(Friends, for those of you unfamiliar with golf, or perhaps not a practitioner or proponent of the sport, my apologies. I promise that the opening lines of this essay lead to a salient and important spiritual truth! :):) Glen)
"Feel isn't real." This old golf adage speaks to the fact that what golfers think they're doing as they swing a club is sometimes not actually the case. Golf is largely a counterintuitive sport. Swing hard, hit short. Swing easy, hit far. Hit down, the ball goes up. Hit up and the ball often goes down. Many aspects of the game follow this pattern, making it a difficult skill to acquire and maintain.
In similar fashion, the Christian life consists of numerous counterintuitive aspects of grace and faith. God sometimes seems far away. He actually dwells within our hearts. Prayers He answers may seem to bounce off the ceiling as we initially offer them. Communicating His truth to others might appear fruitless, when actually our words deeply penetrate and influence the hearts of hearers. Our Lord's hand may seem still when it is most active. The list could go on regarding the ways of God that are "past finding out," but which we must affirm by faith (Romans 11:33). Yes, feel is often not real regarding God's ways in our lives. The same is true of appearance, as the Lord Jesus declared, "Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment" (John 7:24).
"We walk by faith, not by sight" (II Corinthians 5:7).
Golf instructors often find it difficult to convince students to swing in a manner that defies their sense of what should be the proper motion and technique. Of far greater consequence, believers in the Lord Jesus must learn to base truth and reality on the "Thus saith the Lord" of Scripture. Our fleshly perceptions often flow against Biblical revelation - "the flesh lusteth against the spirit" (Galatians 5:17). Thus, the Holy Spirit must teach us to swim against the current of feeling and appearance. We must replace "it seems like" with reality, the reality of God's Word. Indeed, feel often isn't real, not only in golf, but in the life of Christ presently administered in us by the Spirit and Word of God. Realizing this fact of the counterintuitive prepares us to make the choices of faith that flow with the Truth and against the current of feeling and appearance.
"We look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal."
(II Corinthians 4:18)
Weekly Memory Verse
"There is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus."
(I Timothy 2:5)