There are many things that are true, but are not “realities” to us, because they are not “real” to our senses, minds, and hearts. God has made provision for this with regard to our knowing Him. Think of this…He makes the world, and us. He then comes to live by His Spirit in our hearts when we truly call upon Him in sincerity and truth. Beyond this, Jesus says that the Spirit of God is the Spirit of truth, who will instruct and teach us, revealing the things of God to us. More than this, He becomes the great source of LIFE. He becomes our capacity for all things good and holy. How can the presence of God, by His Spirit, go unnoticed, unknown, not be “real” to sense, and conviction of heart? Very simply put, all we need to do is to WORSHIP…to stop, look at Him, and give to Him that which He is worthy to receive…admiration and devotion. After all, even He declares Himself to be Wonderful (Is. 9:6), and by this we mean in the measure that we can understand, all things wonderful and good. The question becomes this: Is worship the FIRST and most important thing in this life, where Christ is to be all to us, and so very real?
If you look at Exodus 20:3, we find that the first of the ten commandments is: “Thou shalt have no other gods before Me…thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image…” What is it to have other gods before Him, expressed by graven images? It means that idolatrous thoughts are those that are not truth, but twisted forms of imaginations and speculations. Jesus said in Matthew 4:10, addressing Himself to Satan: “Thou shalt WORSHIP the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve.” What is He saying? He is declaring that we must have a crystal clear, and absolute view of WHO God is, and correspondingly attribute to Him His worthiness, beauty, and distinctiveness (holiness). So many folk “worship” that which they do not know, and do so on the basis of false ideas of who God truly is. Hence, there’s is NOT true worship, and Christ is NOT a reality to them.
If you study the great men and women of the Bible, and those who have been distinguished in the annals of history as men and women of faith, you will find that their concepts of Christ are for the most part true, and that as a consequence, they fall down before Him and worship. This is the first thing. If Christ is not a reality to us in the quietness of the place of devotion where we meet Him, then, when we get on the battle-field of life, He will certainly not be.
God called Jacob to leave Mesopotamia, and return to a place called Bethel. It was at Bethel that the Lord had revealed Himself to Jacob many years before, and where Jacob had made a vow to God. In that calling, God said to Jacob: “Arise, go up to Bethel, and dwell there: and make thee an altar unto God…” (Gen. 35:1) What is the first thing? It is to be where God would have us to be, and that, in order to worship. For it is in that attitude and act of worship, in Spirit and truth, that God reveals Himself to the heart, mind, and soul. Christ becomes not just “a” reality, but “the greatest” reality of life, and the very source and essence of all faith and love.
So, today, may we go to Bethel…to dwell, to live in His presence. And let us worship Him, the greatest of all realities. It is there, in that place of certain good, that He will reveal Himself to us. Then, we shall be able to serve Him rightly, joyfully, and so very thankfully…with all our hearts.