When you need an answer

magician hand with magic wand and hatYou know it was a slight of hand.  You know the coin didn’t disappear even though you saw it disappear.  Everything within you says it disappeared.  You’ve watched a magician do magic tricks, right?  He had you look at one hand while he did the trick than the other.  

The physical world is loud and hard to ignore – like when you are really hungry and your stomach is shouting at you.  The spiritual world it’s like something in your periphery, quiet, calm.  If you chose to ignore it you can – but it is there.  

We wonder why the magic doesn’t work.  All these things that are supposed to satisfy us don’t; we always want more.  The movie stars that have all the love and money that anyone could want are so happy that they change spouses like clothes, and need drugs and alcohol just to make it through their everyday lives.

For example, external beauty is a lie. Who wants to be loved only for their looks or their body?  Everybody wants to be loved for who they are.  This being the case, why do people spend so much time working on the outside but so little time on who they are?  How many people have you met that are beautiful on the outside – but once you get to know them, you would never want to be around them; they become ugly.  How about people that are nothing to look at, but when you get to know them, you want to be around them, they become beautiful.  The inside shines more brightly than the outside.

We have an internal and an external journey.  The world around us says that the external one is the most important.  External is real, spiritual is fake.  God says the external is a slight of hand, not real.  He says the spiritual journey is the real one.  When you make decisions, don’t look at the hand that the devil is waving at you, look at what is happening inside.

For example when you disagree and argue with someone.  You are so angry at them.  Yet Paul says, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”  The unreasonable person is probably under the influence of the enemy.  If we beat them, we win nothing of eternal value.  If we recognise the true enemy and war against him, we win the spiritual side of the battle and may win the physical one too.  

Jesus tells us the physical comes secondary to the spiritual. The unbelievers chase these things…  Paul agrees and says My gains I consider as garbage, but only Christ matters and I push toward that.  Jesus says that our journey here will have tough places, but you can have peace anyway.  Paul says that the troubles we have here buy us something way more valuable.

Viktor Frankl: “The way in which a man accepts his fate and all the suffering it entails, the way in which he takes up his cross, gives him ample opportunity–even under the most difficult circumstances–to add a deeper meaning to his life. It may remain brave, dignified and unselfish. Or in the bitter fight for self-preservation he may forget his human dignity and become no more than an animal. Here lies the chance for a man either to make use of or to forgo the opportunities of attaining the moral values that a difficult situation may afford him. And this decides whether he is worthy of his sufferings or not.”

In the story of Joseph, after everything his brothers did to him, he said that God intended (not a corrected mistake, an intention) it for good.  God took the terrible suffering Joseph experienced and used it to prepare Joseph to save the world (literally).  Imagine if Joseph had run away from his suffering or suffered with an attitude?   He would not have been able to be used by God.  We’d never had heard of Joseph.

The world around you says that the end justifies the means.  God says the means justify the end.  He says that we die and whatever we gained as an ‘end’ dies with us.  On the other hand, how you get to the ‘end’ affects your soul, and your soul is eternal.

How do you find the answer you’re looking for?  Paul Young says a good question is worth a thousand answers.  No one can tell you the answer, but I can recommend where you should look when you decide, and how to stay in God’s plan.  Ask what is the spiritual reason, not the physical one.

Could it be, You make Your presence known
So often by Your absence?
Could it be that questions tell us more
Than answers ever do?
Michael Card