Some years ago there was a craze of something called a ‘Magic Eye’ puzzle. It was a sort of optical illusion that was a mixture of colours and shapes that within it somewhere held a secret. The secret was a picture or word that if you stared at the picture for long enough you would eventually be able to unravel the mystery and see the ‘secret’.
Sometimes it seems like seeing Jesus is a little like that. If someone isn’t a Christian we can get so frustrated that they aren’t seeing what is so plainly obvious to us! Why is it taking them so long to see that God is real?!
Sometimes though, we can be just as guilty of not seeing Jesus in the midst of our circumstances. We moan and groan and wonder what on earth God is up to and ask Him when He’s going to show up and do something… anything to make things more bearable.
I wonder if the things we would say to a non-Christian could actually come in handy for us too? The truth is that sometimes we all lose our way a bit and we need God to help us keep our eyes fixed on Him.
In Psalm 19:7-9 (MSG) the Bible says this:
‘The revelation of God is whole and pulls our lives together,
The signposts of God are clear and point out the right road.
The life maps of God are right, Showing the way to joy.
The directions of God are plain and easy on the eyes.
The reputation of God is 24-carat Gold, with a lifetime guarantee.’
Sometimes we all wander but to be truthful it’s better to feel lost in the arms of God than lost outside of them.
There are three main words I want to use that would help Christian and Non-believer refocus on Jesus because, even though we don’t always know what God is doing, I believe that He wants us to know Him.
I hear stories of people that have deliberately gone off and done their own thing and God has almost chased them. By that I mean that they haven’t been able to avoid Him because even though they were trying to keep Him at a distance, His desire was to be closer and draw nearer to them and bring them back to where they should have been all along.
So my three words are – World, Word and Witness.
So word number one: ‘World’ – Romans 1:20 in the New Living Translation says:
‘For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.’
This scripture is suggesting that God can be seen very clearly through the world that He has made, His creation. Today if you are a Christian who has lost faith in who God is, make the effort to get up and watch a sunrise. Find a view that you love and remind yourself who actually made it. Look at people around you, the animals and the flowers that are bursting through the ground – the cold dead earth is now pushing up colourful bursts of life. It’s been hidden for a while, but Almighty God knew all of it was there and knew that at the right time when the time was right, the crocuses and daffodils would show themselves. We, as the image of God, are fearfully and wonderfully made! We didn’t evolve from a fish, our creator set us apart to follow Him.
Ask the Non-Christians you know about creation and see what they say? Is it all just an accident and something that appeared by chance – no, there is clearly intelligent design and purpose behind it all and we have the opportunity to get to know the one that dreamed it all up.
The second word to look at is ‘Word’ – When we look at the Bible and read it, it is rich in poetry and symbolism. It is also full of history and when studied we can see connections with events that have been documented throughout the centuries. As a believer I hope you believe in the flawlessness of the Holy Bible? It is God breathed and there are accounts of people I know who have based major life decisions on one word of scripture. Does that seem strange to you? Psalm 119:105 is a famous verse which says:
‘Your Word is a Lamp to my feet and a Light to my path.’ (NASB)
Can I encourage you to develop a steady and consistent relationship with the Word of God, if you want to see what God is like and you want to get to know Him, I encourage you to read the Bible and ask Jesus to reveal Himself to you through it.
Do you want to know how to live to please God? Read the scriptures.
Do you have a situation that seems overwhelming? Read the scriptures and find the promises of God for yourself.
It is amazing that in countries across the world Christians are persecuted for having a few pages of a Bible let alone a full one. Christians in captivity have been known to have said how they have memorised the Bible and how it is the words they have kept in their heart that keep their faith firm during the darkest times. Perhaps we don’t know how good we’ve got it? Most of us can perhaps not get out of bed in the morning to say ‘Hello’ to God, let alone set aside quality time to spend with Him in His Word. It is a challenge to us all in todays very busy times. If you want to stay close to God, stay in His Word.
The third word is ‘Witness’ – if you have lost your way a bit in your faith can I recommend that you do three things:
- Share your faith with someone – we are made to bring Glory to God and by telling people about who He is and what He has done we are lifting Him up. Sharing your faith has another effect though and that is that it will encourage you. As you confess you’ll be reminding yourself of who God is and what He has done for you.
- Listen to someone else’s stories about what God has done in their lives. As you listen remind yourself that God is still here and very much active.
- Remind yourself what God has done for you – when did your faith journey start? Do you remember times when God has spoken to you and met with you? When we are struggling to see God it’s easy to get upset about everything but if you can turn your attitude around and thank Him for the things you have in your life that you are really grateful for, it will have an impact on your relationship with Him.
Just like with the magic eye pictures, sometimes we all need time to refocus, to fix our gaze on one point and stop striving. Sometimes it takes someone else coming along side us and helping us see the obvious.
God is in the business of revealing Himself through the world in which we live, through His Word, through our witness and the witness of those around us. Today maybe you need to have a refocus or maybe you need to admit that God has been there all along and stop worrying so much. He is a good Father and knows how to look after His children.