Monday, March 23, 2009

Limitations

As I was reading through the text for this coming Sunday's sermon, John 8:12-30, my heart was grabbed by John 8:15, "You judge by human standards...." The context of this statement is Jesus' response to the religious leaders who were questioning His authority to be His own witness.

Jesus' statement truly stuck me, for there is the deep realization of just how inadequate I am to truly understand God and His workings. As the LORD stated is Isaiah 55:8, "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, and neither our your ways My ways." I have often thought of those words in relation to the reality that God's ways are different than mine, but there is a deeper truth. The truth is that I cannot fathom, understand, categorize or judge the ways of the LORD. It is beyond my ability to understand.

Now, I could feel very defeated by this, or I could cloister myself away in a closet believing that since I cannot know, why try. But my inability to judge at God's level does not mean I should not try, rather it means I need to keep things in proper perspective. It means that I can rest in the knowledge that there are some things I will not, and cannot, understand. It brings me once again to the place of trust and faith in the God who IS and who is bigger than I in all aspects. Security comes from learning to trust in a Father who loves me, completely, and who is more than able to see me through to the Day. (1 Corinthians 1:8-9; Jude 1:24-25)

As the Apostle Paul wrote, "But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong." (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)

AMEN to limitations!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey Pastor,

I wouldn’t give up on the possibility of man on earth ever learning God’s Ways in heaven, which Isaiah 55:8 indicates are not man’s natural ways. I think God, in fact, wants his own thoughts to become man’s own thoughts: for His will to be done on earth as it is in heaven. God’s ways may be “past finding out” through human reasoning, however, as you know, God gave us his Son to teach us his Father’s ways.

You may recall Jesus saying, “The words that that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority; but the Father who dwells in my does his works” (John 14:10). I think when we exercise our faith and follow some of Jesus’ words found in the Gospels - like an apprentice might follow the words of a journeyman - our human mind gets the chance to start thinking differently (to think, in a small way, like God thinks) and to observe the results of this different way of thinking. Through blind faith, at first, aspects of God’s kingdom in heaven get the chance to be realized first-hand in man’s mental kingdom here on earth. Our blind faith in following Jesus’ words slowly moves into becoming an understanding faith, which I think is what God wants us to have and to willingly express.

As it takes time for a little leaven to leaven the whole loaf – a parallel which the scripture gives us – likewise it takes time for a person who is willing to be born-again to actually become born again in our thinking.

I agree with what you said, “But my inability to judge at God’s level does not mean I should not try...” And your mentioning Paul’s words at the conclusion indicating God’s power is made perfect in human weakness, gives myself, and I presume the rest of us at FBC, comforting hope for the future. Gary