Stop reading and consider the optical illusion to the right.
Back? Good! What do you see? Some people see a saxophone player, while others see a woman’s face. One of the interesting things about these optical illusions is that once you know what the two options are, you can usually find both of them. Are you able to see the one you didn’t see at first?
This is true about lots of things. If you know what to look for, you can usually find it. As we kick off our All-Church Book Study, one of the fundamental assumptions we make is that God is up to something. Once you understand that He’s up to something, it’s easier to spot what He’s actually doing.
Paul the everyday missionary understood this:
So Paul, standing in the midst of the Areopagus, said: “Men of Athens, I perceive that in every way you are very religious. For as I passed along and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription, ‘To the unknown god.’ What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. Acts 17:22-23
As Paul walked through this large space filled with altars and religious icons, he knew God was at work. He saw evidence of God drawing people to Himself as the people searched for Him through the various forms of worship.
Knowing this, Paul joined with what Jesus was already doing in the midst of the people in the Aeropagus that day. He used the altar to the unknown god as a way to talk about the God he knew—the one that loved the people there that day. Jesus is working right now all around you, so let’s start really looking to see what He’s up to and join with Him!