Monday, April 30, 2012

‘Decoding’ the Secret

Years ago cereal boxes contained “secret decoder glasses” as prizes. The back of boxes had squares consisting of seemingly random assortments of colored dots. If you put on the red-lensed glasses, however, words appeared.

Without the specially colored lenses functioning as a revealing filter, the message remained hidden.

It’s somewhat similar in seeking to communicate biblical truth. As followers of Jesus, it seems clear – so obvious. But trying to convey heartfelt convictions to nonbelievers, the message often seems obscured. Almost as if they need secret decoder glasses.

C.S. Lewis, the brilliant one-time atheist turned Christian apologist, and author of many books on the nature of faith, stated: “I believe in Christianity as I believe that the Sun has risen; not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.”

That would imply that apart from the truths of Christianity, spiritual sight is impeded. The truths serve as the filter through which believers see reality. The Scriptures agree: The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God” (2 Corinthians 4:4).

Another passage explains the Holy Spirit takes the red-lenses glasses role: “The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Corinthians 2:14).

Today the term “worldview” describes factors that influence how we perceive and interpret the world around us. My worldview undergirds much of what I write in this blog. Once I believed in God intellectually, but not in a personal or practical way. Now His truth in the Scriptures serves as my filter for understanding life. Christianity, to me, isn’t about rules, rituals, even religion. It’s about relationship – getting to know God, discovering His purpose, and finding ultimate meaning.

This is not being “better” than others, or “special.” It’s simply that God, for whatever reason, has graciously offered the equivalent of red-lensed glasses so we can see what He wants us to know.

How then can we relate God’s truth to the spiritually blind? Just as no amount of persuasion can give vision to those without physical sight, what’s needed first is prayer – for God “to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me” (Acts 26:18).

Unless God answers this prayer, as the apostle Paul declared, “you will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving…” (Acts 28:26).

No comments: