Tag Archives: Goodness

Are You Stuck in a Box?

I listened to a sermon the other day where the pastor railed against a whole segment of the church whose theology was different than his, and  it brought me back to studying differing views in theology class.  First there was the tight collared Calvinist view, next the loose robed Arminianist  standpoint, from there, complimentarian to egalitarian, cessationist or charismatic and it went on.  When invited to respond, I walked to the front and drew boxes with each view.   Then I took the marker and wrote God encircling them all.

It seems we humans can’t help but do whatever it takes to quantify and understand everything.

This isn’t all bad; we have technology and much knowledge of our world because of this propensity, but when it comes to God, I wonder if this habit often serves to divide us and restrict our view of God to something we can wrap our mind around?  I wonder if we let God be as big as He is, if our boxes would give way to greater awe, wonder and worship of the only One who is worthy of it.  I’m not saying seeking right theology isn’t important – it is. But as soon as we think we have God and all His ways figured out, we are worshipping a different god.

When Job and his friends were confronted by God, rather than answering Job’s questions (he had some good reasons to question I would say), God proved definitively that He was far bigger and wiser than Job could ever conceive of.

In Psalm 139:6, David too realizes that while God knew him intimately, understanding God was not something his mind could accomplish.

Isaiah the prophet:

“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord.  “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.”

We can explain how a baby develops, but the mystery and miracle of life has never been explained by science and yet, somehow, babies keep being born.  I don’t understand how God calls and saves people, but I know He does, and I am called to participate. The Creator of life is beyond our boxes and labels.

I believe where there is ambiguity in scripture, God desires we  depend on Him for the answers we need, and trust His divine wisdom for the ones we don’t.  I also believe when secondary things divide us as the family of God, the primary things like worshipping God in unity and loving and serving people until they encounter the Person of Jesus, fall by the wayside. (You know, the first and second commandments).

That is an unimaginable tragedy.  The world doesn’t need more Calvinism nor does it need more Arminianism. (I am sorry if you hang your hat on one or the other)  The world needs us to stop condemning each other. The world desperately needs Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God to break into every corner through the love and obedience of His Body -us.

Ditch the Fruitloops!

I had a dream that shook me up pretty good.  In my dream I was in a warehouse full of people.  We were all hungry.

As I watched, people filed past a big cart with cardboard boxes of breakfast cereal.  Many commented on the many choices;  Fruitloops, Captain Crunch, Honey Nut Cheerios.  Some were even eating the boxes.

I know breakfast cereal is on the top of the empty nutrient, sabotage your body, foods, still, I stood dutifully in line, waiting for my turn at the cart.  I even found myself a little excited to choose my sugary mix.

But something in me rebelled;  I left the line, and began to explore.  To my surprise, there was an opaque movable wall where it looked solid.  I pushed it aside and walked behind it.

What I saw astonished me!  There was an exquisite table set with dishes of all kinds, emitting tantalizing aromas.  As I looked closer, I saw name tags and felt a hand on my shoulder.

Turning, I saw my Jesus.  Grabbing my hand, He said; “Come!  Your place is set, and I have made your favourite dishes!”

Sure enough – there was my name, nestled among seafood dishes, beautiful salads, peppercorn steak, sautéed mushrooms and more!  About to sit down, I realized there were name tags for many of the people I had seen back at the cereal cart.

I rushed back around the portable wall, and grabbing people by the hand, tried to pull them away from Captain Crunch to the banquet.  It seemed impossible – no one wanted to leave the cereal cart, even though a feast without equal awaited them.

Crestfallen, I ventured back beyond the wall and sat down next to Jesus.  “Why wouldn’t they come, Jesus?”  I asked a bit frustrated.

“They haven’t tasted my banquet.”  Jesus responded.  “All they know is from consuming the world’s food.  If you come often and eat your fill with me, you will begin to carry the aroma of my goodness,  drawing people to my table.”

The dream ended, delight and frustration entwined in my heart.

In Isaiah 55:1-5, Jesus says;

Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; you who have no money, come buy and eat!   …Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labour on what does not satisfy?  Listen to me and eat what is good!  and your soul will delight in the richest of fare.  Give ear and come to me, that your soul may live!  

Looking at my life, I see times I consume the world’s empty breakfast cereal instead of the deeply satisfying fare of the Master’s Table.  Movies that seed unholy thoughts and words, jokes at other’s expense, things pursued from wrongful motives.

If I am more concerned with nourishing my physical body with good food than feeding my soul with nourishing fare, I am eternally impoverished indeed!

I want to boldly enter His courts with thanksgiving, and partake of the food Jesus gives that leads to eternal life for me and those around me!

Have you eaten yet today?  What table are you eating from?