Friday, November 23, 2007

When His Answer Is Imperceptible To Our Eyes

Similes are very effective ways of describing something in a visual way. When something is slow it means that it takes more time than what we expect to go from point A to point B. But, that definition does not mean much, unless you can visualize it. This is why simile’s are effective. A simile shows to us what slow means. With expressions like “as slow as a turtle or molasses,” give us an idea of how slow something is.

Some things are so slow they do not seem to move at all. It seems that nothing happens for a long time. We stop looking and when we look back we find it has moved along considerably. Take for example the leaves on trees in areas with cold winters. They start growing in the spring. We may see at first some flower buds on the tree. And, that is all we see for awhile. So we stop looking. Then a few weeks later we happen to look and we see that leaves are starting to grow. For a dew days that is all we see. A few weeks later we happen to look, and the tree is full of leaves. We ask ourselves when did this happen? It seems imperceptible to our eyes.

The moon is very similar. When we look at it every night we do not see much change in its size and shape. But, if we look at it every 8 to 10 days, we will find it is in a different phase altogether. Its movement is not perceptible to our eyes.

Expressions like, “it is so slow it is like watching paint dry, or “it is like watching water boil,” are very common. The more we look the longer it seems to take. Nothing seems to be happening so when we see the final result, we believe it was sudden. These processes are imperceptible to our eyes.

God’s answers to some prayers are similar. Nothing seems to happen; sometimes for days, and sometimes for years. But, God is always working. Sometimes God’s answer to prayer is obvious, as when Jesus calmed the sea. But, sometimes it is not obvious, even unnoticed, as when God’s power sustained Jesus in Gethsemane. The same power is used for both occasions, but in different ways. Just because something dramatic may not happen, it does not mean that God is not at work.

Creation was a dramatic event. God’s Word took a place that was “without form, and void” (Genesis 1:2) and in six days He converted it into a living paradise. It was so perfect that God “saw every thing that He had made, and, behold, it was very good” (Genesis 1:31). God spoke and the thing happened, immediately. In the Gospel of Luke Jesus tells the woman of ill reputation which anoints Him, “Thy sins are forgiven” Luke 7:48. Now, Jesus is God. Therefore, His word has power. We read in Colossians 1:16

Colossians 1:16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:

When He spoke to the woman it was no exception. When He spoke the thing happened. Her sins were forgiven, immediately. Yes, she probably got up and looked around. To her and to everyone else in the house nothing seemed to change. It was imperceptible to their eyes. However, something changed in her heart. She believed the words of Jesus. She suddenly had a “Philippians 4:7” type of peace,

Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus

Her faith, “…hath saved thee” Luke 7:50. Do we have that kind of faith? The kind of faith that believes that when God speaks the thing happens, even if we do not see it. The Bible says, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” Romans 10:17. So we first must hear God’s Word then believe it. But, believe it how? Someone defined faith as “…the expecting the word of God to do what it says and the depending upon that word to do what it says” (Review and Herald, Dec. 27, 1898). This is how we must believe if we truly have faith. Even when His word seems not to accomplish anything, we believe that it has, it is and it will because God said so. We believe His word to be true, even when the results of His Word’s seem imperceptible to our eyes. You can only have this kind of faith when you receive it from God Himself.