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Iceberg Ahead

On April 15, 1912, one of the most luxurious and technologically advanced ships of its time sank. Why did it sink? The Titanic sank because they underestimated the dangers of icebergs. The portion of the iceberg you see only constitutes about 10% of its overall mass. What is hidden is much more dangerous than what is visible. 

As human beings, we often struggle with inconsistency. It's frightfully easy to slip into the practice of saying to people, "Do as I say, not as I do." In many ways, we can become a human embodiment of the iceberg principle — showing people our best 10% and hiding the rest below the surface. Sometimes we fall into this trap for all the “right” reasons. We want to be — or feel we have to be — a better example than we actually are.

Jeremiah proclaimed, “The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked; who can know it?” (Jer. 17:9). Is your religion a true religion, or a performative event in which you take part? True Christians will talk the talk and walk the walk, empowered and enabled by God. Instead of using ourselves or others as an example to be followed, we should always point people towards Jesus. Jesus and Jesus alone is the one we should seek to emulate and imitate. In Christ, there is safety from the stormiest of seas.

Jesus’ words in the Gospel of John are useful here, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments” (John 14:15). There is a tug of war that occurs in even the most converted of human hearts. Now, more than ever, faithfulness to God’s law of love and authenticity matter. 

On our own, we are incapable of living a truly transformed Christian life. It's only through a daily surrendering of self, a wholehearted submission of selfish desires and gain, that we can be truly genuine and devoted Christians. 

“If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.  Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God” (Col. 3:1–3).

Jesus promises that He will be with the true seeker, and He will help our words and actions match. He wants us to be truly transformed by Him living in us. He wants to make us new in Him — not just knowers of the "right" but livers of the truth, Jesus Christ, that has transformed our whole being.

How is this accomplished in our lives? It's accomplished through daily submission to Jesus and through reading the Bible — not just to check off a box for the day or to have an advantage over others. Read the Bible to get to know who Jesus is and what He desires to do in our lives. Pray to be like Jesus and that His ways become our ways.

“For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth, one confesses and is saved” (Rom. 10:10).

If we truly seek Jesus, the Holy Spirit will enable us to live out our faith. With Jesus in our lives and the working of the Holy Spirit we will more fully embody the true nature of Jesus. We can be authentic Christians who strive to submit our lives more fully each day to Jesus. Then our actions will display this transformation in our lives. This is to be the goal of a Christian’s life.

I appreciate Ellen White’s statement on this principle in The Acts of the Apostles: “Sanctification is not the work of a moment, an hour, a day, but of a lifetime. It is not gained by a happy flight of feeling, but is the result of constantly dying to sin, and constantly living for Christ."

God doesn't want icebergs — people who say one thing but, in private or in the secret of their home, act in a completely different way. Rather God wants mountains. 

He wants our actions to match our hearts; to truly be transformed by a relationship with Him and have our actions be a true representation of that relationship.

Stand tall and proud because what you have learned about God has changed you; what you say is what you truly believe and live. Stand like a mountain, pointing ever upward to God as the true light and leader of your life.

Featured in: May/June 2024