Friday, May 6, 2011

You Know They Think We Are Crazy

Trying to convince people about Jesus these days is a hard thing to do. It usually takes some type of crisis to get them to see beyond themselves, beyond what they know, beyond what they consider normal, to be able to even accept the idea of Jesus. And it's getting harder. The enemy has been clouding minds and trying to cover up the truth for generations but these days the hearts of people seem to be harder, colder then ever before. They ask, "Where is your God?" It's not the first time that question has been asked. The psalmist indicates he was taunted with that same question:

My bones suffer mortal agony 
   as my foes taunt me, 
saying to me all day long, 
   “Where is your God?” (Psalm 42:10)

God manifests himself through us so that he is revealed to the world but the world can't actually know him because they don't have what we have. When we wake up in the morning we feel the assurance of his presence. We are able to enter into worship right away and carry on a conversation with him as we prepare for the day. We are assured of his love throughout our day. We know what pleases him and displeases him because he let's us know. The world says we are making it up; it's all in our heads. They say we are weak and we need to make it up to receive comfort. Well, they are right that we are weak in ourselves (but mighty in the Spirit) and that we need comfort but we are not making it up.

The reason they can only see evidence of his existence through us and they cannot know him for themselves is clear through what Jesus explained to his disciples:

I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. (John 14:16-17)

All that we know about Jesus personally has been confirmed by the Spirit in us. It is more than a bunch of words written in a book, its is the Living Word that comes alive in us by the Holy Spirit in us. We know what we know, we experience what we experience, we are assured 100% because of the Holy Spirit in us. We have been taught:

Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come. (2 Corinthians 1:21-22)

We know we stand in the truth because of the Holy Spirit, because of his testimony in us. He is the deposit guaranteeing what is to come. He is not make believe. I walk with him and in his power every day. The world does not know him, cannot see him, and cannot experience him. They cannot understand what we experience every day as we open our eyes. They can't and this is the reason they cannot understand what is so plainly clear to us:

The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. (1 Corinthians 2:14)

Receiving the Spirit is a simple and automatic thing. Jesus promised:

“If you love me, you will obey what I command. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. (John 14:15-17)

The Spirit of God is given to those who love and obey Jesus Christ. He is what makes it possible for us to fellowship with God all day long and he even makes it possible for us to walk in obedience. He is the power of God in us and by him we are able to do everything that Jesus did, not for our own glory, but so that Jesus would be manifested through us and receive the glory. Our glory is the presence of Jesus Christ through the Spirit in us. Now here is the kicker:

Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. (John 14:19)

Honestly, the world cannot see Jesus. They can't. So we should never be surprised when they come against us and call us fools, stupid, even mentally ill, because it is all they know. They live their life as if "all you see is all you get". But that is where we come in.

Jesus Christ can be revealed to them by the Holy Spirit through us. When we live our lives totally to the glory of Jesus he adds power to our testimony, he manifests himself through us, he reveals himself in his love through us, he reveals himself through power, miracles and conviction of sins. We need to believe this because it is what the Word tells us and what the Holy Spirit confirms. We are partners in the salvation of our family, friends, neighbour and world. We cannot let them discourage us or distract us. We have to speak the truth plainly, live a life of obedience and allow Jesus to manifest himself through us. It is the only chance they have.

Realize who you are in Jesus. Realize our strength through the Holy Spirit. Realize your calling and then make that decision every morning when you wake that you will go all the way with Jesus today. He will do the impossible through you. He will reveal himself through you. Your responsibility is to love him, obey him, and allow the Holy Spirit to do his work. To God be the glory!

No comments: