The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe….
"Not By Sight"
The Lord Jesus Christ lived 30 years of His earthly lifetime without revealing His identity as the Son of God. He so veiled Himself that His own brothers did not know who He was.
"Neither did His brethren believe in Him" (John 7:5).
I have suggested before in these messages that I find this to be one of most shocking facts revealed in Scripture. To live with "God… manifest in the flesh" without recognizing the wondrous reality seems to indict His siblings with inexcusable blindness (I Timothy 3:16). Perhaps so. However, our Lord's obscurity speaks even more to how humble and unobtrusive He lived as a man. "A bruised reed shall He not break" (Matthew 12:20). Our Savior lived accordingly in order to experience life in the same manner as do we ourselves. Far more than 99% of the human race have lived as small fish in tiny ponds, known only to a few during their earthly lifetimes, and remembered only while their generation and perhaps one or two thereafter remain. Our Lord, worthy of eternal acknowledgment, accolade, and adoration, knows what it means to be unknown by most (and ultimately, rejected by all). "Who is this?… He is despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief, and we hid as it were our faces from Him. He was despised and we esteemed Him not" (Matthew 21:10; Isaiah 53:3).
We do well to expect and rejoice that yet again the Lord Jesus quietly dwells in the spiritual family of those who trust in His saving grace. "We walk by faith, not by sight" (II Corinthians 5:7). Most of our Christian life involves following Moses' example, who "endured, as seeing Him who is invisible" (Hebrews 11:27). Our trust involves Bible and Spirit-confirmed conviction of the heart far more than sensation, emotion, and overt displays of God's presence in our lives. This constitutes great challenge as we walk with Him, requiring affirmations of confidence that often flow against our human perceptions. "Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment" (John 7:24). Such faith requires that we realize our Lord's frequently unseen way in our present existence. "In quietness and in confidence shall be your strength" (Isaiah 30:15).
When necessary in our lives, the Lord may part a Red Sea or stop the sun in its tracks. Most often, however - by a vastly larger measure - He will work in a manner that requires the faith that sees the Invisible. Thereby we discover God's heart in its wondrously faithful devotion to us. As the old adage affirms, "We trust His heart when we cannot see His hand." The Christ whose earthly family did not recognize Him still often veils His glory as He lives in His spiritual family. We must expect this holy way in our lives, and rejoice that we thereby discover glories of His character, nature, and way that would be missed if we presently saw more obvious displays of His presence and power.
"The LORD was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the LORD was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice."
(I Kings 19:11-12)
Weekly Memory Verse
In quietness and in confidence shall be your strength.
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