Change How You See, Change Your Life
See yourself being successful.
See yourself scoring that goal.
See yourself slim, healthy, and looking good.
If you can see it, you can achieve it.
That, my friend, is what the world teaches.
But the world doesn’t have the whole picture. Why? Because the principle of seeing the good you want to experience didn’t originate with the world; it originated with God.
Long before there were self-help gurus and motivational speakers, God asked a childless Abraham to step out of his tent into the desert night and to look up at a sky filled with stars. Then God gave Abraham a glorious, hope-filled visual of his future: “Count the stars if you are able to number them. So shall your descendants be” (Genesis 15:5).
For an 85-year-old man who had been trying for a long time to have just one child with his wife, that must have been such an awesome faith-inspiring picture. But today, that picture is a reality—not only are all Jews Abraham’s natural descendants, but all believers in Christ are also his descendants by faith (ref.: Romans 4:16).
What image do you have of yourself, your future, or your family on the inside of you? Are they pictures that give you hope? Or are they images of the very things you fear? Do you see yourself healthy, thriving, enjoying life with your family and friends, and serving in church? Or do you see yourself sickly, stuck in a dysfunctional family, always lonely, and full of fear?
Oh Pastor Prince, I don’t believe all this visualisation stuff. Isn’t it a New Age teaching?
No, my friend. Terms like “creative visualisation” may have been coined by popular psychology or the New Age movement, but long before the world started teaching about how we can have what we see, God had already put this wisdom into His Word for His children. Why? So He can put His pictures of His abundant life into our hearts and lead us to experience all the blessings He has already prepared for us through Christ’s finished work.
We see this principle of seeing His blessings before we possess them right in the book of Genesis when God told Abraham, “I am giving all this land, as far as you can see, to you and your descendants as a permanent possession” (Genesis 13:15, NLT). Whatever of the land Abraham saw, and as far as he saw, that he would possess. God in fact told him to “walk through the land in every direction, for I am giving it to you” (Genesis 13:17, NLT).
God changes your heart first before He changes the outward circumstances of your life.
Why did Abraham have to first walk through the land if God was going to give it to him anyway? Because God wanted him to first see not just with his eyes, but also in his heart, every aspect of this land even though it had been promised to him.
And God once again employed this principle when He got Abraham to look at the stars after Abraham became discouraged at having no heir despite God’s earlier promise to bless him with descendants as uncountable as the dust of the earth (ref.: Genesis 13:16). The stars would come out every night, which meant that every night, Abraham could gaze at them and let what he saw burn a visual in his heart. And from a place of discouragement, this image of the innumerable stars representing his future progeny took him to a place of hope and then faith—an unwavering faith in God’s promise that brought glory to God (ref.: Romans 4:18–21, NLT).
Can you see? The way God imparts faith to walk out His promises is to give you a picture. And today, He wants you to know He has already put His pictures of your successes, your victories, and your breakthroughs in His Word. Your part is to get His visuals deep inside you, right in your heart.
The book of Proverbs, where we find God’s wisdom to walk in His divine health and life, shows how He changes your heart first before He changes the outward circumstances of your life. Look at what Proverbs 4:20–22 says:
The heart is tied up with our imagination, and what we imagine is intricately tied up with how we will live.
My son, give attention to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your eyes; keep them in the midst of your heart; for they are life to those who find them, and health to all their flesh.
Is there any part of your body hurting or your life not functioning well? God’s divine health can touch those areas and heal and restore them. His resurrection life can swallow up every symptom of degeneration and death. But how can this happen? The key is keeping His Word before your eyes and keeping it in the midst of your heart.
You see, when you prioritise “seeing” God’s Word, it will drop into your heart. And then, His Word becomes life to you and health to ALL your flesh. This is why God tells us in the very next verse: “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.”
My friend, how much life and health you enjoy all spring from your heart. In the same way, sickness, lack, and bondage are many times also birthed first in our hearts. Jesus Himself said, “A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart” (Matthew 12:35, NLT). Many people are unhappy with the kind of health or family life they are seeing right now. What they don’t realise is that all these actually proceeded from their hearts.
In the very first mention of the word “heart” in the Bible, we see how the heart is tied up with our imagination, and that what we imagine is intricately tied up with how we will live. Look at what Genesis 6:5 (KJV, boldface mine) says: “And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” As a result of his constantly imagining evil, man’s wickedness grew and grew until it was “great.”
In the New Testament, our Lord Jesus told the people of His day, “But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:28, boldface mine). Notice how Jesus also linked the heart to seeing and imagining. He was telling them that to have those imaginations regarding a woman in one’s heart was to already commit adultery with her. In other words, what you imagine in your heart is as good as done.
This is why the devil would love to pollute the imaginations of your heart with pictures of sin, pornography, sickness, and death—because that’s how he can produce these evil things in your life. This is exactly why God tells us out of His love and wisdom, “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life” (Proverbs 4:23, NLT).
He wants to clean up and restore your imagination to operate as He designed it to. And you allow Him to do this when you pray and ask the Holy Spirit to give you His pictures through His Word. When you have His pictures in your heart, you will go on to experience His healing and abundant life.
If you don’t like what you see in your circumstances today, what can you do about it?
My friend, change what you see on the inside with God’s pictures. Replace those old, negative pictures in your heart with new faith-filled ones from His Word, and your situations and life will begin to change for the better.
Replace those old, negative pictures in your heart with new faith-filled ones from His Word, and your situations will begin to change for the better.
Are you feeling exhausted from the demands of work and family? Maybe you are recovering from a serious illness that has left you feeling weak. I encourage you to get your Bible and meditate on this uplifting picture painted for you in Isaiah 40:31 (NIV): “Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”
As you meditate on these words, see them applying to you. See the Lord lovingly imparting His divine strength and vigour to your body. See yourself so strong and so full of His life that you are soaring over fatigue, over discouragement, and over the symptoms in your body. Pretty soon, strength will come into your body and mind, and you’ll find yourself walking without fainting, and running without feeling weary!
Perhaps you’ve been feeling discouraged and defeated lately over bad decisions you’ve made. Instead of seeing yourself forever trapped in lack, sickness, or bondage as a result of your mistakes, see how much He loves you, has forgiven you, and how much of a victor you are over your situation through Christ who loves you.
This is what Edith from Texas did. When she first began watching my programme on television, she was, in her own words, “completely strung out on drugs.” She shared (boldface mine):
It was a normal thing to get high with the family members and people I hung out with. Although I had a deep desire to break away from it, I was never able to.
I remember how I felt when I heard Joseph Prince speak continuously about how much God really loves me and how He is not disappointed with me despite my mistakes.
I began visualising in my spirit and believed with my heart that I was freed from my addiction. I found the courage to go to church and that helped me overcome my fears and doubts. Finally, I also stopped hanging out with negative people in my life and was completely set free from drugs.
Nine months later, I met the man of my dreams. I’m now married by the grace of God and I’ve remained clean for five years now. Pastor Prince’s preaching of God’s love has set me free!
Praise the Lord! Edith’s breakthrough came when she understood how much God loves her and began seeing herself free of her addiction. This faith-filled picture gave her the courage to surround herself with the right community, to stop hanging out with those who had a negative influence in her life, and to experience permanent victory and much more. My friend, the same kind of breakthrough and victory can happen for you!
Beloved, it is so important for you to guard what you allow into your heart. What kinds of pictures and images are you filling your heart with? The pictures you see in your heart will determine the course of your life.
If you’re a young person and reading this, listen. The enemy is all out to capture your heart, so guard what goes through your eye-gate in this day and age. He knows that if he can corrupt your imagination through what you see, he can lead you down the path of addiction, defeat, and depression. So be careful what you let into your heart via the Internet and social media platforms. Don’t allow him to pervert your values and beliefs, and ultimately, the course of your life through false success pictures, pornography, and other negative images.
Find a faith picture from the Bible that speaks to you about your situation, meditate on it until it becomes a vivid picture in your heart, and see it happening to you or for you.
We live in a society that is so dependent on social media and our smartphones that we’ve developed FOMO disease. FOMO is the Fear Of Missing Out. We must check every update. Every “ding!”—every notification—must be checked, and it must be checked now! It is a very stressful life and also a very sad life.
People put up the best pictures of themselves, and if they don’t get enough likes, they feel so crushed that they take down their pictures. It’s very much a false world because most people only post the highlights of their lives. Everyone is comparing and competing, and the need to be liked has resulted in people, especially the young, having low self-esteem and negative images of themselves and of life.
The best way to counter all the negative images is to have faith-filled pictures from God’s Word. Our heavenly Father wants the imaginations of our hearts to be flooded with light from His Word. The apostle Paul put it this way: “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling” (Ephesians 1:18a, NASB).
Let me share with you my own story of the faith pictures God had put in my heart when I was a youth. I’ve shared that I used to stammer and stutter. Even when I was in high school, it was a challenge for me to stand in front of a crowd and speak. I was ashamed and I was afraid.
I remember the first time I had to stand and speak before a crowd. I asked the Lord, “Help me! Give me a verse.” And the Lord gave me Jeremiah chapter 1.
Now the prophet Jeremiah was a young man, probably a teenager when God first called him. And God knew he was feeling extremely inadequate for the job and afraid of the people he had to speak to. So God said to him, “Do not say ‘I am a youth,’. . .prepare yourself and arise, and speak to them all that I command you. Do not be dismayed before their faces” (Jeremiah 1:7a, 17).
God was telling me the same thing, and He gave me three faith pictures in the next verse: “For behold, I have made you this day a fortified city and an iron pillar, and bronze walls against the whole land” (Jeremiah 1:18a).
Wow! The Lord saw me as a “fortified city,” “an iron pillar,” and a “bronze wall”!
Now I had no problem envisioning a fortified city, so I began to see myself strong, stable, and secure—someone others could turn to in times of crisis. But I had to learn to see myself as an “iron pillar” and a “bronze wall”—a person of strength, not easily taken down by negative things people said about me.
As I kept meditating on these faith pictures, my fears started to melt away. Whenever I had to stand up and speak before a group of people, I would no longer be afraid of what I saw on their faces. These faith pictures have truly transformed me and enabled me to preach to thousands on a weekly basis.
What the Lord did for me, He can do for you too. Whether it’s a fear of public speaking, a health issue, or an addiction, God wants to change you from the inside out. And He starts by dropping faith pictures into your heart. That’s why He gave you the Bible. It’s His picture book to transform your heart.
So let Him change what you see. Find a faith picture from the Bible that speaks to you about your situation, meditate on it until it becomes a vivid picture in your heart, and see it happening to you or for you. As the negative pictures in your heart get replaced with faith pictures from God’s Word, you will start to see positive changes in your life!
Perhaps you’ve just heard a bad medical report from your doctor, and the enemy has got you playing the worst-case scenarios in your heart, over and over again. Perhaps you are afraid of growing old and getting sick and can’t help but see depressing inward pictures of yourself aging, falling sick, and wasting away.
Beloved, God loves you and wants you to live a long and fruitful life. Instead of negative images, He wants you to have this faith picture in your heart:
He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper.
That’s how God sees you. That’s how I see you too, not in the natural, but through the eyes of God. More importantly, you have to see yourself as an evergreen tree planted by rivers of water that brings forth fruit in its season. You are planted by Him who loves you. You are not there by accident. And He has planted you by rivers (plural) of water. You are surrounded by rivers of living water that supply all your needs. You will not dry up or wither, and you will be fruitful. Whatever you do shall prosper. “Whatever” means that even if you make a mistake, God will work it out for good!
And as you anchor your heart on the powerful Word of God, align also your words with what you see in this faith picture. Get into the habit of declaring Psalm 1:3 over yourself, and saying, “Like Moses at 120, my eyes will not be dim nor will my natural vigour be diminished” (ref.: Deuteronomy 34:7). You will see God’s promise for you come to pass: “As your days, so shall your strength be” (Deuteronomy 33:25b)!
Did you know that God’s Word is also full of faith pictures for a blessed family life? If you’ve been struggling in your relationship with your spouse or children and have come to see them negatively in your heart, let the Word of God give you new pictures of your loved ones.
Husbands, start to see you wife as the virtuous woman of Proverbs 31.
But Pastor Prince, you don’t know my wife! She’s not like that!
God says, “I see her as one,” just as how He saw Gideon as a “mighty man of valour” even when he was afraid and hiding from the enemies of Israel (ref.: Judges 6:11–12).
God always calls things that are not as though they were, like how He changed Abram’s name to Abraham, calling him “father of many” when the man was still childless! And because Abraham believed God and received that picture into his heart, his situation changed.
Believe the Lord anoints your spouse and children, see them through His eyes, and see Him bless your family relationships.
Do the same with your wife. See her as the Proverbs 31 woman, and as a fruitful vine (ref.: Psalm 128:3), not a dried-up prune! See her as someone who intoxicates you. You are not too old and it’s not too late to start!
What about your children?
God’s Word says that your children shall be “like olive plants all around your table” (Psalm 128:3). Why olive plants? Because God wants you to see your children as anointed. They have the oil of God on them. Olive oil from the olive plant is one of the ingredients of the holy anointing oil (ref.: Exodus 30:22–25). So their peers out there may be stressed and cynical, but your children are anointed with God’s peace and hope.
My friend, our children are different. Always see them as different. Believe the best of them, even when it comes to their teenage years. Believe they are anointed to make the right decisions. I have a beautiful teenage daughter and that’s how I’ve chosen to see her.
See your children having eyes anointed to see the goodness of the Lord, ears anointed to hear the words of Jesus and His love. Their hearts are anointed to discern truth from lies. Believe they are anointed to reach their God-given destinies!
And having God’s anointing always makes everything easy.
Let me ask you this: Your door hinges creak, why? No oil. Your joints creak, why? No oil. There is friction in your relationships, why? No oil. When there is oil, when there is the Lord’s anointing, there is no friction and strife. So believe the Lord anoints your spouse and children, see them through His eyes, and see Him bless your family relationships.
What are you seeing on the inside today? Do you see your loved ones saved even though they may seem opposed to the things of God now? How do you see your country? How do you see yourself? Many of us have cultivated a logical mind for so long, we need the Holy Spirit to revive His gift of imagination in us and resurrect the dreams He once put in our hearts. That is what I’m praying for you today. I’m believing that He will flood with light the eyes of your heart to see every challenge working out for your good, and to see your health, your family, and your future through eyes of faith.
Do you remember God saying to Abraham, “All the land which you see I give to you” (Genesis 13:15, boldface mine)? Because we are Abraham’s descendants through faith in Christ, hear the Lord saying to you also, “All you SEE, I give to you.”
My friend, are you ready to start changing your circumstances? Then start changing what you see in your heart and let God’s faith pictures change your life!
Copyright ©2018 Joseph Prince, All rights reserved.
• Change How You See And Change Your Life, 3 December 2017