In my morning readings I came across the following commentary, which reflected something I’ve been thinking about quite a bit lately. I started a google buzz about it, but then realized it’d make a good blog article too. So here goes:
God’s revelation of Himself is suited to men’s spiritual capacity. Different souls get different views of God.
I. THIS IS TRUE OF GOD’S DEALINGS.
1. They appear different to different eyes:
Visit two homes, perhaps in the same street, in which there is similar trouble—sickness, or bereavement, or failure in business, or sore poverty. In one, all is gloom, repining, comfortless perplexity. In the other, there is light in the darkness, a rainbow on the storm.
To one sufferer God’s ways are hard, dark, mysterious; he is even ready to think them unjust. The other says, “I could not bear it in my own strength, but the Lord stands by me and strengthens me. God’s will must be right. He cannot make mistakes or be unfaithful. He is my Refuge and Strength.” So with God’s government of the world and general providence. One mind fastens on the pain, sorrow, calamity, which every hour records—pestilence, earthquake, tempest, and so forth. Another sees that the universal design and general working of all natural laws is for good and happiness, not evil; that the main part of human suffering has its root in sin; that “the earth is full of the goodness of the Lord;” and trusts God for the rest.
2. God’s dealings not only appear different; they are and must be different, according to the temper and attitude of our souls. To the soul that bows under God’s hand, trusts his Word, clings closer to him in trial, it is “chastening”—full of mercy, rich in result (Heb. 12:6, etc.). The proud, stubborn heart, that resents and rebels against affliction, is hardened by it, like Pharaoh.
This reminds me of something I’ve said about my brother and my perception of our parents… sometimes he’ll talk about them and it’s like we had different parents, ’cause the one’s he’s talkin’ about don’t resemble the parents I remember.
The commentary goes on… this is so true:
II. IT IS SO WITH GOD’S WORD.
Come to the Scriptures in a cavilling (means “make petty”), critical, hostile spirit, and they will teem with difficulties. Read them carelessly, scornfully; they will be dull and lifeless. Search them, with an earnest desire to know the truth, with prayer for the Holy Spirit’s teaching, with candour and humility; they will “talk with thee” (Prov. 6:22), and unfold their secrets. Thou shalt hear God’s own voice speaking to thy soul; and find what the Thessalonians found (1 Thess. 2:13).
That’s so true in my life… I get so much more out of reading scripture now that I’m not constantly looking to “prove it wrong” or out of a spirit that seeks to justify the bitterness I’ve always held towards it.
III. SO IT WAS WITH OUR LORD JESUS.
Isaiah’s prediction was fulfilled (Isa. 53:2, 3). Scrupulously religious persons, but blinded by self-righteousness, could no more see his glory than sceptics, hypocrites, or scoffing triflers (Matt. 13:14, 15). But his disciples—those who first believed on him, and then lived in close converse with him—could say, “We beheld his glory” (John 1:14).
CONCLUSION: So it is to-day:
This is a universal law—What God is to you—what Christ is to you, shows what you are, and determines what you shall be. The gospel is an open secret, but still a secret, from proud, worldly hearts. The physician is for those who are sick and know it. The Saviour is for sinners who feel themselves sinners. The living water will not flow into a vessel turned upside down. Heaven itself would be no heaven to a heart full of love of the world, of self, of sin, and void of love to God.
Sometimes when I’m in conversations with atheists I realize I’m just spinning my wheels – I remember my own mindset back in my “there is no God” porn-producing days. Nothing anybody said could truly “get through” to me. It was only after a group of people showed the love of God incarnate over the course of four years, and that love broke down my anger and bitterness, that I was able to “see”.
Isn’t it fascinating how deeply personal this walk with God is for each of us? Don’t you think it’s important that we share our journeys with each other, thereby enriching our lives – bringing deeper shades of color to all of us? I do.