We often live in our notions and imaginations, which can give us wonderful hope or become the motivation of our life. However, once the reality doesn’t line up with our imaginations, that can have serious consequences for us.
I have heard such a story:
Once there was an old lady and her two sons. When the sons were small, their father went abroad to work. The father often sent money and necessaries of life to support the family. As time passed by, the two sons had forgotten what their father looked like, so the old lady often talked about their father to them. Thus, there was an imagined father in their mind. Soon after the old lady’s death, their father wrote to them that he would come back, but he didn’t tell them the time of his return. Knowing that their father would be back, the two sons were very excited and looking forward to their father’s return, for they had long known from their mother that their father had already become a rich man abroad.
One day, an ugly old man dressed in rags, was standing at the door of the elder son. He knocked at the door softly and called the son’s pet name. “Who is it?” asked the elder son. “It’s me, your father,” answered the old man. Hearing his pet name, the elder son knew it was his father coming back because no one knew his pet name except his mother and father. He was both astonished and happy; he wasn’t expecting his father back so soon. He gladly ran to open the door, but he was dumbfounded. Standing outside the door was an old man, short, ugly, and in shabby clothes. “How can he be my father? My father will come back in a limousine with his bodyguards.” So he roared angrily, “You poor beggar! How dare you profess to be my father! I won’t give you any food! Go away!” Hearing that, the old man still said calmly, “I am really your father…” But before he could finish speaking, the elder son interrupted him and shouted, “My father is not like you! He is abroad, rich, and will be back soon. Don’t you try to profess to be my father to take advantage of me? Go away quickly!” The old man wanted to say more, yet the elder son pointed at him and said, “Do you not go? If you don’t go, I’ll set my dog on you!” The old man shook his head, sighed and left disappointedly.
Then the old man came to the younger son’s house. He called his pet name as he knocked at the door. On hearing this, the younger son felt it was like his father’s voice, but he was not sure, for this old man before him differed greatly from his father in his mind. However, he invited the old man into the house and got him something to eat. Afterward, he inquired him of the details of his past. From his words, he confirmed that this old man was indeed his father. So he said, “Father, whether poor or rich, you are my father. I will look after you. Please live with us. This is your home.” Hearing these words, the old man was moved to tears.
Afterwards, the old man had ascertained that his younger son treated him genuinely. No matter how his brother gave bad advice to him, his younger son never kicked him out, but treated him better. In the end, the old man gave all his property to his younger son. After the elder son knew it was a test, he sorely regretted, kowtowing continually and apologizing to his father in bitter tears. He promised that he would mend his ways and treat him well. However, his father shook his head and said, “It’s too late!”
After reading this story, you may feel sorry for the elder son. When his father was standing at his door, he refused him and shut the door on him due to his imaginations. Eventually he was filled with bitter regret. This shows us that our notions and imaginations are too harmful. At the moment, I can’t help thinking of the time when the came to do His work. Wasn’t it because of their notions and imaginations that the chief priests, scribes, and Pharisees opposed the work of the Lord Jesus? Because God’s work was incompatible with their imaginations, that is, because they held on to the views of “impossible,” such as the Lord couldn’t possibly be called Jesus or preach outside the temple when He came, much less be born in a manger, etc., they opposed God—nailed the Lord Jesus who came to redeem mankind to the cross—and committed a heinous crime. Consequently, the entire Israel was subjected to destruction.
Today, two thousand years later, all Christians are looking forward to the return of the Lord Jesus. But they have committed the same mistake, that is, they also use their notions and imaginations to define God. Some insist that God cannot work in China and should work in Israel; others think that God cannot come in flesh and should come upon a white cloud in spiritual body; and so forth. These notions and imaginations severely hinder people from investigating God’s work, and make them shut the door on God’s salvation time and again. Jehovah God said, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8-9). And the word of God says, “Put aside your view of ‘impossible’! The more that people believe something is impossible, the more likely it is to occur, for the wisdom of God soars higher than the heavens, God’s thoughts are higher than man’s thoughts, and the work of God transcends the limits of man’s thinking and conception. The more that something is impossible, the more there is the truth to be sought; the more that something is beyond the conception and imagination of man, the more it contains the will of God” (“The Appearance of God Has Brought a New Age”).
From God’s words, we can see that God’s thoughts soar higher than the heavens. We can never fathom His thoughts, much less can we measure how He will work by our notions and imaginations. God cannot possibly do His work according to our notions, for man’s notions and imagination are Satan’s schemes. If we always live in our notions and imaginations, we will make the same mistake as the Pharisees—nailing God to the cross. Only if we put aside our notions and imaginations, seek and investigate God’s work, can we witness God’s appearance and welcome the Lord’s return. Otherwise, we will lose the chance to When You Behold the Spiritual Body of Jesus Will Be When God Has Made Anew Heaven and Earth”). . Just as God says, “The return of Jesus is a great salvation for those who are capable of accepting the truth, but for those who are unable to accept the truth it is a sign of condemnation. You should choose your own path, and should not blaspheme against the Holy Spirit and reject the truth. You should not be an ignorant and arrogant person, but someone who obeys the guidance of the Holy Spirit and longs for and seeks the truth; only in this way will you benefit” (“