In a very real way, it is important for us to understand that if we choose to point our finger upward, we cannot interpret that which we are pointing; we cannot define the path and ultimate goal for another. We can merely direct people to the entryway. I have noticed throughout my experience of searching out spiritual truth that in every person is something to be learned. We cannot shut ourselves off from communication with another person because we disagree with them. If we don’t challenge our own perspective, then how strong or sure can it really be? Because to think you own the truth or think that you have the answers to God is to fly in the face of God and robs Him of who He really is. If you come to a place in your life where you are wise enough to recognize God, then you must know that He is not static but rather dynamic. Some would quote the verse, “God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow” and this is true. He is the same in that He will always have the same qualities and essence and love for us, but not necessarily the same strategies and methods. Do we really think that God has only one way of doing things, or a set of ways that fall into the “acceptable” category? God is surely the most creative, most dynamic, and most unpredictable. If you think about it, He can use anything he wants to pull us in His direction: a talking donkey, a burning bush, a man lying in the dirt naked for six months to name a few! Why do some think that they can point the way to God and then push you in the direction that they themselves took? We must remember that Christ is “the way, the truth, and the life” and through the Holy Spirit, each person’s journey must be different just as we each are different.
It is of the utmost importance that we grasp the following principle: all Christians must trust God to do His work in our brothers and sisters however He sees fit, not as we see fit. We have to learn about God’s incredible creativity by listening to what others have to say and by opening our minds to the reality of their particular journey…without judgment! We have to stop giving preachers such a hard time and realize that maybe God uses this guy or that guy to communicate to a certain type of person. There are people who respond to a “hell, fire, and brimstone” message, and there are people who respond to “name it, and claim it” messages and others who respond to the “small, still voice” and even others that appreciate all of the messages. Is one more correct than the other? Are they all not just different pieces to a magnificent puzzle? If we limit the way we communicate, then we limit our audience. The law of love set forth by Christ makes us challenge our human nature in that, if we really love someone, then we should be willing to do whatever it takes to help that person (Jesus laid His own life down for goodness sakes). It is a gospel of inclusion, not exclusion! Why do we think that we can interpret what is acceptable and unacceptable? If a man today decided to lie naked in the streets of your hometown and preach repentance, would you listen or would you be quick to judge him insane? I’m glad that you and I are not the judges…so let’s stop acting like judges. Remember Christ’s commandments: love God with all that you have, and love others as yourself. In the light of love, who can judge? Or who would want to? I don’t want to judge you, only love you…
Because each person’s journey is different, then we cannot point to a God that fits nicely into our own interpretation of that God. Let the Master take control and do His work. If a person draws closer to God, then God will draw closer to that person. This is a personal journey above all else; that is what makes it so incredibly beautiful! And if we were to understand and love God from only our own perspective, then we are truly missing out! What a shame to think we can put God in a box, our box. History has proved to us over and over again that when God is put in a box, He completely obliterates that box.
The Truth is so awesome, that it continually knocks us down, shakes the sense out of us, and rocks our pre-conceptions to the core. Christ teaches us that we are a “body” comprised of many different parts but ultimately one perfect offering. So if I’m a little toe, are you better or worse than me if you are an eyelash? We cannot be complete without all the parts and every part of the body is beautifully different. And when taken as a whole, it is perfect! So the function of an eye is completely different from that of a foot, but together they make walking forward possible. And we are not in the business of categorizing people into their respective parts of the body. Who are we? Is God, in His wisdom, not capable of recognizing where in the body a person should fit and function? The only way to perceive and interpret and truly love our fellow believers is to accept the fact that we all are different. The combined truth from each perspective is perfect, but from one point of view it is of little use. Together we define Truth. Each person has a part, a lovely and unique part.
The only requirement of a new believer is that they move forward. We should promote getting to know God, personally. That is why preachers and teachers and churches are important: to lift Him up. Scripture teaches us that if “Christ is lifted up, that He will draw men and women to Him”. Notice it doesn’t say “we will draw them closer”! We
lift up…He draws. The most important thing for a new Christian is exploring the Word and seeking God through prayer. Let them discover God as they understand Him, and now we can add another spoke in the wheel of our dynamic wonderment of who God is. If we help people by living a testimony that points to God, then we are doing a great job. But as soon as you turn someone away by presenting an exclusive God, then you have taken His name in your own vanity, to fit a mold of what you think He is! That is scary stuff. Who wants to be responsible for leading one astray or pushing away one of God’s beloved? As loving Christians, we should try to be forgiving and dynamic as is God’s nature by promoting Him and Him alone…not our own interpretations of doctrine! Let us be a light in a dark place, shining in Christ’s love and pointing to that love not in word, but rather in deed. To say to someone that you love them is nothing in comparison to showing that person you love them. If God decides to use you for His purpose, then God will draw people to you, you don’t need to force the issue…
So all that to say one very important thing: when we point up to God for answers…let’s not
provide the answers as well. If someone needs your help for wisdom and guidance, they will be led to ask for it! Let God work in His way, but let’s be there in love for each other, offering up prayers for the new Christian, and offering up prayers that God would open our eyes a little more each day to see just how awesome He is. If we are wise, we should stop trying so hard to change others, and allow them to change us as well. God is not religion, but He can use religion as well as anything else He chooses to use. Let us continue to preach and teach and serve, each in their appointed area of expertise, understanding in humility that individually we are only part of the body that ultimately will know its own voice.
So we should say to the unbeliever and the believer, “Don’t believe a word I say. Prove it to yourself. Look to God and His Word and believe what He says to you. Then you will know the Voice for yourself! Make your own assessment without prejudice. Then come to the body and share with us…help make us whole.”