What does it mean to have God in any of us? Is it because we are generally good in character and have the ability to get along with almost anyone? Perhaps it is because we don’t smoke or drink and avoid engaging in the nightly social scenes where we just might find what we are not looking for. While these two different scenarios are indicative of what believers may not do, non-believers can also carry themselves in a civil and respectable manner. Can we really tell believers from non-believers by gauging their level of friendliness or intelligence or by the clothing that they wear? As a former restaurant professional, I’ve witnessed some of the most callous attitudes from people who came in right after church for a Sunday afternoon dinner. How can that be? Did the presence of God leave them as soon as they walked through the doors of the restaurant only to return in them just in time for the following Sunday service?
Even if we are putting our best foot forward in trying to walk like Him and talk like Him and lead like Him, there is still the issue of others not being able to see the God in us. Have you grown up with someone who doesn’t acknowledge the God in you because of the things you did while you lived in the world? In fact, family members, friends, co-workers, associates, and even the people we worship with cannot see the God in us regardless of what we do or what we say. There are a couple of reasons for this that deserves your attention.
There is a group of people in our lives that we can label our “adversarial group”. I can best describe this group of people by directing you to Job 2:11-13. In this passage, we learn that Job had three friends that left their homes and spent 7 days and nights with him. During that time, these three friends didn’t even talk to him. Job’s suffering was so intense that his friends just had no words. They just stayed with him for that period of time. I can only imagine how hard it is to witness such a suffering and be rendered speechless. What if you and I had to endure such a great suffering as Job did? How many people do you truly know that you can put in your adversarial group? Are there any family members you can put in this group? Are there any friends or people you fellowship with at church that would leave their homes and stay with you for 7 days and nights for consolation during your suffering?
Another group of people that we can label as our “superficial group” is also a factor in our lives. Proverbs 19:4 teaches us that wealth makes many friends but poverty drives them all away. If you and I would only count up the number of people who walked into our lives when we lived in abundance and walked away when we were abate. We unconsciously gained these friends because of what we had and not because of who we were. Sometimes when we are blessed with an overflow, we tend to forget who we are and what we have endured. Because of this state of amnesia, we hire this entourage of superficial friends who find us convenient as long as we can supply them with material happiness. Although people are assigned to us to block the blessings that God has for us and to tarnish the upright image of God that dwells in us, we can’t place total blame on our superficial group. There is another person and condition that keeps others from seeing the God in us.
As a Christian, have you ever broken your allegiance with God? Has something happened to you in your walk that caused you to totally abandon who you are in God and abandon the assignment you were given? When we break our allegiance with the will of God, it is called apostasy. There is a lesson to be learned in Matthew 13:24-30 where a farmer planted good seeds of wheat in a field. Later on in the night, someone came along and planted seeds of weed right alongside the wheat. When the crop started to grow, the farmer’s workers saw the weeds growing with the wheat and went to inform the farmer of what they had seen. The workers wanted to know how this could have happened. The farmer explained that an enemy had come and planted the weeds to grow with the wheat. They asked the farmer if he wanted them to uproot the weeds. The farmer instructed them not to do so because they would also uproot the good wheat. The farmer went on to say that when the harvest comes they would then sort out the weeds from the wheat and tie the weeds into bundles and burn them. The wheat would be placed in the barn.
Wheat and weeds look very much the same in a field. Non-Christians and Christians can also look alike. We shop at the same stores and drive the same cars. We live in similar houses. There are times when we frequent the same establishments and others may not even know that we are Christians. We are, in essence, like the wheat in the field that looks like the wheat and sway in the wind like the wheat but we aren’t exactly wheat. On the other hand, we were planted in the Earth to be wheat but became influenced by the weeds that are our friends, co-workers, business associates, and even family members. What so often happens is that the influence those weeds have on us, the wheat is stronger than the principles by which we are to live by as Christians.
If you followed along in your Bible in Matthew 13:24-30, the story concludes in Matthew 13:36-43. We learn that the farmer is the Son of Man. The field is the world and the enemy that planted the weeds is Satan. And who are these weeds? The weeds are workers for Satan who are assigned to influence the wheat, you and I, to abandon our allegiance with God. The harvesters are the Angels in Heaven who will separate the weeds from the wheat at harvest time. And the harvest time is the end of the world.
I am certain that I was planted in the Earth to be wheat. I was designed to love and serve Him. I have come to know that the audience that I should please is Him. Sure, there are times when I walked like the weeds and talked liked the weeds. I’ve dressed like the weeds and even influenced the wheat like the weeds. I’ve done everything the weeds were assigned to do. However, in my search for more and more spiritual intelligence, I’ve also gained spiritual maturation. I know what I’m here for. Indeed there was a time that no one could see the God in me and I know that even now some may still not see the God in me. But as a Christian, aren’t you glad to know that in you He lives?