Yesterday we baptized four people at our church. The youngest was a four year-old little boy. We use a 150-gallon watering trough purchased from a tractor supply store: everyone leaves their seats and gathers around the sacred tub, cameras flashing, cheering and laughing.
In the back of my head came a nagging question: does this child really understand what he’s doing? Then came the gentle voice of the Spirit asking me, “Do you really understand what he’s doing?” No one plays gotcha quite like the Holy Ghost.
This week’s meditation sings in praise of our limited capacity to understand. I've discovered that an omniscient God is not impressed by the size of our intellect. He does not want us to live in the darkness of ignorance, yet he knows it will take eternity for us to discover the fullness of his love. Who wants a gospel you can understand in ninety seconds? I hope to still marvel at the depths and riches of Christ’s wisdom when I reach ninety years.
Life in Christ begins with belief. In the process of coming to Jesus how many of us understood exactly what we signed up for? Becoming a Christian is a volitional act--it begins in the will. The intellect trails behind. Over the years our mind discovers, organizes, inquires, wonders and worships. It’s true: we should love the Lord our God with all our heart and with all our soul and with all our strength and with all our mind, but we need to remember that the command is love.
Here are seven questions for the coming week as we meditate on the difference between mind and faith:
- How much must we know before we believe? Not only in terms of being born again, but in every aspect of our life with God?
- Is it possible to know the right answers and remain separated from Jesus?
- Does intellect guarantee purity of heart before God?
- Would the Father actually hide things from our understanding?
- In the gospels, what caused Jesus to marvel: trust or intelligence?
- What role does experience play in true understanding?
- If the great commandment identifies heart, soul, strength and mind, which area have I elevated and which area have I neglected?
This week, let’s receive the prayer Paul prayed for his church in Ephesus:
“I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people.” (Ephesians 1: 17-18)