“I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear. But now my eye sees you.” — Job 42:5
It is obvious to anyone with open eyes that, in the Christian culture of our day, there is a great gulf between what we know and what is real in our lives. A lack of power and authenticity exists in our churches that has awakened the ire and criticism of our generation and called into question the claims of the Bible and of Jesus Christ.
Why? I believe the answer is found in the life of Job and of others found in the pages of Scripture. Much of Job’s life was lived in the power of information. He had obviously been taught all the right things. He had heard about God and lived in the information he had received.
Job had answers for the questions of others. He was constantly acting on behalf of his own family. He was living close to all that had been told to him. He knew about God; but something was missing.
When ruined by trials and racked by pain, Job sought the consolation of his friends. In the middle of the mess, Job began to realize that maybe information was not enough. He was receiving all kinds of counsel from his three friends but it seemed hollow and ineffective in meeting the real needs in his life.
After much frustration and pain, Job came to the realization that there was more to real life than what he had experienced. Job didn’t need information, he needed transformation! He had heard of God with his ear, but he needed to see God with his eye.
We live in a day when the church has come to believe that if we just explain everything to the satisfaction of the individual, if we give someone all the information so that they can make an intelligent choice, the Heaven will be certain, problems will be solved, and Christianity will be guaranteed. Baloney!
Unless God’s power transforms the repentant heart through the new birth, there is no hope! Unless Jesus Christ indwells a person’s life, by faith, all questions and all trials will go unanswered. There must be transformation in us before there can be life in us.
This transformation is best described in Ephesians 2:
“And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins…but God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which he loved us…and raised us up together and made us to sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus…for by grace are you saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast…” (vs. 1, 4, 8, 9)
Information is good, and we are commissioned to tell, but it is not information that makes anyone a Christian. Only the transforming power of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ can do that.
I fear that there are multitudes in our churches who have been duped into a life of information. They know all the answers. They know all the Bible stories, but their lives have never been supernaturally changed. It is time for those who call themselves Christians to take stock in what kind of life they are living. Are we living a life characterized by information or transformation?
Is what we know demonstrated by the way we live? If you were arrested for being a Christian, would they have enough evidence to convict you? Have you been transformed by the power of God? Can you say with Job, “I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear. But now my eye sees you.”