GODíS X-RAY VISION
Reading: 1st Samuel 16:1-14
Text 1Sa 16:7 "But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart."
[a] When my wife broke her wrist at the time of the annual appeal, she had to go along to the casualty department at the hospital.
[b] Now the doctor didnít take a look at her and say, "Oh, you look in pain, it must be broken!" He didnít peer at it through a magnifying glass and make his diagnosis!
[c] He knew that the only way he could tell, was to see INSIDE! The only way to do that, apart from using a scalpel, was of course to have an x-ray taken!
[d] An x-ray, enables the doctor to see the problem within - without guessing or operating.
[e] Our son Phillip loves Superman! And as you will no doubt know, he has x-ray vision. It gets him out of many sticky situations, as you can guess.
[f] I remember, when I was a teenager, there were firms that sold what they termed as x-ray glasses, which were supposed to let you see through .... things. They didnít really work of course, but cleverly gave you the impression, with a double vision technique, that that was what was happening.
[a] X-rays are a comparatively modern invention
X rays were discovered accidentally in 1895 by the German physicist Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen was actually studying cathode rays in a high-voltage, tube. Despite the fact that the gaseous-discharge tube was encased in a blackened cardboard box, Roentgen noticed that a screen lying nearby, emitted fluorescent light whenever the cathode rays were in operation. Further experiments showed that the fluorescence was caused by invisible radiation mech more penetrating in nature than ultraviolet rays. He called the invisible radiation "X ray" because of its unknown nature.
[b] It is amazing the things that are discovered by accident! If I could just fly off at a tangent for a moment. Did you know that the microwave oven was also discovered by accident. I found that out when I was over home in Ireland, speaking to my cousin, a retired science teacher.
Apparently, there were lab experiments going on using hamsters. Now it appears that hamsters are very good candidates for suspended animation, and they used to freeze them solid in a freezer. But they just thawed them out, and lo and behold they revived. The only problem was that it took hours to thaw them out, so one of the boffins worked out that it could be done in a couple of minutes with microwaves, and the hamsters were jumping around, non the worse for wear.
It never struck them for a moment that the microwave could become one of the most important commodities in the modern kitchen.
[c] When my mother got her microwave, she couldnít believe that it could heat things so quickly, and she burnt a number of things to a cinder, because of course microwaves arenít like ordinary radiant or convected heat, working from the outside, and slowly penetrating. MICROWAVES GET RIGHT TO THE HEART OF THINGS - IMMEDIATELY!
[d] Can I reverently say, that we have a God, Who gets to the heart of things - immediately!!
WITH HIS DIVINE X-RAY VISION, HE SEES EVERYTHING THAT NO-ONE ELSE CAN!
IT IS AS IF WE ARE TRANSPARENT TO HIS GAZE! NOTHING IS HID! NOTHING CAN BE COVERED UP!
[a] In the Living Bible, the verse is rendered thus,
"I donít make decisions the way you do! Men judge by outward appearance, but I look at a manís thoughts and intentions."
[b] God judges us BY OUR THOUGHTS! What is your thought life like??
And if I could hijack an old expression that says, "ARE YOUR INTENTIONS HONOURABLE?"
[c] Every action - begins in the thought life.
Even if I lift my arm and wiggle my fingers - I have to think it first! Even something we take for granted can be a very complex thought process!
If we are to eat, the hands and fingers work together, to cut up the food, and then carry it to the mouth. The tongue must move it into position where it is chewed by the appropriate teeth, and then move it again so it can be swallowed. Very complex, but all part of a thought process.
[d] I have often spoken to those Christians who have backslidden and fallen into sin. Many times they have said, "I donít know how it happened!" OF COURSE THEY DO! THEY ALLOWED THEMSELVES TO THINK IT FIRST!! FIRST THE THOUGHT - THEN THE ACTION!
Matthew 15:19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:
It is in our thought life that backsliding, corruption, dishonesty, lust, hatred, murder all start!
Everything can appear well on the surface - for a time!
Who was it said, "As a man thinks - so he is."
[a] So what can we do about it?
Someone once explained evil thoughts from the devil like this,
You canít stop the birds flying through your hair, but you can stop them building a nest in it!!
[b] HAVE THOSE EVIL THOUGHTS BUILT A NEST IN YOUR MIND - IS THAT WHERE THEY RESIDE? IF THEY DO, THEN EXPECT TROUBLE IN YOUR SPIRITUAL LIFE! EXPECT TO BACKSLIDE!
[c] THE SEEDS FOR A CHRISTLESS LIFE ARE NOT ONLY BEING SOWN, BUT YOU ARE ALLOWING THEM TO TAKE ROOT AND GROW INTO STRONG PLANTS THAT WILL CHOKE ANY SPIRITUAL FRUIT BEARING PLANTS IN YOUR LIFE!
[d] At the times when we feel least like praying and reading Godís Word - these are the times when we MUST discipline ourselves to do it - because they are the times we need the spiritual food and sustenance most! GOD CANNOT HELP US, UNLESS WE SURRENDER TO HIM, AND OPEN OUR HEARTS TO HIM!
[e] Recently I heard someone say, that they had a mental picture of the backsliderís heart.
The Lord, Who used to be in control, had been pushed into a corner, and all round the walls of the heart were posters of those things that had come to mean more then He did. A friendship, a habit, a pet hate, anger, self, work, friends, dissatisfaction, drink and a host of others.
[f] I donít know what it is with you - but I do know this - if you are to survive spiritually - those idols will have to be ripped from the walls of your heart!
[a] In various appointments, we have seen many of the devilís seeds of anger, dissention and division being sown.
[b] I have seen Christians, some of them young people ripped apart and destroyed spiritually by what has been happening!
[c] For anyone who has been involved in that, either directly, or even carrying stories about it, which of course end up doing the same harm, I have said quite simply, FOR GODíS SAKE, CATCH YOURSELF ON! BEFORE IT IS FOREVER TOO LATE!!
[d] All down through my officership, I have been sickened, meeting people who have gone away from the Lord because of the actions and words of those professing to follow Christ, and yet showing none of His characteristics of love care and forgiveness!
[e] It isnít that the opportunities for a fresh start have not availed themselves in abundance - for so often, quite the opposite has been true!
[f] Time after time, my hopes have been raised when people have knelt before the Lord at the place of prayer, only to be dashed again, when I have seen the same prejudices, the same vindictiveness, the same lack of forgiveness!
I DONíT KNOW WHAT THEY HAD - BUT IT WAS NOT AN ENCOUNTER WITH THE LIFE CHANGING CHRIST - IT WAS NOT A CONSECRATION OF THE SOUL!
TEARS, CROCODILE OR OTHERWISE WILL NOT CHANGE ANYONE, UNLESS THERE IS A WILLINGNESS FOR CHRIST TO CLEANSE THE TEMPLE OF THE HEART!
ANY LESS, IS AN OUTWARD SHOW, AND AN INSULT TO THE SAVIOUR!
[h] If we are to have revival - if we are to see people saved - IT HAS TO START IN YOU AND ME! IF IT DOESNíT - AS A SPIRITUAL FORCE - WE ARE FINISHED. WE BUT GO THROUGH THE ACTIONS!
OH YES WE CAN GATHER TO AMUSE OURSELVES EACH WEEK - BUT THATíS ALL WE WILL BE DOING!!
WEíLL BE SO INVOLVED IN THE INTERNAL POLITICS OF SORTING OUT THE SAINTS, THAT THEREíLL BE NO SAVING OF SINNERS, AND WE WILL BE A NON-ENTITY AS FAR AS THE LIFE CHANGING GOSPEL IS CONCERNED.
[g] If you have a willingness for Christ to change you, and remove the rubbish from your heart, then Iím going to ask you to respond just now. But if there is not that willingness, please do not misuse the Mercy Seat.
WE WANT SAINTS NOT STATISTICS!!
Chorus 34 All there is of me Lord
534††† Appeal†††††††††††††††† 838
Chorus 211 (as a benediction)