A Matter of Perception:
We have been discussing perception. It is like looking at a drinking glass with water in it. Is it half full or is it half empty? It is a matter of perception.
A pastor friend told the story of a businessman who visited an Arab country for business. As he was preparing for his return home, his hosts asked him what he wanted as a parting gift. He said that he did not want anything but they insisted explaining that it was their custom and they would be offended if he declined. He casually replied, “OK, I’d like a golf club” and returned home ant thought no more about it. Some time later a man cane to his home advising him that he had been sent to give him his gift. He took the businessman to a golf club and said this is your golf club. It had greens, a lake, a clubhouse and all the trappings. He expected a golf club, such as a putter or a nine iron. His hosts thought of a full sized golf club.
They said the same things, but had totally different meanings.
Many Christians fall into similar traps. God has said one thing and they take it a different way, most often clouded by thkeir denominational standards that are not always biblically correct. God’s language is a language of faith. There is no such thing as impossible with him, but many people talk and act as if the day of miracles has finished, God has stopped speaking to us and so on.
I previously mentioned Malachi chapter three. Here God clearly states, I am the Lord and I do not change (Malachi 3:6). By their conversation, professing Christians act as if God is dead. Malachi 3:1 states that God will send his messenger to prepare the way before his appearance. John the Baptist did that for Jesus who returned to heaven, promising to return. If somoene had to prepare the way for his first advent, is it not conceivable that someone, be it an individual or a type of ministry musy do likewise for his second appearing?
He promised to return and God is not a man that he should lie, but how many people talk about his return? What do many ministries major on? How many preachers do you know are telling you to make sure you are ready for his return? I must admit that few of us do, but we must. We must get back on track, because God is about to do a new thing. The second half of the verse I quoted states that the Lord will suddenly come to his temple.
Is he referring to a literal temple, like the Jews had, or is he speaking about the living temple, the Body of Christ on the earth, the Church that Jesus said he would build? Perhaps this is also a matter of perception, but I pick the latter.
Although God is speaking in Malachi to Israel, can we not also apply it to ourselves (christians)? We believe in certain parts like the tithing part, the blessing part and so on, but do we look at everything as one complete package deal? If we accept that God speaks to us, then we must be prepared for some refining!