When I’m going through something and trying to figure stuff out I tend to get pretty quiet.
In our early days of marriage, this caused not a little frustration, as the external processor in David took it to mean that I must not care about this or that plight of our life.
Meanwhile, my eyes found a new career in rolling as he spouted out completely absurd and illogical assertions about various situations.
It took me much longer than it should have to finally realize that he didn’t actually mean half of what he said – that he was merely thinking out loud.
And he finally understood that my silence was not indicative of lack of thought or care.
I’ve been quiet for a little while here because this year has been… different.
We already knew halfway through last year that we wanted our “word” for this year to be relationships, and we knew that at least part of that was going to be about our relationship with God and our relationships as a family.
What I didn’t expect, however, was for it to become a complete overhaul of my tortured theology.
To be honest, attending a Bible college probably created more questions than it actually answered: Calvinists vs Arminians, God’s “perfect” vs “permissive” will, and a plethora of other anemic excuses and twisted doctrines man was forced to make up for God after viewing the Bible through broken experiences rather than the other way around.
I joined an incredibly impactful Bible study in my late teens that opened my eyes to the freeing power of Truth, but in the years since had become quite discouraged by so many different interpretations of God’s words and ways of working.
Subconsciously, I had despaired of ever being able to truly understand and stand firm in huge pieces of my theology.
After all, his ways and thoughts are higher than ours, right? He’s sovereign and we just won’t understand until we get to heaven…
Too many people I respected had such a mindset of suffering and trials in the way that they approached life.
I hated the majority of the Old Testament because the God I saw there felt so at odds with the Jesus of the New Testament.
Under the surface, cynicism and fear subsequently colored my Bible-reading and prayer for far too long.
Frankly, I was a mess.
Admittedly, I’m still a bit of a mess 😉 but by God’s mercy my hope has been restored.
In my desperation he lead me to several resources that are helping to answer all these questions that have long been festering in my soul.
I’m sure I’ll share from some of these resources when it’s had time to percolate in me for a while, but for now the majority of my waking moments have become filled with study, and the soundtrack to my sleep has become His words.
I’m becoming much better acquainted with the Strongs definitions of the words in the Bible, and much more wary of the majority of modern Bible translations, as well as “Christian” books based on experiences that do more to warp our theology than renew our minds with truth.
This is not to say God doesn’t show up and speak to us in many ways and meet us where we are, but just because something gives you “all the feels” and spreads on Facebook faster than measles, does not mean it’s from God. Our enemy is crafty, and experiences must always be tested and evaluated through the light of Scripture.
It’s not so often that our very salvation is at stake in these deviations, but rather the fullness of our understanding of the life and power that Jesus paid for us to live out of.
We don’t want to live a skeleton gospel – saved, but just struggling through life waiting to get out of here.
“Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof…” (2 Timothy 3:5) + “Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (2 Timothy 3:7)
I feel like I finally have the “permission” to fully believe the whole good news without any “but…”s. That there really is much, much more to this than we have yet made room for…
“…I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” John 10:10 (b)
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.” John 14:12-14
We’re on an exploration of what it really means to live a life of faith.
It’s big and scary to step out… but we don’t want to live in a boat anymore.