November 5, 2017, a day that shook us to our core, both individually and nationally. A gunman invaded the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, TX, killing 26 people. Although out of town that Sunday, the pastor, Frank Pomeroy, gave a sermon the week before that gained wide coverage, “You Don’t Need Training Wheels, You Need Christ!” He taught on Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” His Harley parked in front of the pulpit, Pomeroy told how bikers need to lean into corners to stay upright. Beginning riders fight the lean, thinking they need to save the bike from falling, but we need to lean on the unseen forces God placed here.
The concept of unseen forces operating in our seen world intrigued me, particularly as a fellow rider. So, some Pomeroy and biker tips on finding a straight path to God and heaven.
First, accept the intersection of seen and unseen forces. For bikers, the seen includes the type of road surface, the tightness of the curve, the bank of the road, wind, the type of bike, its speed, the driver’s experience. Unseen forces involve gravity, centrifugal force, and momentum. We arrive safe when we balance all of them. We lean properly, based on all. When following Jesus, we easily recognize the seen forces—our physical needs, food, drink, housing, even our flesh that desires more of good things than is good.
But sometimes the unseen world seems unreal to us. In Daniel 10, urgent political conditions that troubled Daniel forced him into intense prayer. But, nothing happened. For three weeks. Then an angel appeared,
Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them. But the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, because I was detained there with the king of Persia. Now I have come to explain to you what will happen to your people in the future (Daniel 10:12-14).
The messenger, an angel. Michael, an angel. The prince of Persia, a demon. All typically unseen. All fighting. All impacting the seen world. An unseen world we often never consider, one that here delayed the arrival of the angel. To more effectively follow Jesus and balance the seen and unseen, pay attention to it. Think about the spiritual implications and impact of all you do or consider.
Second, lean on God’s wisdom, just as a wise biker leans. But don’t ride like a beginner who fights the lean. As our Creator who loves us, he best knows how to straighten our lives out. Jesus wants us to have a good life, ‘My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life” (John 10:10, NLT). So, trust God, even when it doesn’t make sense to you.
Kick Starting the Application
On a scale of 1-10, how often do you consider the unseen spiritual world? Then, how often do you consider God’s spiritual world? Next, Satan’s unseen world? How do you think your score has influenced your closeness to God and the strength of your faith? Can you think of a time when the dark unseen world was clear to you? How did you react? Did it continue to impact you? How can you better balance the seen and unseen worlds?
PS This link has a clip of the entire message http://heavy.com/news/2017/11/frank-pomeroy-sutherland-springs-first-baptist-pastor/