“Many people are only eighteen inches away from salvation. That’s how far it is between our head and our heart.” ~Pastor Randy Schussman
There is a word to describe the bridge between the head and heart. It’s a word containing two elements. One might think the word is “believe.”
After all, we read in scripture, “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved.” (Acts 16:31)
But — there is more to the believing than intellectual agreement.
If you are sitting in a dark cave, you might believe there is a sun in the sky. But believing won’t enable you to see its light nor enjoy its warmth.
Many people believe there is a God. Many people believe . . . even demons believe. (James 2:19) But the believing with your intellect isn’t enough to save you.
In His sermon on the mount found in chapter five of Matthew’s gospel, Jesus lays out the road to salvation. The path begins with “Blessed (happy and fulfilled in God) are the poor in spirit, for the kingdom of heaven is theirs.” (Matthew 5:3)
The opening of the way of salvation is knowing our spirits are impoverished.
When we know we are thirsty, we will seek water.
Jesus continues marking the road to heaven:
He tells us, after we know our spirits thirst, we mourn. Mourning the sin that darkens our hearts makes us seek comfort from the only One who can clean us up. He comforts us in our mourning. (Matthew 5:4) Humility follows as we realize how desperate we are, and how wonderful He is in providing a way for us to be free. This humility of heart grants us adoption, and then our inheritance as children of God. We “inherit the earth” which belongs to our Father. (Matthew 5:5)
Following humility, the heart finds a new hunger and thirst — we have a desire for righteousness, and with it comes a promise of filling. (Matthew 5:6) Upon being filled with His righteousness, we are able to abundantly give and receive mercy; the circle of love marks our lives as new creations in Christ. (Matthew 5:7)
Jesus continues (Matthew 5:8) “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” Poverty of spirit, mourning of sin, and humility have cleared the clutter from our hearts. When our hearts are clean, they can be filled with goodness and mercy. Now, our heart can truly see.
I told you earlier this week about seeing no good on Day 2 in Genesis. I saw something else I’d never seen before. I’m going to paste it here for you to read.
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.
And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day. Genesis 1:1-5
And God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years, and let them be lights in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth.” And it was so. God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. God set them in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth, to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the fourth day. Genesis 1:14-19
Light came the first day.
The sun, moon, and stars didn’t come until day four.
What was the light on the first day?
I could only conclude it was the very presence of God — moving — He said (spoke) and the Word (Jesus, light of the world) appeared simultaneously as the Spirit hovered over the dark waters.
I remember reading that the ancient Hebrews believed Sheol was beneath the waters of the earth. As if the original darkness was still below the waters.
God leaves us with a mystery regarding the dark waters and the Light on day one. As with every mystery He leaves, faith is required to wait for revelation.
I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to find out!
Speaking of Revelation . . . Where Genesis begins with God coming, bringing Light; Revelation ends with no need for the sun, moon, or stars, because He is the Light of eternity.
There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever. Revelation 22:5
The Alpha and the Omega, the Light that came into the world at Genesis, at Christmas, and will come again on the Last Day, is Jesus Himself: Jesus, The Word of God, the Light of the World.
You see . . . on this twelfth day of Christmas, this Epiphany — the Light that came into the darkness to save people from their sins — He can only be your Savior if you first see your need for Him. Walking the road He marked out; taking the steps of acknowledging your spiritual need, confessing your sin, humbling yourself in surrender, then you can be truly saved — only then can you truly see. Only then will your belief save you.
The eighteen-inch word that is the bridge between the head and heart is surrender.
The two necessary components of surrender are trust and obedience —
Trust goes beyond belief; trust is an element of relationship.
Obedience is the action taken in response to trust; it is the evidence of a humble, pure heart.
Trust and obedience enable you to emerge from the dark cave in response to your belief that there is a sun in the sky to light your world and warm your heart.
Jesus came first, then the sun. If we truly see, we will see the sun is a message for us. The Bright Morning Star of Revelation 22:16 — the Light of the new heavens and the new earth — will obliterate our need for that great ball of fire, that morning star that rises on our days. We will no longer need the solar-system-sun that guides our daily rising and resting on earth.
Is the day breaking in your soul?
What the sun is to us in our human lives, Jesus is, and so much more, to our spiritual lives.
What similarities do you see between the sun and the Son?