KC with blurred vision on the issue of grace The lens that they gave me was not correctly suited to my particular weakness of sight when it comes to grace. My poor sight of this very important issue was giving me great spiritual “headaches”. And so my heavenly optometrist of the eyes of my understanding flipped a lens gently over my eyes so that I could see clearly the beauty and acceptance of His merciful grace. This lens change cleared from my vision the blur of works and condemnation that unfortunately were remnants of my previous set of lenses.
So when I saw this teacher that God had used being criticized and really dogged in the comments (by what seemed like Christians), it made me think about how I had not been merciful to IHOP.
God is gentle in His leadership. When I hear His voice, I am amazed at the rose-colored glasses He wears when He looks at me. He edifies me and tells me the good that He sees in me RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF TERRIBLE SIN & FAILURE. His love breaks my heart. But He sees me “IN CHRIST” where He put me. He sees who I will be not who I am in all my weakness & failure.
And this is where He has put all of His church. We need His eyes. & His heart when we talk about pastors & ministries. His love covers. It’s like he has this automatic Gaussian blur filter better than any magazine cover shot that removes all the flaws and inconsistencies from His view. In His sight we are perfect and he speaks lovingly to us AND ABOUT US.
He is talking about you within the trinity …to others like your loved ones or that person you just had a falling out with. He’s talking about you with kindness and love. He’s reminding them of your good qualities and the things that make you uniquely beautiful.
Why can’t we do this for each other within the body? Maybe we don’t know that this is the way God looks at us, speaks to us, thinks of us…relates to us. If we understood that this was the way He relates to us, maybe we would relate to others within the body this way.
I don’t think we should hide abuse. We should address hurt in a biblical way. But I know that I have smeared big church pastors because I didn’t completely agree with their methods, interpretation, or presentation probably in the name of “speaking truth in love”. But the truth about us is God’s view that sees our potential and sees us through the veil of the perfection of Christ.
I repent for speaking criticisms into my social network & sphere for the purpose of cutting down and highlighting weaknesses & immaturity. For someone, that ministry is the lens that he or she need. I pray that we will all be able to not just speak about our brothers & sisters (individually & corporately) in a loving, generous, and merciful way but to think about them this way in our hearts. I pray that we would grow to understand they way that God extends mercy to us & extend this same mercy to others.