It was the evening of the Last Supper. Jesus had just told his disciples that they knew where he was going. Thomas immediately responded.
“No, we don’t know, Lord,” Thomas said. “We have no idea where you are going, so how can we know the way” (John 14:5, NLT).
Thomas, the disciple who would soon doubt the risen Lord, didn’t understand the spiritual standing right before him.
“If you had really known me,” Jesus said, “you would know who my Father is. From now on, you do know him and have seen him” (John 14:6, NLT).
Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied” (John 14:8, NLT!
Just like Thomas, Philip is blind to what is right before him.
Jesus replied, “Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and yet you still don’t know who I am? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father! So why are you asking me to show him to you” (John 14:9, NLT)?
Philip could only be satisfied with physical proof. Had the years with Jesus not been enough evidence? If Peter could not relate to Jesus spiritually, there was no proof that could convince Peter that he had seen the Father.
Are we like that? Do we need physical proof to believe God is with us? We stumble in the physical realm needing proof that we see or hear the Father. And Jesus is right before us in the spiritual—just waiting for us to relate to Him spirit-to-spirit. When you need proof God is with you, no evidence or feeling of His presence will ever be enough. Needing to see or hear something from God can hinder you from having an intimate spiritual relationship with Him.
Without faith, you can’t please God. God wants you to believe He is with you by faith—without needing proof or a feeling to believe He is with you. Emotional and physical manifestations of God’s presence make you feel good for a while, but, if not careful, you will get to the point where you need more feelings as proof.
Many believers ask for physical signs as proof from God. The problem with fleeces is you become dependent on them instead of walking by faith in God’s truth. God wants you to operate in faith instead of needing feelings to sustain you. Feelings won’t carry you for long. They will ultimately destroy your chance of spiritual growth.
Like Philip, do you say “show me the Father, Jesus, and I will be satisfied?” If Jesus doesn’t satisfy you, then you will always need physical proof—something you can see, hear, taste, smell, or touch to believe He is with you.
“Put your finger here,” Jesus told doubting Thomas, “and look at my hands. Put your hand into the wound in my side. Don’t be faithless any longer. Believe” (John 20:27, NLT)! Ok, Thomas, here’s your physical proof. Touch me and feel where I died for you.
“My Lord and my God!” Thomas exclaimed (John 20:28, NLT)/
Then Jesus told Thomas, “You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me” (John 20:19, NLT).
The greatest blessing you can receive from Jesus comes when you need no physical evidence He is with you. Manifestations of the Spirit are wonderful to experience, but you don’t need them as proof when you are connected to Him spirit-to-spirit! Feelings never last. Physical things die. But the spiritual needs no proof. It lasts forever.
©2020 Lynn Lacher