We have a place to be but it is on the opposite side of the city. The thought is voiced that the most direct path to our destination is straight through the city business route. Nay comes the retort, the By-pass is far safer and actually in the end much quicker because we won’t have to fight all those stop and go lights or battle all the annoyances of heavy traffic and potential dangers of the city. The city is full of very unsettling things and fraught with meanness, of rude and thoughtless people who could harm you or worse. So to appease your passenger you take the By-pass. That persuasive passenger some would would call Common Sense. Some might apply the nomenclature of Fear and yet some might say ‘O ye of little faith. It is worthy of note that the inner city congestion is your own Soul and its fleshly issues, the Destination Heaven and the By-pass is taking the easy way out and wondering why Jesus never knew you. So the journey is quickened by taking the By-pass but the destination is different. The road to the supreme calling of God is an adventure, fraught with danger and bristling with excitement. It is trod by spiritual explorers who are clad with courage and perseverance.
God never reveals all that he is, but leaves only clues. Those who desire him are not summoned to his throne, but rather are given a map. If their blood runs hot for permanent wealth they will delight at this challenge, and embark on a hunt for spiritual treasure. The pursuit of this quest will develop their resourcefulness, test their mettle, and prove their resolve. There is a path which no fowl knoweth, and which the vulture’s eye hath not seen. God’s passion for intrigue is astounding. He has hidden his spiritual truths behind a multitude of cunning deceptions. These he made traps for the unwary, but victories for the vigilant. The obstacles increase the stakes and heighten the challenge. It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honor of kings is to search out a matter.
Oh the thrill you feel when you’ve trekked for a time, and suddenly he reveals a secret door. You pry it open and squeeze through, and there by the flickering torch, your eyes gaze on a lost room of spiritual gold. This is the verve of those who will come to find God. For he lurks in secret and hides himself. He must be sought out by those who are disciplined, fearless, and brash- these are the raiders of heaven. The kingdom of heaven has endured violent assault, and violent men seize it by force as a precious prize. A share in the heavenly kingdom is sought for with most ardent zeal and intense exertion. God is a mystery, waiting to be solved. His discovery is a challenge to the spirit that beckons the brave and mocks the feeble. Strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leads unto life, and few there be that find it. Any who would learn his secrets must make it their passion to find him. Like prospectors of the celestial realm, they must seek him and ceaselessly strive for their objective. It was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.
This search is like no other. For it requires the perseverance of an archeologist, the vision of an astronomer, the power of a warrior, the intuition of a detective, and the love of a gardener. Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. Those who pursue God are a breed apart, the quick and the bold, who electrify at the thought of finding his secrets. For he that comes to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. They thrill to the work. They are captivated by the search for spiritual glory, having been fitted with an insatiable need. Like military protocol, God is available only on a need to know basis. Only those who desperately need to know him, will ever find him. The works of the LORD are great, sought out of all them that have pleasure therein. The deep things (inner city) of God are invisible to natural men( taking the pass). They can see what he does and hear all about him, but they will never know him personally. Then I beheld all the work of God, that a man cannot find out the work that is done under the sun: because though a man labor to seek it out, yet he shall not find it. God cannot be found by the natural man. He can only be found by spirit beings. The natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. If you pursue God by human liturgy, or in conjunction with the desires of mortals, he will remain veiled to your eyes. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
God is a spirit. He dwells in a dimension where human desires and limitations do not exist. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. You also are a spirit being. But you are now dwelling in a physical body and subjected to carnality. If you aspire to find the high secrets of God you must remove these impediments that hinder your access. You must terminate your carnal nature, destroying its addictions and blindness. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. Then you must begin to search for God in a land that lies beyond human limitations. This new realm is a spiritual place where God is absolutely sovereign over every detail in existence. By the spirit, you must be willing to war against your own disbelief, and to strive to understand the strange new truths that you see. This can be very difficult. For the truth of God is far stranger than you can now suppose. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
As you set out in search of your Heavenly Father, you will require some tools for your journey. Without the proper equipment you can never succeed. This necessitates a stop at the exploration office of Jesus Christ. When you meet Jesus Christ you will be given a map and a compass. All truth is in Jesus, embodied and personified in Him. The map shows the path that Jesus walked, and the compass is the Spirit of Truth. Jesus revealed the way to the treasures of God. If you want them, you need only follow his steps. Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes unto the Father, but by me. Like a compass, the Holy Spirit is your guide on this trek. He will call every turn and carefully lead you into the secrets of God. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth. He will also be your constant traveling companion, and describe your final destination so that you will know what you are looking for. Where there is no vision, the people perish. These are the tools of spiritual discovery and victory. With these you can find and acquire the celestial treasures of God. God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.
As you begin your trek the Holy Spirit will guide you wittingly around the pitfalls, and out of the Adamic danger zone. First he will lead you out from sin, revealing the folly of its pursuit. Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Turn ye now from your evil ways, and from your evil doings. Then he will guide you past the waiting snares of earthly glitter. Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. Soon you will emerge from the dark polluted city of Adamic bondage, into a beautiful countryside, a virgin landscape of rolling green. Cool and fresh the air will be, a colleague to the bright sunlight that warms you. As you leave the ramparts of carnality behind, the Holy Spirit will begin to expound on the deeper mysteries of God. The Bible will give up its secrets and explode with new life. There, apart from the crowds, as you walk alone with these friends, you will hear the unspeakable words of God himself. And in that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity, and out of darkness.
As you survey your surroundings, you won’t see many people. Because at this time, God is not dealing with the masses. The men that were with me saw not the vision; but a great quaking fell upon them, so that they fled to hide themselves. Then you will find you have entered a new spiritual land, called the ekklesia . Ekklesia is the Greek word that was translated “church.” But it really means, “the called out, or called forth.” And now even though you have tred the dangers of the Inner City you find yourself through it unscathed and refreshed even though you chose not the By-pass.