The Scandal

 

"Therefore Hagar referred to the Lord who had spoken to her as. 'the God who sees me, for she said, 'I have seen the One who sees me.' " Genesis 16:13......"Whatever else it embraces, true Christian experience must always include a genuine encounter with God. Without this, religion is but a shadow, a reflection of reality, a cheap copy of an original once enjoyed by someone else of whom we have heard." A.W. Tozer

 

Someone once said something to the effect that in light of the resurrection of Christ and all that is provided for those who are His in that resurrection, that it is "a great scandal that we live as we do." How can we not agree, and why do we live as we do? What's the cause of the scandal? To me, it seems that the reason must be that far too many who profess to follow Him have never really seen Him. We've seen preachers and teachers who talk of Him and worship leaders who sing about Him. They may have seen Him, and may be telling us of what they've seen, but we seem content to let it end there. We like to listen to these "stories," but we're not eyewitnesses to what took place in them. In the early days of the exploration of the American west, men who had been among the first to see the wonders of that west would return to the east and speak to large crowds about what they'd beheld. The crowds were enthralled, captivated. Yet they never left the east. The speakers skillfully painted a picture of what they'd seen, but that was all their hearers ever had...a picture. A picture is not the reality, and countless numbers who sit in church services every week leave those services in the same way. With a picture, but not the reality. They've heard about what another may have seen, but they have yet to "see" for themselves. Not with physical eyesight, but with the "inner sight" of the Spirit.

In 2 Kings 6, Elisha and his servant are surrounded by a large force of Arameans. The servant saw only the army of foes  around them. Elisha saw the forces of God that surrounded the Arameans. The servant looked at everything with the eyes of the flesh, while Elisha saw all things through the eyes of the Spirit. The servant saw what the flesh said was there. Elisha saw what the Father said was there. In the facing of life and every possible event, and yes, tragedy that can take place in it, which is our view? Do we see what circumstances say is reality, or do we see what the Father says, through His promises, witness, and speaking in the Spirit is real? 

After the resurrection, when Peter heard the witness of Mary and the other women of having seen the risen Christ, he was not satisfied to hear about it. He had to see for himself. This is the key for you and I. Have we a determined, will not be denied desire to see the risen Christ? He is there, always before us in every place, even the darkest. But He can only be discerned when we look at all aspects of life in this fallen world through the eyes of the Spirit. The flesh can never "see" Him. With spiritual eyes, we can see the unseen. We no longer rely on someone else's story. We have our own, and we can tell it with a passion that hopefully will ignite a deep desire for our listeners to want to  see Him as well.....And we enter into a realm of living that is no longer a scandal, but a testimony of Him. We have seen the God who always sees us. Jesus said we will find Him, see Him, when we seek for Him with all our hearts. Such seeking will never be satisfied with pictures painted by another. They must have the reality. Do you, we, seek that reality? Have we seen Him? Do we see Him now? Elisha prayed for his servant, saying, "Lord, open his eyes that he may see." Someone, somewhere and sometime has likely prayed that for us. Has it, is it, being answered now?

Blessings,
Pastor O

 

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