So before I start talking, I’d like to ask you to first tell me-what colors do you see in the picture on the left?
Next, click on the picture, look at it on the website, and read the explanation that goes with it.
Then join me back here to chat!
<blog on pause while you run off for a few minutes>
Okay, did you say “whoa” like I did? Even my hubby said it. Then we had to talk because it messes with everything we ever thought was true about what we see. I wonder what thoughts are running through your brain right now… And your spirit.
There’s a huge spiritual lesson in this that I’ve been trying to sort out for the last few days. Fortunately God helped by giving me a challenging circumstance in my life. I had to ask myself if what I was seeing was really true. I had to look much, much closer at the big picture, down to the foundation stones of my faith to find the discernment I was looking for.
Here’s what God is teaching me from this experience:
We cannot, nor should we, always believe what we see.
If I were to believe everything was true based just on what I saw looking from afar, I’d sometimes be wrong.
Think about this too—if everyone around me was telling me that it was true I would tend to believe them and move on, never taking the time to look deeper. Why would I? No alarm bells would go off that something was not right to prompt me to take a closer look. The lines would be accepted as different colors and I would miss the real truth.
Are you following me? I hope so, because this is important for us to grasp as Christians. Because we have two sets of eyes we can choose to see the world through. Our human eyes, and the eyes the spirit of God gives us to discern truth. We are constantly tempted to believe what our human eyes see instead of depending on the sight God has given us. So we need to take a closer look at things. Some may call this being too critical but….
Looking closer at the things we see is not about being suspicious, it’s about being wise:
But test and prove all things [until you can recognize] what is good; [to that] hold fast. I Thessalonians 5:21 (Amplified Bible)
I ask—ask the God of our Master, Jesus Christ, the God of glory—to make you intelligent and discerning in knowing him personally, your eyes focused and clear, so that you can see exactly what it is he is calling you to do, grasp the immensity of this glorious way of life he has for his followers, oh, the utter extravagance of his work in us who trust him—endless energy, boundless strength! Ephesians 1:17-18 (The Message)
God gives us “eye tests” like this every day:
The store clerk is cranky to you. You see cranky. But do you see the pain inside from finding out her mother has cancer, her kid is having trouble in school, and she’s late on her house payment? Can you see that she is not so different from you? That underneath, inside, you have the same color, the same beating heart, the same God who wants to pour out His love to you?
You see something popular. Your friends are all fired up and you want to be in the blue group with them. But you feel a little different. When you look deeper you see that blue is not the true color of God’s heart in this for you. That it’s a partial deception that made you think blue was true. You are able to see the deception (or temptation) for what it is and choose to act or react based on the truth…the sometimes hidden but deep truth of God’s Word, God’s will, and God’s love.
I wrote here, then deleted, the details of my personal experience this week. The details are not important. I looked closely at something and found the eyes of my faith to help guide me. I found what I could believe in–the convictions, the integrity, and the sincerity of heart I need to live before God with.
What is important is whatever God wants you to take a closer look at in your own life. My path is not the same as yours. I’m not called to do the same things as you. Your discernment is what’s best and right for you, seen from the perspective of God’s truth:
The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It’s our handle on what we can’t see. Hebrews 1:1 (The Message)
I’m challenging you to take a closer look for God’s discernment this week, to see what you can’t see. Where are your integrity, convictions, and sincerity of heart being challenged? Come back and share your stories and comments below so we can see what you see too!