Knowing God is a never-ending quest, a continuous feast, and an ever-unfolding revelation. Keep seeking Him!
3 A person who loves wisdom brings joy to his/her father…
I’ve been reading and listening to a lot of church history lately. It’s something that I was never taught, so I am learning it now. The more I learn about His-story, the more I realize that I tend to interpret things through the lenses of my own bias. Also, I have found that I am not alone in this tendency,
“The stubborn fact is that whatever we say about God or for God with great certitude is sifted through
the thick veils of our religious traditions, cultural assumptions and personal interpretations.”*
In the words of Yoda (applied to myself), “You must unlearn what you have learned.” The idea is to take a step back from how I look at Scripture and history to take in a new perspective. Notice that I didn’t say that I step back from what I know; I know a lot of Scriptures, but when it comes to interpreting them, there’s a lot about the culture in which they were written of which I am unaware (ignorant may be a better term). The one thing I do not want to do is create an image of God that is untrue, but we all do it because we all have a partial image of God and project that image as all He is. Christ’s intention is to get us all together so that we can have a full and complete image of Him in each other: “as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in Christ, which are in heaven and on earth” (Ephesians 1:10 MEV).
“My point here is that those of us who claim to believe in ‘the God of the Bible’
must become more aware of how we read the text through thick lenses of our
own unconscious biases. From these distorting filters we are prone to construct
idols of God in our own image.”*
But, reading Scripture was never meant to be done alone. The Holy Spirit is present every time we read; are we listening? We “need Him to reveal Himself in a way that can be known.”* The further we step back, the more of the entire picture we can see. In fact, one day we will step back into eternity and we will see the WHOLE picture!
So, now when I read my Bible, I read it holding what I think I know loosely and allowing the Spirit to guide my thoughts. Another thing I do is listen to different Bible scholars, especially those with differing views than mine (within Christianity). Then, I weigh what they say against what I know and what the Scriptures say even as I pray for wisdom and insight, understanding and discernment. It’s funny how the verse that comes to mind is, “God has not given me a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7). My goal is to become more like Christ, more like my heavenly Father. The way to do that is to find out as much as I can about Him even as I walk with Him daily.
Let’s determine “to know Christ in the power of His resurrection, share with Him in His sufferings, and then somehow attain to the resurrection of the dead” (Philippians 3:10).
Abba, I have walked with You for 55 years and I just now feel like I’m learning who You are. Is it like that for everyone? If so, then older truly is wiser. Keep revealing Yourself to me as we walk together. Amen.
*A More Christlike God, pg. 4-5