Monday, March 4, 2013

March 5, 2013

"By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible." Hebrews 11:3
Yesterday in the message I talked about "DTR" moments. "DTR" stands for Define The Relationship moments. "DTR's" are those necessary but awkward moments when relationships move forward or retreat. For example, the move from the first few dates to becoming a steady relationship is a DTR.
This week's "soulshift" also requires a "DTR" of another sort -  a Define The Reality moment.

Reality is generally defined in terms of what can be seen, heard, felt, tasted or smelled. You could expand that definition to include things that can be scientifically proven.

But, the problem with reality is it limits life to what can be experienced through the five senses or the intellect. We all know there is more to life than that. Most people will concede the existence of a spirit realm that can't be proven through the senses. There are different theories, beliefs and opinions regarding that realm but few deny it is real.

So, we recognize the existence of two realities. You and I have to decide for ourselves which reality more real to us. Is the physical world more real than the spiritual world or vice-versa? There is an entire chapter in the New Testament devoted to that question.
It comes down to this question when the two realities come into conflict, "Will I believe what I see or will I believe what He says?"

In our text verse the writer of Hebrews comes down on the side of what God says trumping what we see. Think about what he says here, "By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command (what He said), so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible." Hebrews 11:3

According to the claims of this verse, the visible world came from the invisible world. So, therefore, what is unseen is actually more real than what is seen! That is the essence of faith!

How about you? How strong is your faith? What is most real in your world? Do you believe what you see more than you believe what He says?


March 4, 2013

"Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for. By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible."  Hebrews 11:1-3
Barbara and I were enjoying one of our day trips that we love to take. We had jumped onto the Blue Ridge Parkway at Roanoke, VA and went down to Linville Falls in North Carolina. The day was getting away from us by the time we headed back north on the Parkway. Just ten miles short of the main highway where we planned to jump off the Parkway we ran into fog. I am not talking about fog that makes it hard to see clearly, I am talking about a thick, soupy and zero visibility fog.
Driving in the fog is never fun but driving in zero visibility road that is two lane, narrow, and has no shoulders is terrifying.
I was literally driving blind. I could not see what was ahead of me nor could I see any behind me. That was very uncomfortable.
There was no place to pull off and even if there was I would have been afraid of some one might follow me off the road and rear-end my vehicle.
Trying to remain calm, I looked around for some point of reference to guide me. that was when I noticed the white line that marked the edge of the roadway. That line was clearly visible and you can be sure that I fixed my eyes on that white line alone. I knew as long as I stayed just to the left of that line I would not run off the road. So I did and I didn't.
As I drove at a slow rate of speed and remained focused on the white line I was able to get us to our exit and leave the Parkway. It was only a few miles until we drove out of the fog and I could relax. I am sure I left fingerprints in the steering wheel.
Thinking back on that harrowing experience I realized how similar it was to the life of faith. Living by faith is often like driving blind with only one focus to guide me. That one guiding principle or the "white line" for me is the Word of God. I depended on what I could see to steer me safely through the unseen.
Life often seems to be lived in a fog of uncertainty and it is easy to become anxious. Learning to navigate the unseen in a world of sight is the challenge of faith. Reorienting your life from the seen to the unseen is a soul shift every believer must make.
How are you doing?
How do you handle the fog?
What will guide your life today?