Learning to know God is learning to live | Jesus’ Creed
There are times when you are meditating on the mystery of God and your mind comes to a point where you cannot collect all the truths in one place at the same time. Your eyes meet, smoke comes out of your ears, and your brain bypasses. At times like this, you understand why God would not let Moses see his face. The glory of God would have burnt the wiring of Moses. Not only is God beyond our comprehension, but we are simply not equipped to stay too long at these lofty heights. The air is too thin and our brain is thirsty to think of something it can figure out, like why does toast always fall upside down?
One of those mental blocks for me is the realization that God exists outside of time and space. Think about it. . God is not hampered by the time / space continuum. He’s not wearing a watch. He doesn’t carry a calendar. It evolves freely between past, present and future.
For God, it’s always now.
God is in our present, always in our past, and awaits us in our future. OK, we all understand that God is omnipresent. Now, have you ever sat down and thought about what that means? What are the implications of this divine reality? What are the applications?
First, it means that God is with us in our present. Most of us, however, never experience the beauty of this truth. We assume that this doctrine means that God is available when we need him. If we are in trouble, we can call and He will hear us. If we need wisdom, we can check with Him for some insight into life.
We check in with God about once a week and then live our Monday through Saturday trying to apply what we have learned in our worship service. Let’s face it, it’s mostly chance.
But this promise invites us to live our lives in the presence of our risen Savior. When we study the Bible, we do not read the Bible on our own. Our Rebbe lives and he promised to teach us just as he taught John and Peter. Imagine meditating on the Sermon on the Mount while you are in conversation with Christ himself.
When we pray, we do not pray alone. Christ promised us the Spirit who would pray with us and sometimes pray for us. There are times when life ambushes us, when we are overwhelmed by life’s circumstances and we don’t know what to pray for. Our prayers at these times are nothing more than cries and sobs, but we have been promised that in these times the Spirit will search the depths of our hearts just as He will search the depths of God and pray for us. Imagine, the weight of prayers that we cannot find words to pray for being carried to God by the Spirit Himself.
We live every moment, every day in the presence of the power that created all that was created and in the presence of the One in whom all things hold together. We can indeed “do all things through Christ who gives us strength”.
God is with us. It matters.
And God is still in our past. We all had that moment in our past when someone did something to hurt us and we thought our life was ruined from that point on. Maybe we did something to hurt someone or ourselves. After all these years, this wound is still raw and too tender to touch.
Christ is still at this time in our past. He’s still where that moment happened. He can heal this moment so that it no longer bleeds in our present. That moment, when you thought your life was destroyed, will now become the first line of your testimony. You will go from “my life is over” to “where I was when God changed everything”. I have seen this happen too many times to count.
God hovers in our history.
And God is waiting for us in our future. We believe our future is already over. Get this? God is not working on our future. It’s done. This is the reason why we are convinced that things will be as Christ said they will be in the future. The future awaits us. We live with confidence in this great hope – the saving work is finished in Christ. The future awaits our arrival.
It is the hope in which we live. Our God is already in our future and awaits us there.
When we study theology, we often spend all of our time trying to properly align the truths with God without thinking about what those great truths actually mean to our lives. We think because we can reaffirm the great doctrines, we have a solid theology.
Our problem is with the word “belief”. For most of us, the word “belief” is synonymous with “wish” or “hope”. We say things like ‘I think it’s going to rain today’ or ‘I think the Braves will win the World Series this year. We say what we think, hope, wish or dream… and put it all under the word “belief”.
Belief is a much stronger word. The word means “to lose weight”. If we believe something, it affects our life. If we think it’s going to rain, we carry an umbrella. If we believe that Jesus is the Messiah, we are living in obedience to his teachings.
In short, if we don’t live it, we don’t believe it.
Our study of the scriptures, our study of theology, is made to discover these great truths that stand the test of time. We then build our lives on these truths so that our lives can last and, yes, prosper, in these times of trial.
God is in our past. We can live in the freedom of forgiveness.
God is with us now. We can live in his strength and wisdom.
God is waiting for us in our future. We can live in hope and joy.
Because God is, we can