Humble enough for awe?

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I like explanations, to know how things work. That’s always been who I am. According to my mother, even as a small child I took apart my toys, destroying them in the process of trying to figure out how they worked. I do remember getting a school bus for Christmas that had lights in it that flashed and motors that whirred.  I was perhaps 6 or 7 and that toy ended up a pile of parts on the living room floor, much to the chagrin of the grandmother who purchased it for me.  Sometimes it’s just better to enjoy the thing for what it is, admitting that we do not yet understand all things.

In my reading of Paul’s letter to the Romans, I came recently to chapters 9, 10, and 11; a long discussion of the place of “Israel” and the Gentiles in the scope and reach of God’s plan, of a doctrine we call ‘election.’  I read the words but struggle with the meaning. Like my younger self with those intriguing toys, I want to tear it apart to try to see how it works, to fit Paul’s inspired words into my sense of what is just and right.

I wonder how can a good and loving God choose some for salvation and others for destruction? Who is ‘Israel,’ the Jewish people, the literal descendants of Abraham, or is he speaking of all those who are adopted into God’s family when they respond to Him in faith?   My point today is to not solve the questions found in these chapters!  I urge us to approach God’s Word with humility, so that He can form us, not so that we can rewrite Scripture to ‘fit’ our sensibilities!

There are questions about God, His Word, and His will that I must resolve to humbly allow to exist, alongside of faith.  In time, with maturity, study, and the revelation of the Spirit there are truths that become clearer. And there is clearly a need for us to admit that He is God and we are not.

Even Paul humbly bows his head at the end of those chapters to admit that he cannot possibly know the whole mind of the Lord. “Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! “Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?” “Who has ever given to God, that God should repay him?” For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen.” (Romans 11:33-36, NIV)

I am not making a case for laziness, or for refusing to ask hard questions in our study. We grow as we wrestle with Truth, allowing God’s word to shape and form our mind. But, there are things we cannot know yet, which may be revealed to us later on. As much as we might want to know, our Father lovingly asks for our trust, a faith that is settled in Jesus’ promise first given to the disciples as they were about to watch Him die on the Cross. He said that they would have a Guide for the way. “Oh, there is so much more I want to tell you, but you can’t bear it now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not be presenting his own ideas; he will be telling you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future. He will bring me glory by revealing to you whatever he receives from me.” (John 16:12-14, NLT)

Today, thank Him for His wisdom. Open your heart and mind to Him, inviting the Holy Spirit to lead. Allow Him to create faith in you for those things yet mystery to you.

“O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory above the heavens.
From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise because of your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger. When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,  what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?

You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor.  You made him ruler over the works of your hands; you put everything under his feet: all flocks and herds, and the beasts of the field, the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas.

 O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!” (Psalm 8, NIV)



Sweet Jesus Christ my sanity
Sweet Jesus Christ my clarity

Bread of heaven broken for me
Cup of Salvation held out to drink
Jesus mystery

Christ has died and
Christ is risen
Christ will come again

Celebrate His death and rising
Lift your eyes proclaim His coming
Celebrate His death and rising
Lift your eyes lift your eyes

Sweet Jesus Christ my sanity

Charlie Hall © 2008 sixsteps Music (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing) songs (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing) CCLI License # 810055

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