Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Power and Wisdom

Some books can be borrowed from the library. Some books can be borrowed until you realize that you must own them because you are going to write in them or underline the words that shout at you from the page. And some chapters in those books are so full of wisdom that is completely obvious, consistenly overlooked, and so necessary to learn that you might as well highlight the entire thing and commit it to memory.

In 1 Corinthians 1:24, Paul refers to Jesus as the power and wisdom of God. To that end, Andrew Murray writes this:

"......always remember: He knows, all is perfectly clear to Him, and He is your wisdom. Just as much as you need to know, and are capable of understanding, will be communicated, if you only trust Him."

He continues:

"Study as much as you can to know the written word; but study even more to know the living Word, in whom you are of God. Jesus, the wisdom of God, is only known by a life of implicit confidence and obedience. The words He speaks are spirit and life to those who live in Him. Therefore, each time you read, or hear, or mediate upon the word, be careful to assume your true position. Realize first your oneness with Him who is the wisdom of God; KNOW YOURSELF TO BE UNDER HIS DIRECT AND SPECIAL TRAINING; go the Word abiding in Him, the very fountain of divine light. In His light you can and will see light." (emphasis mine)

And finally:

"All that you can wish to know is perfectly clear to Him. As Man, our Mediator, He has access to the counsels of Deity, to the secrets of Providence, in your interest and on your behalf. If you will but trust Him fully, and abide in Him entirely, you can be confident of unerring guidance."

So let me break this down.

First, Jesus knows it all. From beginning to end, start to finish, first breath to last step. And the truth is He tells us what we NEED to know. Not everything we want to know, but what is important or crucial. Sometimes things are withheld because we either (a) might freak out and run the other way or (b) lose the benefit of having our faith built because we went in knowing too much. Sometimes we just need to be blown away to get it. And if you think you need more information, just check out what happened after the spies were sent to the Promised Land to check it out the first time. #DesertLife

Second, when we are spoken to through the word for correction, edification, encouragement, or anything else, we must start accepting two things. One - that this is the wisdom of God, through abiding in Jesus, speaking spirit and life to those who are in Christ and are confident in who He is and are obedient to His leading. And two, we are under His direct and special training. He is taking the time to teach us something because we need to know it. We need to pay attention. He isn't giving suggestions, He's giving assignments.

Third, He is still working in our best interest and on our behalf. Sometimes I wonder if we think that when we find out He sat down at the right hand of God that we believe He stopped working altogether and went into retirement. Because no, He didn't. He is living and active in our lives through the Word that we read and His Spirit that was sent to us. He is working full time, no vacations, no PTO, no sick days, no nap time.

When I read Andrew Murray's words this morning, my heart was crying out and asking why this is so unbelievably hard for me to get and wondering if it is just as hard for others? But rather than dwelling on falling short, what if we are being awakened to the reality of our desperate need for God to renew our minds? What if this is the alarm going off to pull us out of sleep that says we must deliberately and intentionally set our mind on things above where our life is now hidden in Christ? What if this is the lifeline pulling us into a new way of thinking that brings the peace that surpasses all understanding focused on the beauty of Christ and what God in His steadfast love has done for us?

For as many times as I've heard or read about the concept of abiding in Christ, I only knew it was something I was supposed to do. How to do it? Not so much. But as I am starting to scratch the surface of what this means, it is already pulling me deeper into a desire to understand it as best as I can, to whatever degree of understanding Jesus means for me to have. And not because I see how it's going to make my life better, but because the love that this is revealing is so enticing, so captivating, I don't want to go another moment without it.

I pray that wherever you are, in whatever circumstances you find yourself today, that you realize you aren't alone. He is with you, calling you to come and rest in His arms. And that's not a rest of inactivity, unless He calls you to stop; but a rest of trust that He is on your side, revealing what you need to know when you need know it. And maybe, if we can learn to abide in Him as fully as He desires, we will not only be able to say that He is good all the time, but we will understand what His goodness looks and feels like in every situation.

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