By Femi Aribisala
Many years ago, I went to collect my wife from the airport and was cornered by armed robbers.
They blocked the road with their car and approached us with guns. But in the middle of the attack, I heard a disembodied voice that reassured me. It said: “Femi, nothing is going to happen to you here.”
However, immediately I heard this, “something happened.” One of the robbers shot me in the leg. While I was still trying to deal with this contradiction, the voice came back and said to me with the same confidence: “There is nothing wrong with your leg.”
But did something happen to me or did nothing happen? Was there a bullet in my leg, or was there no bullet in my leg? Was something wrong with my leg or was nothing wrong with my leg? That was my very first encounter with the Lord God Almighty; who “calls those things which do not exist as though they did.” (Romans 4:17-18).
A few weeks later, God validated his invisible reality by healing my injured leg. In effect, he brought both the attack and the bullet-wound to nothing.
What is real?
As a believer, at what level of consciousness do you operate? Do you operate at the level of your senses or at the level of your faith? Precisely what is real to you? Or should I ask: “What do you use to define reality?” The scriptures are unequivocal: “The just shall live by faith.” (Hebrews 10:38). If so, reality must be redefined by our redemption.
Since we who once were dead to God are now alive to him in Christ, we must no longer be limited by our senses. Since we have been restored into fellowship with the invisible God, the invisible needs to be open to us now.
Jesus says to Nicodemus: “Unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3). But now that, thanks to Jesus’ redemption, we are born again; then we should be able to see what God is doing. We should now be able to see clearly the invisible things of God. (Romans 1:20).
Paul says: “We do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:18).
Thereby, reality is redefined by the abiding truth of the word of God. Jesus says: “Heaven and earth will disappear, but my words remain forever.” (Matthew 24:35).
Lies of human nature
Paul says of believers: “We are the circumcision, who worship God in the Spirit, rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.” (Philippians 3:3). We have no confidence in the flesh because we know the flesh is a deceiver. It cannot be trusted. It specializes in telling lies.
That headache you are having is a lie. A simple word of God can expose it. That feeling of well-being you are having is a lie. You might actually be at death’s door without knowing it. That depression you are going through is a lie. It might simply be some demons trying to confuse you. Whose report will you believe? Only believe the report of the Lord.
Jairus rushed to Jesus so he would receive healing for his daughter. But after he had managed to get to Jesus, a word was sent to him that it was already too late. His daughter had died. But Jesus ignored that report from the pit of hell. He said to Jairus: “Do not be afraid; only believe, and she will be made well.” (Luke 8:50).
When He got to the girl, He exposed the lie of death. He said: “Do not weep; she is not dead, but sleeping.” (Luke 8:52). He then proceeded to wake her up, and she got up and had something to eat.
In effect, an experience can be absolutely “real” but absolutely false. Everything we see around us is deceptive. Everything made by the flesh is an old model. Even this world itself is an old model. (1 Corinthians 7:31). The new model is the kingdom of God.
The flesh is a student of history and not of prophecy. It knows our past, but it does not know our future. It knows what we were but does not know what we will be. But the sure word of prophecy knows our future. It tells us that when we see Jesus, we will be like Him. (1 John 3:2).
Since there is only one Jesus, that means all of us will be the same. Don’t forget that Jesus is not just the Saviour of Christians but of everybody. He is the Saviour of the world. (1 John 4:14).
Jesus equalizes everyone. “He died to sin once for all.” (Romans 6:10). Since He died for all, “then all died.” (2 Corinthians 5:14). Thereby, He makes all things new. (Revelation 21:5). Every valley shall be exalted. Every mountain and hill made low. That means the differences we see now between us and others are temporal. At some point, we will all come to the unity of the faith whereby we will all attain the full and complete standard of Christ. (Ephesians 4:13).
Therefore, can you look at people and see them the way God sees them with the eyes of faith?
In the Old Testament, God looked at the heart. Samuel assumed God had chosen Eliab, the son of Jesse, as the new king of Israel. “But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.’” (1 Samuel 16:7).
However, in the New Testament, God looks only at Christ. The question is this: “Is the person in Christ? Is he a new creation in Christ Jesus?” The answer might surprise you. Christ is in everybody. From God’s point of view, every man is now Jesus Christ. Only two people are existing in the universe: God the Father and Jesus Christ.
Every man, woman, and child is now part of the body of Christ. “There is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all.” (Colossians 3:11).
So, God sees everybody the same way. When He looks at you and me, He only sees Jesus. Today, God sees everybody in the future and not in the present or the past, after all, “the end of a thing is better than its beginning.” (Ecclesiastes 7:8).
God sees what we will become rather than what we have been or what we are. He sees that all of us will be like His son Jesus because Jesus died for everybody. Therefore, Paul counsels: “From now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer.” (2 Corinthians 5:16).
What this means is that you and I are no longer ourselves but Christ.