Are you looking through the wrong end of the telescope?
Telescopes help us see objects more clearly.
But if you look through the wrong end of the telescope, it does just the opposite: instead of seeing objects more clearly, you see them less clearly – and they seem even farther away.
Think of your Bible as a telescope.
When you view God through the lens of his Word, you see him more clearly and it brings you nearer to him.
But if you view God through the lens of the World, it will do just the opposite: you will see God less clearly and he will seem farther away.
That’s what happens when we look at God through the wrong end of the telescope.
A clear example of this is a personal story Orlando Evangelist, Marshall Meade, shared in his sermon this past Sunday. He said that when he was working as a Structural Engineer years ago, his boss was very political and played one particular brand of talk radio all day long in the office. And Marshall realized that after a while, those strong opinions started living inside of him and made him angry all the time. He also noticed a subtle pride developing in him that he was so well informed.
Marshall said, “After a while, I was a walking argument waiting to happen… The church seemed so small to me. God seemed so powerless. God seemed to be out of the picture. It’s all about parties, and men, and corruption… I just sort of lost sight of God and his sovereignty. And I began to be very upset all the time… So, I had to watch myself and pull myself back to a place where I trusted in God again, that he is over and above all of this and is in control.”
Does God seem distant to you right now? Far away and unclear?
Does his Word seem unrelatable, out of touch, and irrelevant right now?
Does it almost feel like God is weak and small – unable to solve the real problems in your life, and in our world?
These are classic signs of looking at God through the wrong end of the telescope.
Don’t judge God by the lens of the World – judge the World by the lens of God’s Word.
So, what should we do?
Here’s a great passage for turning the telescope around.
Just read the passage below – slowly, carefully and thoughtfully - and then, ask yourself this one question: “Am I looking through the wrong end of the telescope?”
1 Corinthians 1:18-25 = “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
19 For it is written:
“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;
the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”
20 Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe.
22 Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24 but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.”
A closing prayer
God, forgive us for evaluating your wisdom with the wisdom of the world, instead of evaluating the wisdom of the world with your wisdom.
The message of the cross will always be foolishness to the World, but may it always be our greatest source of wisdom and power.
God, we trust that you are powerfully working through the events of our world to accomplish your purposes. Help us to see your mighty hand in all of these things and to praise you for your sovereignty.
And we humbly ask you to help us to turn the telescope of your Word around, so that we view the World through the lens of your Word – and not view your Word through the lens of the World.
In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.