How a Faith Journey Might Look Like A Dress

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If you were anywhere near the internet a few days ago then you know all about the gold and white dress, or maybe it was black and blue depending on what your eyes and brain saw.  After the back and forth controversy, several articles about the science behind the argument appeared.  I still don’t quite “get it” (I’m a writer, Jim, not a scientist. 🙂 )  but it’s certainly fascinating how our brains work.

This morning, the dress popped into my brain again after reading a devotional about the many different voices that “vie for control of our mind” as we go about our day. Followers of Jesus are given assurance through scripture that even though there are many voices pointing in many different directions, the Holy Spirit gives discernment if we are willing to take time to listen.

In scripture Jesus compares the relationship he has with his followers as a Shepherd leading his flock of sheep.  “When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice.” John 10:4

Jesus also told his followers that “he is the Way, the Truth  and  the Life.” John 14:6

We may hear many voices, (we may see different color dresses) but Jesus and his voice is the one voice that keeps us on the correct path.

Whenever I spend time thinking about knowing Jesus, I always think of how crazy it must sound to people who don’t know Jesus. In a way, it’s like seeing a gold and white dress, insisting it’s gold and white and then another person looks at it and says, no, it’s black and blue. Our perceptions are different. I am never going to “convince” someone the dress is gold and white. The only way that person would have a chance of seeing a gold and white dress is if somehow their eyes were to eventually see the dress through a different lens or from a different perspective. Me simply telling them isn’t ever going to convince them. They have to see and experience the change for themselves in order to accept it completely in their hearts.

I think that’s a lot like coming to know Christ. We can talk about it, we can point to Scripture…but unless there’s a shift in perspective, a person will not see or experience Christ for themselves.  It’s got to be personal. 

Last night, I started reading Lee Strobel’s newest book The Case for Grace.  Lee was an atheist for years before coming to know Christ. For some reason, an atheist turned Christian journey fascinate me. For one reason, I think it’s because you know that an atheist doesn’t arrive at their decision to follow Christ lightly. They have searched. They have doubted. They have searched some more. They have doubted some more. Then they decide. I love this for two reasons.

1 It shows just how personal the journey needs to be.

2. Because Jesus promises in Scripture that if “we seek him with all our hearts we will find him.”

In the first few chapters I’ve read so far, Lee has shared the journeys of people whose perceptions had to go through a transformation in order to see and know the God who loves them. In the first chapter, Lee shares how growing up with a father who wasn’t loving or accepting made it challenging for him to grasp the concept of a Heavenly Father who could be this to him.

Again, it’s like telling people the dress is gold and white when all they’ve ever known is blue and black. Our perceptions will need to be challenged before we will ever understand something differently.

Lord, today…help us to see You through the correct lens. Help us to hear You with ears willing to listen for Your voice.  Lord, give us hearts that are willing to look for you beyond our preconceived notions. And, Lord, when you call our names, give us the courage to follow where you desire to lead us.   

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