1 March 2018
You can't really see it. Yet, you know it's there. Some sort of unseen power.
From the song "In the Likeness Of You" by Petra on their Unseen Power album.
I recently had a conversation with a young man about having his priorities right. I listed God first and then some other important priorities. I emphasized to him the importance of putting God first. He said that while he believed in God, he couldn't love something he couldn't see.
Seeming to echo the late Billy Graham, I asked this young man if he had ever seen the wind. He said he hadn't. I asked him if he had seen the effects of the wind. He said he had but then followed with the claim he had not seen the effects of God. I was quick to communicate to him that he had indeed seen the effects of God.
God is like the wind. John 4:24 says, "God is spirit...." We cannot see God, but in our distracted world, one can still see the effects of God. How many have seen a life changed by the grace of Christ? I have both seen it and personally experienced it. Against that there is no argument! And what of the creation all around us? Romans 1:20 (NIV) says the following:
For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities ‐ His eternal power and divine nature ‐ have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.
In our creation, in addition to wind, there are multiple things we cannot readily see but really do exist: radio waves, atoms, gravity, infrared, the mind and emotions.
And consider the question, "Why is there a church?" That was a question I posed in my article Why? (written and shared at my church nearly 8 years ago). In that article, I answer the question:
The church was born on Pentecost. What was happening around Pentecost? Peter, who had denied Jesus not long before, turned around and preached to thousands, three thousand accepting the message and being baptized that day!
This is followed by "Why was Peter changed?" -- one of several other questions answered there showing where the effects of God have been made known. Additional questions, which are answered, include these:
- Why am I - a Gentile - a Christian?
- Why did Saul, the murderer and persecutor of Christians, become Paul the Apostle?
- Why would Jesus die on the cross and even predict it - multiple times - if there were another way to God?
- And what about the prophecies He fulfilled?
- Why am I changed? Why do I make these statements?
I didn't pose all these questions to the young man, but I hope to in time. The young man asked me what it meant if he wanted to put other priorities before God. I mentioned that was idolatry. You see, idolatry can be based on good things. However, nothing should be equal to or above God. It's not enough to just believe there is a God. James 2:19 (NIV) says the following:
You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that ‐ and shudder.
One must have a personal relationship with Him made possible by grace alone through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone ‐ His death on the cross for you and me, His burial and His glorious bodily resurrection bringing hope for new life in Him. Faith is in the unseen. If you see something, it doesn't require faith to believe in it. 2 Corinthians 4:18 (NIV) says the following:
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.
Believing in and trusting God requires faith. That's the difference between believing there is a God and actually having a relationship with Him. And part of any good relationship is love.
Pray for that young man. It is impossible to please or love God in the flesh. May the Holy Spirit - the Unseen Power -- do a work in us where He prompts us to love God and love Him in doing what He says. In John 14:15 (NASB), Jesus says, "If you love Me, you will keep My commandments." As the old saying goes, "He died for me. I'll live for Him." May we have faith in Jesus and allow His unseen Power to work in us. May that be true for that young man and may that be true for you.
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