I sat across from a beautiful lady with a failing marriage the other day. I listened to her and then shared what the Bible said about who she should be in spite of who her husband is.
According to most people and probably most church leaders, she would have good reason to flush her marriage down the toilet. I saw hope beyond measure for her and her family. Why? Because I have chosen to look at what I cannot see and I take it much more seriously than what I can see.
How did I arrive at this place? I have stepped on God’s Word with a trembling foot and pounding heart over and over again. I have looked at overwhelming circumstances and I have clung with my whole mustard seed of faith to what is written in God’s book over every piece of common sense in my head. At times, I have thought to myself, “If people knew what I was believing God for at this moment, they would smile and back away slowly, convinced I was crazy.” For that matter, I’ve felt crazy as I’ve tried to cling to God over my common sense.
Faith and common sense are often diametrically opposed.
- Raise a rod and a sea will part. (Exodus 14)
- Walk around a city 7 times and its walls will fall. (Joshua 6)
- Lift your arms and your army will win. Drop them and they will be defeated. (Exodus 17)
- Strike a rock and water will come out. (Exodus 17)
- Wash in the Jordan River seven times and leprosy will leave. (2 Kings 5)
- Sacrifice your son even though God said He would use his offspring to bless the world. (Genesis 22)
Let’s be honest. Following God is going to mean we do things that won’t make sense to everyone.
We will all struggle with faith in the beginning. Our whole lives, from the time we enter the world, respond to our five senses. When we give our lives to Christ, we are asked to live by the one thing that often makes no sense; faith.
That lady looked at me and asked, “How can I do what you’re saying with a husband like mine?”
I replied, “The way every other person in the history of the world has done it; by faith.” I told her she would have to start living by what scripture said over everything she could see. I also told her most people never will. I am an optimistic realist.
There is only one way to find out if what Jesus said is straight from heaven.
Anyone who chooses to do the will of God will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own.
We choose to do what the Bible says, THEN we will find out we have tapped into power from another kingdom. We, through faith, can open a door that no one can shut and let God’s power flow into any circumstance. It is the position of the greatest power that is on the earth. No Christian is ever a victim, except by choice.
Satan never wants us to open this door and experience exhilarating truth. If he can keep us living in fear and common sense, we are not a threat to his kingdom. We will ruin everyone around us in Jesus’ Name. The most irritating people on the planet know the Bible but don’t do what it says. They simply air their opinions, and they have lots of them.
No one will know God unless they step out of their own head and into what God says. Yes, it’s scary and it takes faith, but what an adventure it will become.
When God’s perfect Son started His earthly ministry at his baptism, heaven tore open, “And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”
As soon as that moment passed, the Spirit sent that beloved Son into the desert to fast, be with wild animals, and be tempted by the devil. God works with us (on a smaller scale) in the same way.
There is a pattern I’ve noticed in scripture. When God gets a person as His own, He lets them experience the power of His Spirit. Then He begins to do the most loving thing in the world (that feels very unloving at the moment). He starts to break all ties and affections to everything but Himself. That doesn’t mean we don’t care about other things or people. It means our affection for Him is much higher than any other affection.
If you love your father or mother more than you love me, you are not worthy of being mine; or if you love your son or daughter more than me, you are not worthy of being mine.
Jesus’ Words sound harsh and impossible.
They are not. They are the only way to protect our families, our co-workers, and our entire circle of influence from our “way” that will lead us and them to death.
There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.
At some point, we either hold our nose and jump in, or we live our entire lives by what seems right instead of what is right.
The problem with what seems right in a fallen world is that it’s not just wrong, it leads to death. Death of marriages, death of our children’s psyches, and the death of relationships.
If we love our families more than God, we will bow to what they want and make sure we are understood.
Why? So they will love us and not reject us. If we do what God says and trust Him, He will invade our homes and touch the people we love in ways we could never imagine.
It sounds radical and it is.
Jesus had no interest in building a kingdom down here or getting people’s money or applause. He was about the kingdom of heaven; the unseen kingdom. His miracles (the things seen) were an avenue to help people believe what He said. The miracles were far less than the message and miracle of the Gospel.
When Jesus healed a paralytic who was lowered through the roof, He did the greatest miracle first.
When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”
Jesus didn’t even speak of his physical problem.
He gave him the greatest gift any of us will ever receive, forgiveness of our sins. We can’t see that gift. No one was amazed when a man’s sins were forgiven, but everyone was blown away when he got up, took his mat and walked. People would not have valued Jesus’ Words about what is unseen without the “seen” manifestations of His power through things like healing, calming the sea, and raising the dead. But what was more valuable?
For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?
Is being able to walk while we are on the earth worth more than our soul? Is having a nice house instead of being homeless worth more than our soul? Is finding a cure for our cancer worth more than our soul? You get the point. Is anything worth more than our soul? No it is not, but our soul is invisible.
We value what we can see much more than what we can’t see.
How much time and money do we spend making sure this body impresses people. We paint our faces, spend fortunes on wrinkle creams, suck stuff out, plump stuff up, and a myriad of other things to prop up something that is dying daily. Yes, we should take care of our bodies, but the emphasis we put on it is ridiculous. We can see it. Beauty gets us things we desire and the world values it greatly.
Inner beauty is unseen and it is what God values greatly.
Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.
1 Peter 3:3-4
I gave up on outer beauty a few years ago. I try to look nice but my peak is over. I’m on the downhill slide when it comes to outer beauty and I do not care. I want to win the inner beauty contest that God says has great worth in His sight.
A quiet spirit is not upset and it is gentle with all people. Why? Because she fellowships with an unseen God in the deepest part of who she is. She looks at what God says, and because she has stood on it, she no longer fears doing it. She trusts His heart completely toward her and all the ones she loves. She doesn’t have to understand. She lives life in reverse. The older she gets physically, the younger and more beautiful she grows inside.
When we look hard at the unseen world and live accordinging to the words from heaven, we become children of God; not adults of God.
At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children.
“These things” are unseen and without limit. We will never come to the end of what God would reveal to us if we would only value what He says is valuable.
So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
2 Corinthians 4:18