Dear friends it’s good to be back with all of you🙂. I trust that the Lord had been protecting and blessing you. Ever hear the saying “we don’t see things as they are but as we are”? Well it’s mostly true and that extends to our outlook on God and how we relate to our Heavenly Father. Does this jaundiced perception hinder our relationship with God Almighty?
Please turn with me to Luke 19:20-24. This is the well-known parable of the Ten Minas which narrates how a Master rewarded His servants for faithfulness. Notice that it’s not producing more that matters but being faithful with God has given us (Luke 19:17 – “because you’ve been faithful in this very small matter…”). That’s all that our Heavenly Father expects from us, faithfulness not exemplary success. Unfortunately, we are caught up in modern televised religion that emphasizes winning over fixed number of converts every month, distributing food packets and blankets to the homeless, inviting a new friend to Church every Sunday, etc. Any of this sounds familiar? Well that’s because that what they had us do in the Churches I’ve been to. Don’t get me wrong. all of this is wonderful but such “productive Christianity” may produce converts but not disciples (Matthew 28:19).
Unfortunately, the wicked servant measured success and hence God’s will in such quantifiable terms. In Luke 19:19-21 we hear the response from this man saying that he had hid the mina because he was afraid of losing it lest he made his Master angry. He misunderstood that His Master was a hard task Master (“reaping things where you haven‘t sown”.). His perception of his Master wasn’t based on reality but rather on his perception of reality. The consequences were devastating. In Luke 19:22 we read the judgment pronounced by the Master, i.e., God Almighty who judged the wicked servant “by his own words” (Matthew 12:37). To think that our generous and loving Heavenly Father (Psalm 84:11) is harsh and mean when we’re actually that way is tantamount to blasphemy and falsifying the Truth, i.e., the Lord Jesus Himself (John 14:6).
Every last one of us can fall into this trap laid out by the Devil (1 Peter 5:8). One of the most upright men in the Old Testament, the Prophet Job was guilty of this when he lamented that the very thing he dreaded had befallen him (Job 3:25). Although Job was later exonerated by the Lord (Job 42:12-16) he had a sneaky suspicion that he could lose all his blessings and wealth. Apparently his faith wasn’t resolute and he viewed God as a killjoy who was intent on punishing when he became too prosperous. In John 11:32 we see one of the most devout of the Lord’s disciples, Mary, complaining to the Lord Jesus that if He had been there physically her brother Lazarus wouldn’t have died. Mary had been confining the Power of the Lord Jesus to space and time. She failed to understand that the Omnipotence of Christ transcends natural limitations and perceived His Divinity through the prism of commonsense. The Lord had to, ever so gently, correct His beloved (John 11:40). In John 6:5-7, which is the narrative of the Lord Jesus feeding the multitude, the Apostle Philip surmised that it would have taken eight months wages to feed them. The Apostle failed to recognize God Incarnate standing right in front of him. To Philip, Christ was just a good teacher and no more. In Mark 4:35-41 the Apostles were astounded that their friendly Rabbi could actually control nature.
The Bible is replete with examples of saints in the past that had insulted and misunderstood God by limiting God’s Divinity to that which their natural senses comprehended. Psalm 18:25-26 summarizes our perception of God’s Truth succinctly. To the faithful the Lord seems faithful but to the wicked He seems to be shrewd. We don’t see the Lord the way He is saints, we see Him and the world around us the way we are. But be of good cheer, there’s a quick fix for that. In Romans 12:2 we are instructed to “be transformed by the renewing of your mind so that you may appreciate that good and perfect will of God.” Notice that the scripture refers to the perfect will of God. This means that there is also a permissive will of God which is the world infested by sin and Satan that we currently live in. To perceive reality saints, we have to retrain ourselves to see things the way God sees them and not the way morning talk shows instruct us to.
Dear friends, I’m quite certain that all of you are sanctified, Holy Ghost baptized saints. Should there be any among you that don’t know the Lord yet, I pray that the Lord of the Universe will set you free from sin and disobedience into His glorious light and freedom. Amen.