The role of perception in leading us to righteousness: vision into understanding, into righteous action (a pattern of His Ways)
Perception is a type of knowledge. What we do with what we see is where Wisdom enters. Wisdom is to apply knowledge in love into the particulars of a given situation. There is this passive active aspect to seeing. We both, are shown, and we choose what to look at. This is true in prayer-when with Him as Priest-and in prophecy-when ministering His visions and communications outwards to others. We partner with His Spirit and are led to look at certain things; but then we also tilt the lens and look at what we are drawn to. Spiritual perception is cool. There is also insight and outsight. Sight into things; sight of them. What we see well, we then can add to our understanding of how to intervene well. There is the how to see, the what to see, and then the what to do with this information. The what to do aspect is governed by Wisdom working through love.
Been thinking lots about what we see, through our portals of perception, our particular lenses–what we are shown, and what we choose to look at. The eye is not passive, it chooses the frame and area of focus. Even on line, we have to choose which stories to behold. We are not victimized by information, we filter it. Today i was drawn to Sweden, not by the news, but by other means-some type of fault line there rippling downwards toward the continent. Seeing out, seeing into, watching aspects of the whole situation. “Perception is a type of knowledge.” someone once said. Wisdom, i suppose is how to bless, in love, what you behold with that knowledge of sight! Anyways, Port openings are cool, and i keep collecting photos of them in my various travels. I love how you start taking pictures of things, or are drawn to certain colors or shapes which you are already thinking about on some level. Perception is a cool tool!
If He must be formed in our instinctive as well as reflective will (D. Willard), then we will need to take time to allow for spiritual perception. To even have a “reflective” will implies that we perceive or see, and then consider. We cannot be formed by Christ if we do not see what areas He is forming in us, and come into alignment with that formation. This requires our choice and will to say yes, but it also implies vision. People often don’t think of the role of seeing or vision in healing, but in truth we cannot even minister into others if we do not see, at least partially, what areas He is touching. So sight relates to healing or making whole as well. We cannot interpret what we see without some time of abiding with and in Him, and trying to understand not just how He sees it, but how He interprets what He is seeing or showing us. Without vision we truly do perish. But vision in itself just offers us knowledge with which to choose how to act.
In Him, image, word and action are integrated or one–ie in perfect relationship with one another! Just as in great art–image, word/sound, execution or realization of vision are conjoined, in a way in which the image sound and medium all confluence to express the message or content! So Jesus sees, and gets the truth or interpretation of what He sees, and then acts in Wisdom’s love to intervene in God’s steps, pacings and Ways. Art mimics this desire to have image, word and action or implementation in unison or alignment! Art is like this in the natural; but, in the spiritual, say, in prayer, or vision we also see; then we need the truth about it or interpretation (revealed by the Holy Spirit), we then edit accordingly, then Wisdom enters to help us partner with Him in love and action. These three are in His Ways: sight, word into righteous action. Vision, truth, and righteousness. And they are one in Him. And flow from one another in this pattern or order.
Prophecy requires wisdom. Vision is information. Truth is understanding of the information. Wisdom is how to apply it in love to the situation. So, in prayer, i see something for someone or city and then I seek understanding and interpretation (the truth), then I move in His Love to apply this word, to minister this sight and word into the particular situation! Wisdom enters in this last stage of righteous action! The whole process leads us to know and therefore love and appreciate what He is “doing” even more; and it makes us wonder at who He is!
We see, we interpret, then we intervene in Wisdom’s love–we act righteously. Wisdom again is the application of His Love and knowledge and sight into the situation. Righteousness requires Wisdom in love. To see is the start–I only do what I SEE. Jesus said. He saw, then He interpreted in terms of why the Father showed Him this, then He acts out in righteousness. We behave then or act in love with knowledge gleaned from seeing and interpreting. Often it starts with vision or sight; then we ask for understanding, then we can partner with Him in righteousness. The law could not by itself bring about righteousness, because one cannot follow rules without having sight and understanding.
Even, the art process imitates this order–as artists, we see, interpret, and act or implement. We have vision, see an image, we gain understanding and then we implement, or render it. This three part process echoes His Way. It’s the same way in prayer and prophecy. We see, we seek understanding or interpretation, then we apply in Wisdom’s love! We act out in His Righteousness. If we stop with just one or two of these stages, we miss the full experience of God’s Way. We want to see, to know, and then to implement in love’s incarnation. The creative process echoes this larger process of how God is.
In short, we see in order to know, in order to act! Vision, interpretation, application as the school of prophets often reiterate. By the time we come to action, we are, hopefully, in His Love and Wisdom and therefore moving in His Righteousness. That’s the order of implementation on earth, or a pattern of our partnership with Him in His Ways! What we see in prayer, we seek to interpret or understand, and then we minister that understanding in love outwardly to others! Jesus condemned those who were always perceiving, but never knowing, therefore never able to implement in Wisdom and Love. And at the same time, He was often frustrated with those around Him for not being able to see properly! It is not enough to see without knowledge; and then it is still not enough to act out without knowledge. God, after looking and considering, finishes things out with the great intervention of Love–the highest example being the sending of His Son Jesus. God is not just a passive watcher, or one who resonates only in His Own knowledge; He also acts out and intervenes from Wisdom in love towards us all! That is the pattern for us to follow as well.
Prayer, leads us to prophecy, which requires, not just sight, but interpretation into loving action! That’s the pattern in Him! Our spiritual perception or vision is a starting point into this sequence towards loving intervention for others! We see in order to know, in order to act in His Love outwardly!