Monday, April 28, 2008
Believing Unseen Truths And... (Transcript)
Many years ago, in the early 1970's, I was a real estate salesman for Westdale Realtors in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Westdale was by far the largest Realtor in town at the time, and they had the ability to bring in big-name national speakers to their sales meetings.
In about 1974, they brought in a motivational speaker from the Nightingale-Conant organization. They're the ones that produce most of the sales, motivation and success recordings by dozens or hundreds of speakers.
This speaker mesmerized the audience when he announced that he was going to show us God. He proceeded to pound on his podium and said something like this:
“This podium looks like a solid piece of wood, doesn't it? But we know from science that it is not in fact a solid piece of wood. If we break it down into small bits, we now know that it is actually made up of microscopic parts called molecules tightly packed together.
“And if we break it down even further, we know that those molecules are actually made up of what we call atoms. And each of those atoms we know are made up of much smaller particles known as protons and neutrons which make up the nucleus or center of the atoms. And tiny electrons circle the nucleus of each atom, in an orbit.
“So that each atom is not a solid at all, but a universe of its own, with a center, and vast stretches of space, and satellites orbiting its center. And all of this is held together by something we call energy. And ladies and gentlemen, that energy is God. God is energy, and you can tap into that energy, or what we call the Universal Mind.”
Now to some of you that all may just sound silly. And let me say right up front that it is a false concept of God. God is not energy, God created energy. And this teaching is dangerous, and harmful to the spiritual life of both the unbeliever, who is turned away from the true God, and to the believer, who has their view of our true Lord distorted or diminished.
But back then, most of us were amazed at the so-called wisdom of this motivational speaker. I mean, if we could tap into the Universal Mind, the God who is energy, we could revolutionize our lives.
And here's the sad part.
This so-called knowledge was not new then, and it's still around today.
In various forms it has been a doctrine of demons since Bible days. And it is wildly popular today in the teachings of best-selling authors and speakers like Deepak Chopra, Wayne Dyer, Eckhart Tolle, and in the huge best-seller, The Secret.
Spread by pop TV stars like Oprah Winfrey, and top business leaders, this ancient error is pushed into almost every home, school, and business office in much of the world.
And it's ultimately destructive. Even though you will hear glowing testimonies of how it has helped people.
“There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.” Proverbs 14:12
And it's all based on a lie.
But here's the even more amazing thing:
That lie is based on a truth. And here's the truth:
There ARE truths unseen by the human senses. There ARE eternal truths that can only be appropriated by faith. And in a sense, these truths are more real than those which can be seen with our eyes. And that is why the Bible says that we believers “walk by faith, not sight” (2 Cor. 5:7).
And here's another great truth:
True growth in our spiritual lives consists in believing more and more the unseen truths, and living accordingly.
This requires the renewing of our minds.
Our minds were trained in the earthly. And the world, the flesh and the devil use that training to deceive us. They use our experience to lead us into either totally earthly living, with flesh as king, or they use our experience to lead us into false spiritual experiences.
These might include things like false religions, Masonic ritualism, false signs and wonders disguised as Christianity, the paganism of Wicca, animism as practiced by witch doctors, occult practices like Tarot cards, and even outright demon or Satan worship. The list is literally too long to recite here.
And yet, we said that true growth in our spiritual lives consists in believing more and more the unseen truths, and living accordingly.
Here's the question. If we are to believe more and more the unseen truths, and live accordingly, what are the unseen truths we are to believe more and more?
The answer is, the unseen truths of Scripture. The unseen truths which are revealed by the real God, Who has regenerated us, Who has revealed Himself to us in Jesus Christ our Lord, Who has redeemed us, Who has saved us from His wrath, and has made us His beloved, and has forgiven us of all our sins, and has gone to prepare a place for us in Heaven, and yet Who indwells us.
By the way, there are a few unseen truths right there. Do you believe that all of your sins are forgiven, past, present and future? Do you believe that you are really the precious Beloved of Christ?
I'm sure you do intellectually. But the more you grow in your understanding and faith in the actual reality of those great truths, the more that the love and grace of God will grip your heart and set you free from feelings of condemnation and rejection, and that freedom will cause your heart to soar with love for the Savior, and you will follow Him with more passion than you thought possible.
But that's just a couple of unseen truths.
There are many of them. They are the gems, the diamonds, scattered throughout the Scripture, sometimes laying right out on the ground to easily pick up, and sometimes they require some digging. But all of them are precious gems of a precious Lord. All of these unseen truths are beautiful to behold, when seen and held and believed with an evergrowing renewed mind.
What a goal for a life! What a way to spend the rest of your days!
And here's the bonus, the real blessing:
You can't discover the gems of the truths without seeing them in relation to the One Who is Truth. The truths don't really mean anything without Jesus. He is the center of our lives, because He is our Life. And when we see ourselves as He sees us, new creatures who now possess the righteousness of Christ, dead to sin, and alive to God through Christ (there's some more of those unseen truths), our lives are revolutionized.
Here's an unseen truth for you:
“God causes all things to work for good to those who love Him, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28.
Do you believe that?
Harder question: Do you LIVE accordingly? Or do you grumble and complain?
Remember our great truth...
True growth in our spiritual lives consists in believing more and more the unseen truths of Scripture, and living accordingly.
So if we believe Romans 8:28, we have a completely different view of our circumstances, don't we? We can say with James, “count it all joy when you encounter various trials”. Why? Because God is working them for our good.
This isn't the modern cliché, “It's all good!” It's not all good. Much in this fallen world is bad. But our loving God is working it all together for good, to those of us who love Him.
Here's another unseen truth for you:
Nothing can “separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:39.
Do you believe that? Or do you think God withholds His love when you sin? Do you cower away from God at times because you think He is angry with you?
The more you come to appropriate the truth that nothing can separate you from His love, the more you will be set free to enjoy His presence, and bask in His fellowship and love, and be a contagious spreader of that love and fellowship.
I like that word “appropriate” [long "a"]. Although it's not a biblical word, it expresses something a concept which takes believing beyond merely agreeing intellectually, to a sort of experiencing a truth.
A crude example might be like this:
You walk into someone's kitchen and you see a wooden chair at the kitchen table. You have no real reason to believe it won't hold you, but it looks a little more spindly and weak than the chairs you have in your kitchen.
But you assume since others have sat on the chair that it's probably okay.
But you're not 100% positive, or we might say you “feel” a little leery of it. So you pull out the chair and you slowly and gingerly take a seat. And of course, the chair is strong and sturdy, and you now have total belief that the chair will continue to hold you.
You have “appropriated” the truth that the chair is strong. You believed it intellectually, or you wouldn't have sat on it at all, but now you know that you know.
So how do we “appropriate” the unseen truths of Scripture?
That's not as easy a question to answer as you might first think.
It's certainly not as simple as saying, “God said it, so just believe it!” That's certainly the ideal, but things get in our way.
Things like the world, that attempts to brainwash us to their ways of thinking.
Things like our flesh that cries out with it's desires and conspires with the sin that indwells it to deceive us.
Things like evil spirits that will readily give us doctrines of demons to throw us off course, and seem to form them in the 1st Person as though they were our own made-up thoughts, confusing us.
And then we return to the Scriptures, and our minds are renewed some more. The truth shines through under the teaching of the Holy Spirit, and we gain some ground in appropriating the unseen truths. And so we realize again how important it is to stay in the truth.
Other very practical things to help in appropriating unseen truths might include meditating on Scriptures, memorizing them, praying the Scriptures, reading them each day, and asking the Lord to reveal these truths to you as you exercise or practice them. And finally, actually walking or living according to these truths.
Remember, we said that true growth in our spiritual lives consists in believing more and more the unseen truths of Scripture, and living accordingly. Not just believing, but living accordingly.
That's ultimately what the Bible calls walking in the Spirit. It's being filled with the Spirit day by day, moment by moment, and walking in the Spirit. And so our communion with Jesus Christ, our fellowship with Him is critical. It's not knowledge for knowledge's sake, or truth for truth's sake that we seek.
It's HIM that we seek. It's always Jesus. He is our Life, and it is He that is living His Life through us.
When we grow in knowledge, we grow in the knowledge of Him. When we believe more and more the unseen truths, we are believing more and more in Him who spoke those truths. And when we know Him better and better, we will be more and more confident that what He has said, we may safely believe.
And we will be free, because we will know the truth, the eternal unseen truth, and the truth will make us free.