See God More Clearly

Posted by Tim May on

There is a great Proverb that is often cited about pastors, motivational speakers, and business builders. The Proverb says, “A people without a vision will perish” (Proverbs 29:18). The idea that is presented is that if a person has no hope for the future then they will not have the energy or drive for the present moment. A person who has no energy or drive for the present moment will basically resign his or her life to being a drifter, constantly reacting to whatever life throws at them. You can see why this Proverb can be so motivational. Another way of understanding this Proverb is “A people who cannot see God will perish”. To go through life without the willingness to see God is truly a sentence to a life of despair.

How does one actually see God? Matthew tells us “Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8).

Apparently one of the ways that we see God is through our heart. In the world of the New Testament Greek heart was a reference to a person’s character; a demonstration of how that person expressed their sense of purpose or calling into the world; a person’s motivation for why he or she acts; in other words heart was the full expression of a person’s personality. Therefore, to be pure in heart is to willingly allow your personality, the good and the ugly to be refined, pruned, shaped by God. Paul would say, “Present your bodies {personality} as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God - this is your spiritual act of worship” (Romans 12:1). When you allow the center of your being, what modern day psychologists would call your “ego” to be touched by God, refined by His fire, then you will see God more clearly.

Another way to see God more clearly is to choose to be obedient in the face of impossible tasks. Before you can choose to be obedient you must first be willing to allow yourself to be placed in experiences that seem impossible - this is an expression of faith. But just because you are willing to be placed in experiences of impossibility does not mean you will see God more clearly, that comes when you are willing to act upon God’s instructions for that impossible experience. For example, Mary is told by the angel Gabriel, “You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus.” I find great pleasure in knowing that Mary responded with great uncertainty, “How can this be for I am a virgin?” Mary has been invited into an impossible experience and we know this because she has said, “This is impossible!”

The angel Gabriel responds, “Nothing is impossible with God”.

Mary hears the words, she allows herself to be placed in the impossible experience and then she responds, “I am the Lord’s servant. May it be to me as you have said.” (Luke 1:38). What follows are descriptions of ways in which she began to see God more clearly:

1. Elizabeth reveals God’s power with her own pregnancy.
2. Shepherds speak of their own experience with a host of angels.
3. Wisemen from the East come with treasure.
4. Jesus turns water into wine at a wedding marking the beginning of His public ministry.
5. A witness of both Jesus’ crucifixion and burial.

Mary’s life is a story of how she began to see God more clearly all because she said “yes” to God’s invitation to an impossible experience. She said, “Yes” to God shaping her thoughts, feelings and actions.

As you prepare to enter into 2017 what might you be willing to do if it meant you could see God more clearly?

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