I have a friend who designs bulldozers for a living. A few years back, when his company began the process of building a new one from scratch, they bought their competitors best-selling machine and tore it apart. The goal was to understand the function of every piece and then build a better machine.
“Reverse engineering” is the term for this. Start with the finished product and then work backwards to understand how each part works.
God does this for us as well. Here’s His picture of the “finished product”:
9 After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, 10 and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”
This is a picture of where God is taking our world. A gathering from the every culture which is centred around Jesus, the Lamb, who died and rose again for his people.
I’ve been reading and rereading this and a few other passages in Revelation recently as we seek to gather a new community centred around Jesus in West London. I need this because my understanding is so limited. There is no way I can predict what will happen 5, 10 or 20 years from now. But I can know the future because God has given us a picture to help our understanding.
Spiritual reverse engineering brings hope in the present. God is at work in ways that are far beyond my understanding. Looking at the “finished product” encourages my heart and pushes me forward right now.
Struggling in your current situation? Maybe it’s time for a little reverse engineering.