My mother-in-law has a unique cross-stitched plaque that is an illusion. At first glance, it appears to be characters from the Greek alphabet. However, since I do not know Greek, I’m not certain that it is Greek; but as the old saying goes, “It looks like Greek to me!” These characters are cross-stitched with light-colored thread against a background of dark-colored thread. Even though you study it for a long time, unless you can read Greek, you probably can’t figure it out. But when someone points out a different way to look at it, and you begin to focus on the dark-colored thread rather than the light-colored thread, you plainly see the letters: J E S U S.
Many of us have studied the Bible for a long time, and we think we know what it says. We’ve heard the stories countless times and can recite key verses, yet occasionally we see something we have never seen before. Sometimes the Holy Spirit gives us enlightenment of a scripture or another person simply points out a new truth; but however the insight comes, it is of great value to our Christian growth.
When we read the Apostle Paul’s words: “your life is hidden with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:3), do we really grasp what he meant? Or how about the mysterious declaration: “It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me” (Galatians 2:20)? Did Paul know a secret that has perhaps eluded some of us? Down through the centuries other great men and women of faith have written about what is considered by some to be “a deeper walk with God.” Hudson Taylor, the pioneer missionary to China, referred to “the exchanged life.” Once in a great while, we hear of a lone modern-day seeker who finally tips over the top and discovers something that empowers their life beyond the ordinary life of most believers. One book about 20 such people is titled “They Found the Secret” by V. Raymond Edman.
We tend to think extraordinary individuals like Oswald Chambers, Charles Finney, or Dwight L. Moody were chosen by God to do great things and therefore were equipped with greater power. I’m not so sure. I believe God promises His power to all born-again believers. Yet for most Christians, we remain powerless against our flesh and its victories over us. We do not live lives hidden with Christ at all, but rather with our fleshly nature on full display for all to see.
In the next few weeks, we are going to take a different look—with our upgraded spiritual lenses—at some of the secret things of God. While the promises of God are not in clear sight to everyone, He never intended for His Word to be an illusion to His own followers. According to I Corinthians 2:10, God has revealed these secrets to us, and we should never have to say “It looks like Greek to me!” After all, the Bible clearly teaches that if we look for J E S U S, we will find Him. ~Janie Kellogg