The officers showed up with their cruisers, their gear, and even a police dog. It was “Wisdom & Safety Night,” a special event Pastor John hosted on March 9th for area youth. Officers from the Clinton Police Department gave demonstrations of procedures and instructions for safety. One of the pieces of equipment they brought was the “beer goggles.” A person who puts on the goggles walks as though he or she were drunk. This eyewear so distorts one’s vision that the wearer begins to stagger and sway when he tries to walk. By shaping the way he perceives what’s around him, the goggles actually affect the way he moves.
“Shaping the way he perceives what’s around him.” Many influences, beside a set of goggles, also do this very thing. Movies, books, teachers, celebrities, news media, social media, casual conversation … all these and more try to shape how you perceive your world. And, like the goggles, if they are successful in shaping your perception, they will affect the way you “move” in your world—the values you hold, the choices you make, the way you think.
There is danger here. If you put on the “beer goggles” you may fall down or run into a stationary object because your perception has been so distorted. Sometimes how we see things collides with how things really are. No matter how things look to you and no matter how you want them to be, how they really are always wins. Reality always wins in every aspect of life. You may ignore the fuel gauge in your car, but if there is no gas in the tank your car will not run. You may deny the medical diagnosis of diabetes, but you will nevertheless suffer the effects of fluctuating blood sugar levels. You may be convinced you know the day of Jesus’ return, but the reality is that only God the Father knows that date. Reality always wins.
Coming to terms with reality, then, is absolutely vital. Its importance cannot be overestimated. Life hangs in the balance. Even eternity is at stake.
God reveals reality in the Bible. Let me say that again: God reveals reality in the Bible. The questions are, (1) Do we believe that? And (2) Will we let the Bible, God’s Word, shape the way we perceive our world?
As your pastor, it is my sacred responsibility to proclaim what God has revealed. The highest aspect of my calling is to preach the Word, and to preach the Word with a view to helping us see life as God sees it. To urge us to make His view ours. That is what I want to do, indeed, what I must do when I preach. It is both my duty and my privilege to point out the connection between God’s Word and our world … the inner world of our thoughts and values, and the outer world of our decisions, relationships, and circumstances. The clearer that connection is, the more obvious the link between what we are presently experiencing and the sermon passage for that Sunday, the more excited I am to preach! Through His Word, God instructs us, corrects us, comforts us, encourages and leads us.
God’s Word prepares us for life and eternity. It tells us the truth, guiding us into what is really real about things seen and unseen, things temporal and eternal. It exposes the falsity of other influences and redirects us from their dark paths into the light of God’s way. It helps us take off the “beer goggles.”
God’s Word is life. It is my responsibility and my joy to proclaim it.