All you see is the measure God uses for the fulfilment of His promises. His challenge is for us to develop mountain-top vision and to expand our horizons to see as He sees. It means living set apart for Him and turning aside from our comfort zones, but His promises are worth the effort.
for all the land which you see I give to you and your descendants forever. (Genesis 13:15)
God has a thing about mountains. A lot of really major things happened on top of one mountain or the other. None of this is accidental. Everything He does is by perfect purpose and design. As a child, I used to imagine that the top of the mountain was where God could be found, simply because it was so high and so lofty and so amazingly huge. There’s some truth in that, though we have the abiding presence of God within us. But ‘climbing the mountain’ to God is a very powerful spiritual principle. For one thing, it requires commitment. We have to make the decision and put in the effort. It’s also a principle of separation – going up and away from what is normal and familiar. In essence, it’s deliberately drawing apart from the world and near to God so that all you see is seen from His perspective.
All you see and Abraham.
Abraham’s life is one of separation unto God. From the moment of his calling, he willingly left all to step out into the unknown in absolute faith. He made his mistakes along the way, but Abraham lived a mountain-top life that enabled him to see things from God’s perspective and to believe. Today’s verse is a beautiful example of spiritual vision – the kind that looks through God’s eyes and beyond the simple limitations of life. God’s first instruction to Abraham after he parted from Lot was to lift up his eyes. The message in this is to look upward to God rather than horizontally to what is familiar and normal. God’s purpose in this was to prepare Abraham for the full reality of all you see. It was to ensure that the all was what God saw, not what Abraham saw in his fleshly limitation.
Next, God stretched his vision to multi-directional. He commanded Abraham to look east, west, north, and south. This was widened vision, 360 vision – birds-eye-view vision, the kind we get when we stand on top of the mountain and see the world sprawled out below us. From there, the all you see is multiplied and extended far beyond anything we could ordinarily see. It’s not static and one-directional. It encompasses a vast panorama that isn’t limited by human ability. This is what it is to see from God’s perspective. Little wonder, then, that He has a thing about mountains. From ‘up there,’ we shake off the restrictions and develop a spiritual vision that encompasses the nothing is impossible with God. We see a complete picture as vast and unlimited as the I AM Himself. Our all expands with the all He sees in perfect clarity.
The relevance of all you see.
The Bible tells us that what we see – what we fix our eyes on – will determine what enters our hearts. This is the reason God wants to develop mountain-top vision in us. He wants us to see with the spirit rather than the flesh so that all you see will become the all He sees. What this means is that we limit what God wants to do in and through us by our vision. What we see influences our hearts which impacts our faith. If we see small, we receive small. If we see all, we receive all. This has nothing to do with skewed notion of prosperity that currently pervades the church. It’s not a ‘see it, name it, and claim’ it gospel. It’s about spiritual vision that receives revelation from God and the faith to believe for it and about living the life He has purposed.
It might be a change in our lives, a specific calling or ministry, or simply a call to a deeper relationship. Whatever God reveals on that mountain-top is part of the all He intends for us. What we can be sure of, though, is that it will always be more vast and immeasurably bigger than anything we could imagine for ourselves. All you see is the manifestation of the heart of God for His people. His desire is that we move beyond the place where we limit His purposes by sticking to the low ground. He wants us to venture out up that mountain and to look from His perspective. The old adage about never soaring with eagles if we persist in running with turkeys is very apt. The mountain-top takes commitment, it takes effort, and it puts us way out of our comfort zone – right where He wants us.
All you see precedes a promise.
God doesn’t want to expand our vision just because. His purpose is that He can fulfil the promise of all you see. It’s so that He can give us the all, unlimited by our human weakness and restricted vision. He shows us what He sees as our inheritance, not only for us but for those who come after us. That’s part of His principle of multiplication. It’s the manifestation of His life, which continues to reveal itself in every generation. The things of God never exist in a closed-off space. They are always intended to bear fruit, to be passed on, to multiply, and to be shared. Our all is never limited to us alone. He always has a bigger purpose in everything He does. We are all part of an extended purpose that is so much bigger than we could ever imagine.
Abraham is again our perfect example. For him, all you see included the nations, not merely his extended family. All you see is prophet by nature because it’s God’s vision, not ours. This is what the Bible talks about when it speaks about calling things into being that aren’t yet in existence. We can call them because we can see them, not with our own vision but with the spiritual vision that is imparted by God Himself. This promise was made to Abraham, but the spiritual principle behind it remains true for all of us. God promises us all we see. This means that we essentially determine what we receive by what we are prepared to see. If we live set apart and allow Him to expand our vision, He will give us what we see through divine revelation. The promise is always the outworking of the seeing.
Living in all you see.
The critical factor is how we live. Had Abraham refused God’s call and chosen to remain in Ur, it’s unlikely that he would have seen anything. His vision would have been limited by what was familiar and his unwillingness to stretch beyond his comfort zone. All of us desire to see as God does, to live in the promise of all you see, but we must be willing to schlep up the mountain. We must be willing to separate ourselves to a life walking with God alone, which means obedience and surrender. We like comfortable Christianity because we get to go to heaven without having to truly engage. God’s challenge, however, is to step out and step up, to find the mountain-top with Him, and to leave the old life behind. It’s scary seeing through God’s eyes, but the incredible vision from the top is worth it.
Heavenly Father, thank You for the grace that guides us on our journey with You. Help us to walk like Abraham in sure and certain faith in You and Your promises. Stretch our vision, Lord, so that we see what You see. Help us to come to the place of never going back, of onward and upward with You into all the promises You have prepared for us in Your perfect eternal purposes.