The other day my garage door wouldn’t go up all the way. I know some of you who know me would say that my garage door doesn’t fully function normally anyway but that’s different and we can talk about that at another time. The point is, I would press the little button on the opener and it would start going up but then stop and slowly slide back down. Again, if any of you know me, you also know that I am not mechanically inclined in any way, shape or form. Therefore, I needed to find someone who could help me. I thought about asking my dad, a neighbor, or even a handyman I use for some other fixes around the house but none of them I thought could get directly to the issue as quickly as I needed it done.
So what did I do? I pulled out the good ole’ phone book and as fast as my speedy little fingers could fling the pages I turned to the heading “Garage Doors” and quickly found an expert in garage door repairs. Sure enough after scheduling the appointment with the garage door expert, he diagnosed the problem from a brief description and came out the next day with the needed parts and got my garage door working again.
Now what I walked away with (besides a pricey bill) was a timely, pleasant experience and solution to a challenge I had faced. I learned that it makes sense to ask an expert when facing a problem.
Why is it though that we don’t approach all our difficulties this way? Many of us are bound and determined to find our own solutions to the problems that life throws our way. I agree that sometimes this can be fun and even somewhat rewarding to say that we discovered for ourselves the way of doing something or of solving our own dilemma. However, when it comes to our spiritual lives, this doesn’t work so well.
You see, our spiritual lives are interwoven with our emotional, mental and even physical lives. There are complicated implications and delicate balances that can be easily upset with our own tampering of relationships, opinions and judgments that as a friend of mine would say that we soon end up with our knickers in a twist. When we take matters into our own hands, we can soon experience the pain of frustration, hours of tension or even the perils of conflict and confusion.
Some of the smarter ones of us will attempt to avoid these pitfalls (usually after landing in the pit a few times ourselves at first) by running to some spiritual counselors who we may consider subject matter experts such as our local priest, pastor or an individual who we know who prays. This may help us out for a while and even get us a solution to our difficulties in the short term..
However, if the so called expert did not address our need properly how do we know whether or not we have a guarantee that the issue has been fully resolved? Usually the work of the expert can be relied upon to such an extent that even the expert knows it and is willing to offer an incentive that we would choose the expert over any other solution. In our modern society we call this the money back guarantee.
A guarantee is an assurance that there will be a specific outcome, a promise of quality or to be responsible for another person. If we are looking for this guarantee from an expert and if indeed we want the advice and solution directly from an expert, then we better also know what constitutes an expert. According to the dictionary an expert is defined as somebody with a great deal of knowledge about or skill, training or experience in a particular field or activity.
Now, in matters of our spiritual life, there is truly only one expert! Sure he has many representatives and workers who’s sole responsibility is to get others to make appointments with Him, yet the fact remains there is only one true expert and here are a few of his advertisements:
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men.” John 1:1-4 KJV
“And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” John 1:14 KJV
“No man hath seen God at any time, the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.” John 1:18 KJV
“He that cometh from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: he that cometh from heaven is above all.” John 3:31 KJV
“And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape.” John 5:37 KJV
“For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.” John 6:33 KJV
“For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.” John 6:38 KJV
“Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God, he hath seen the Father.” John 6:46 KJV
“Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? He that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father?” John 14:9 KJV
“For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;” 1 John 1:2 KJV
“And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.” 1 John 4:14 KJV
“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” Acts 4:12 KJV
If Jesus truly is the expert of the spirit, then wouldn’t we be wise to find out what He had to say about things? I believe that’s the only way we can claim the guarantee:
“Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.” Mark 9:23 KJV
“He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.” Mark 16:16 KJV
“That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.” John 3:15 KJV
“He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” John 3:36 KJV
Oh well don’t take it from me, take it from the expert. I just hope in all your contemplation of this material that your garage door goes all the way up!