I recently had a very profound discussion with my son regarding visible versus invisible. In it we discussed that "invisible" may not be what he thinks in that he may simply be looking at things wrongly. The example cited was; "if I am standing behind you speaking and you hear me but do not see me, am I invisible? No, you are merely looking at the wrong thing." This was a completely impromptu discussion that God has literally used over and over and over to rip my world apart! It came from my lips but I now know who was speaking.
Yesterday, I had a discussion with a mentor of mine who told me the story of how he was once mentored by an old Chinese pastor years ago. The Chinese man asked him to explain Jesus' parable of the man who finds the treasure in the field and sells all that he has to buy that field. My friend told me that he began to explain the value of the Kingdom of God and how a person, when he understands the true value of the field sells everything to gain that field. The Chinese man then said, "that is the problem with you Americans, you think everything is about you!" The Chinese man went on to explain that in every other parable God is the key operator! This parable is about the lengths that God will go to to rescue and redeem His people.
That changes everything about the parable doesn't it?
Here is one that has been on my heart for a long time; the parable of the sower and the seeds. Jesus says that the sower is the Son of Man - the self title of Jesus. That means He is the sower - not us.
So what is the big deal right? The big deal is that if we miss this perspective and view it from the wrong lens then we are looking for the wrong things. If when you share the gospel you are under the impression that you are sowing then naturally you will not be looking for fruit. But if you understand that the Son of Man has already been active and scattering seeds all over the place, then you will be actively looking to gather and harvest!
This bothered me for years because I saw many people involved in evangelism with virtually no fruit - or at least very small amounts of fruit. It did not make sense to me that the Gospel could be the power of God and have such little effect on people. So I chalked it up to the Sovereignty of God that He saves who He will. Yet I also saw that Jesus said He was not willing that any should perish but that that all should come to repentance. Plus the lengths that He went to redeem people by dying on the cross just never stacked up that he would now be unwilling to save.
What if He is willing? What if He is still able? What if we quit blaming Him and understand that the problem is not in Him but in the fact that our eyes are focused on the wrong thing?
I think you know the answer.....