Traveling across the back roads of South Carolina on a recent trip, the missive on the church sign caught my attention. It read: The devil doesn’t have any new tricks, only new faces. I skipped the chuckle and laughed out loud. Sign ministry compels me to reflect and pay attention. Wisdom is not lost when you’re not expecting it. It enters and wakens you to truth.
If I were a non-believer, Biblical history would all seem an improbable story. Consider—parting seas, horns and tumbling walls, pillars of salt, water into wine, and raising the dead—each beyond rational explanation though Mr. Scientist attempts the challenge. If science could prove just one, the totality of all the miracles the Bible describes would still overwhelm the reasoning mind. It can’t be all true, can it?
But I am a believer. I didn’t arrive at belief by reason and logic. No one showed me proof. My own ambition attempted to subjugate and bury God beneath my will. The devil enjoyed my new face. But God has a way and here I am living in the peace beyond understanding. His Kingdom came.
And this is the point. We do not enter God’s kingdom. We are entered into it by the onrush of the Holy Spirit—God’s sign ministry. Truth, by its nature, compels us to accept it and the Holy Spirit opens us to truth. Once opened, all contenders are rejected. Living in eternity begins the day the Holy Spirit ushers in the truth of God.
And now, all those improbable stories make sense. Attempting to prove them may be the devil’s trick but understanding the truth in them is the Holy Spirit working in my life. Before, the stories were fantastical improbabilities, but the Holy Spirit allows the truth woven into them to enter my consciousness like the sign along the road.
There is more. In the improbability world, the world where we make God in our image, the world where He must attend to us as we demand, the contenders—Pantheism, Naturalism, Spiritualism, Culturalism, Fashionism, those creeping “ism’s”—hold sway. And if we are so determined, mustn’t God, who loves much, enter in? Mustn’t God, by His means, come to us by way of letting us know our cheapest imitations are false. Would He be God otherwise?
When the Holy Spirit reveals truth to us, an overriding gospel settles into our soul. It is simply this: God provides. And we learn in His kingdom, His provision is enough. No longer must we search and strive amid all the contenders or be fooled by the devil’s tricks. The Kingdom has come. Now, we must live in it and rest in the knowledge no matter what life delivers, God has our salvation in hand. Like some diet, we may try and fail, try and fail again, but God is there reminding us, like my country sign, He likes new faces, too.
“Those who have ears to hear, let them hear” (Matthew 11:15, NKJV).