Derek, August 29 2018

Missing the mystery

A life absent of mystery is a life lacking faith.

A life without lack of understanding is a life void of wonder.

Faith and wonder are two of the primary keys to a lifestyle of devotional proximity with God.

In other words, walking and talking daily with God is impossible without faith and wonder in great measure — the evidence of which is your ability to answer questions such as:

It’s easy to get caught up in the explanation of it all. We feel a self-conscious desire to always be able to provide a well-reasoned answer for our actions. A defensive spirit rises up within us whenever we may appear to be foolish or off-track to others.

But, the truth is, if you can explain everything related to God and your walk with Him, your view of God is much too small.

Either He is able to be understood, quantified and completely defined, or we were meant to walk in a place of wonder and mystery with Him.

The religious spirit poses as a great understander, proud of their ability to define and describe the characteristics and workings of the infinite God. The humble bond servant, on the other hand, dares not tread on that ground. Boastful not in their own knowledge, they find simple confidence in a faith full of wonder, held near by a God who loves them in their frail and broken-down state.

From Paul, the bondservant we know so well:

And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching werenot with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. 1 Cor. 2:1–5 NKJV

And then another version from Peter and John in Acts 3, after the lame man was healed by the Beautiful Gate:

Now as the lame man who was healed held on to Peter and John, all the people ran together to them in the porch which is called Solomon’s, greatly amazed. [filled with a wonder that can only come from a lack of understanding]
So when Peter saw it, he responded to the people: “Men of Israel, why do you marvel at this? Or why look so intently at us, as though by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk? The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of our fathers, glorified His Servant Jesus, whom you delivered up and denied in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let Him go.
And His name, through faith in His name, has made this man strong, whom you see and know. Yes, the faith which comes through Him has given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all. Acts 3:11–16 NKJV

Our Response

One of the hardest things to do in our faith is to say, “even though my experiences don’t line up to it yet…

AND I don’t fully understand it…

AND I can’t yet see how it all fits together…

I still believe.

This is the challenge facing us today. In a world where reason and sound logic dominate. Are you willing to look foolish as you walk with Him in wonder?

Are you satisfied in His gentle whisper for your approval, rather than the applause of man as they praise your intellect and strategies?

How desperately do you need to hear the crowd say, “Oh what persuasive words. And such excellent speech. He leaves us without questions as he clearly lays out the step by step path we should follow.”

Will you wait in a place of wonder and mystery with Him? Lingering just a few moments longer, not wanting the moment to end. Your beating heart stilled as you rest your head against His chest. It’s in this place that unanswered questions become a wonderful delight. A game to be played with just the two of you. One hiding, the other seeking, another revealing. Such joy is to be found when I can let go of my demands to understand simply to be nearer to Him.

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