“How could then…they didn’t even have Bibles?” Part 2

July 17, 2009 at 12:45 pm 1 comment

Some of the best comments in a long time came in to the Juniper Tree on my last post on the effect of worshipping the written Word while ignoring the other ways the Father speaks to us.  One friend said it this way: “I know it because I have read it in His Word, but it goes deeper than that: it is solid in my heart because I have encountered Him, and I have heard His Spirit whispering in my ear.” 

There is no substitute for the written Word, I love it, I generally read something from it every day and have for nearly 5 decades.  It is like food for a hungry soul that must feed on it to live.  But for most of those 5 decades I missed hearing God because of unbelief, hiding behind knowledge.

I was taught that in these “last days” our Father no longer speaks to us the way He did with the apostles and prophets.  That He no longer is operating outside of our knowledge of Him or our understanding about Him. My teachers were consistent, faithful to their hermeneutic and had a love for God that was real and hopeful.  But they allowed their unbelief to be fogged over by their commitment to wisdom/knowledge over faith.

Unbelief often has an appearance of being a being an approach to life that is careful, scholarly, conservative and skeptical of anything that defies logic and could possibly be faked or flow out of an emotional experience.  No one who operates out of that frame of reference calls what they are doing unbelief but it clearly is.

The mission of unbelief is to subject God to the mind and control of His creation.  Unbelief questions everything including God’s agenda and His way.  Unbelief’s favorite method is to demand proof.  If it really is a miracle, unbelief says, then “prove it”.

What is sad and so counter productive for Kingdom advancement is that unbelief is completely unable to represent Jesus in His power and glory.  It may sound wise, steady, steeped in conservative and proper Christian behavior but it effectively cuts off what the life of Jesus in us is capable of doing to see His Kingdom come and His will be done on earth (in the same way) as it is in heaven.

One old friend said to me during a discussion (argument) as to whether God was still healing people: “when people start getting out of wheel chairs and walking instead of a few people having their hearing restored, I will believe it”.  Well they are getting out of wheel chairs, the dead are being raised and now he wants doctors reports and x-rays to prove it.  The issue is not does God heal, the issue is will we believe He heals.

I am aware that there are fakers out there.  There are mean people who prey on broken, hurting and hopeless people for their own gain, but this intensive effort to protect ourselves from being fooled is more about unbelief than it is a desire to be wise so we are not deceived.

Fear of deception exists predominately where unbelief has been ruling for a long time.  Children believe, new followers of Jesus believe, people who are not followers of Jesus believe!  Wisdom does not believe.

It is not for us to put God on trial.  He is not subject to our knowledge, our wisdom.  When Paul spoke of renewing the mind it was to just such an issue he was speaking.  The unrenewed mind demands proof and demands the Creator explain Himself to the created.  Prove it God and I’ll believe it.  What arrogance, what unbelief.

1Corinthians 13:7 says this Love believes all things.  When we encounter the redeeming, freeing, consistent, unconditional agape of the Father it frees us from our protective instinct of unreasonable caution.  The apostle Paul takes us further into an understanding of this agape when he writes in Galatians 5: faith finds it greatest expression in love.  When fear is driven out by real agape love it opens up the door to the kind of faith that believes the Father’s desire to lovingly reveal Himself extravagantly through miracles.  An encounter with the Father’s love is the best method for dismantling unbelief.

The enemy of our souls always comes at us with fear which leads to unbelief which leads to falling back on wisdom which leads to power-less and glory-less lives.

My friend and pastor, Andy says: God is what (knowledge about) He is but Father is who He is (relationship with).  Religion is a call to knowledge about God, to aquiring knowledge about what He is which more than not produces fear and unbelief, while an agape relationship with the Father leads to a trust in who He is (our Daddy) and an ability to see with the eyes of the heart and not the proof demanding eyes of our head.

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Entry filed under: Authority, Belief, Culture, Faith, Healing, Holy Spirit, Institutional church, Jesus, Kingdom, Kingdom Gospel, Miracles, Revelation, Supernatural, The Father, Theology, Thoughts.

How could they…they didn’t even have Bibles? Living fully in two worlds.

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Doug  |  July 17, 2009 at 11:18 pm

    Several thing come to mind as I read this.
    We must become as little children (trusting in God) to begin to shed the questioning attitude planted in us by well meaning pastors who didn’t and don’t believe in modern day miracles.

    God uses the foolish to confound the wise. The question or proof will never be answered in the way some want.

    The rich man asked to come back to life so he could warn his family and friends about hell. God said it wouldn’t make a difference and refused the request. The same mentality reigns in questioning unbelief today.
    Great post. Thought provoking and challenging.

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