Absolutes

SteepleI used to think in terms of absolutes. Grey areas were uncharted waters I did not want to explore. I thought truth had to be absolute with clearly defined borders. I am the type who colors inside the lines. I needed naturally defined parameters. I did not like to free-style anything. If there is a book, I wanted to do it by the book. Still, that is my inclination, but now I fight that inclination.

I found out that God is bigger than my absolutes. I found out that knowing Him was something more than knowing right things about Him. And that the more I behold Him the more I will have a better picture of who He is. A graven image can be in my mind as easily as it can be shaped into wood. God is too immense to define, He can only be described. We cannot make absolutes about Him, for He is the Absolute. He does not conform to any definition, rule, or condition we attribute to Him, but to every attribute that is truly His nature. He governs Himself by Himself. He is always Himself, but we are not always ourselves. He defines truth for us, in the living person of Jesus.

If we hold to a static image of who He is, we cannot grow into who we are. We have to behold Him, not a doctrine about Him. I used to confuse God with His Book. The Bible points to Jesus who is the Truth, and the Holy Spirit who leads us into all Truth. When we deify the Bible we nullify the Lord. The Bible cannot possibly contain everything we need to know about Jesus. It is not a substitute for Jesus. There is no mediator between God and man except Jesus. The Bible is incredibly useful for a great many things and is essential to the Christian walk, but it will never be on par with Jesus. John 1 tells us that the Word was God, and the Word became flesh, not paper.

In this process of renewing my mind to allow for a God greater than my perceptions, I found I am more comfortable with ambiguity. I am more comfortable with things I do not understand with my mind. This helped to bring the proper alignment of spirit over mind over body. I had to empower my mind by making it subject to my spirit (which is subject to His Spirit). Then I could understand how much I did not know before, and the magnitude of the depths of God that are beyond my ability to grasp.

In a practical outworking I’ve found there is a place for diversity of ideas in the Body of Christ. It does not crash my worldview to hear something new that might seem to contradict something I hold true. Exploring it, by listening to God about it, I might find it does not contradict. Or I may find I had faulty thinking. Or I may find that it does contradict, and is not healthy Kingdom thinking. Then, years later, I might find it was still me that was not ready for the new revelation of truth. It doesn’t worry me anymore, because I know the Holy Spirit is amazing at His job.

If something offends my mind, it’s likely that the Holy Spirit needs me to pay attention and see why that is. Most truths that need to affect our lives, first offend our minds. If it is inconsequential, and does not carry the substance of truth, it is not likely to have that kind of power to make our minds revolt. Actually, the change of thinking I describe above came from several offenses of my mind that I could not let go until I found truth at its core.

It is not that truth is relative; it is that we are not good at knowing things absolutely. Jesus is the same, yesterday, today and forever. But we are ever changing into His likeness. Like Paul, we are still running the race; pressing on to what is ahead. We cannot take a still frame picture while running. Doing so will only produce a blurry image. We are to be conforming to Jesus while we are moving towards Him. He permits us no still frame pictures, as we are to have no other gods before Him.

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