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“But when He, the Spirit of Truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth”. John 16:13

“As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:9

Why? In our own thoughts, discussions between people of faith and between people of faith and those who don’t believe; why is so often a question asked. Why did the hurricane strike? Why did my ____________ (mom, dad, sister, wife, child etc.) die from ____________________? If God is all powerful, why does He let evil exist? These are understandable questions. Some would say these are “good” questions. If we were to be brutally honest with ourselves, we’ve probably asked those same questions in some shape or form ourselves. If we’ve been asked those questions by others, we’ve also probably struggled mightily with an appropriate, satisfying answer.

I don’t understand. Isn’t there a Holy Spirit? Isn’t the Holy Spirit supposed to dwell in us? Isn’t the Holy Spirit supposed to make everything so we can understand it? Well, yes there is a Holy Spirit. Also, yes the Holy Spirit does dwell in us. However, our complete understanding was never a promise concerning the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit will guide us to the Truth. Yet we must also understand; that we see something clearly as the truth, doesn’t necessarily mean we are going to understand it, especially to the detail of being able to explain it.

I’ll use an imperfect example/illustration to discuss what I mean. So let’s take the sun for example. Yes it produces heat and light; pretty much everyone would agree with that. Yet if someone asked most of us exactly how the sun goes about doing that; many of us (or at least yours truly) would have difficulty going into an in depth explanation that covers the entire process.

Indeed, you might know that part of the primary process is this thing called fusion where hydrogen atoms are smashed (fused) together which causes the release of great energy. Yet with all these smashing atoms happening, how does gravity hold them all in place enough so they don’t just explode into space. How does a particle of light get created? Also, did you know it can take 30,000 years for a particle of light, created in the interior of the sun to reach the surface and be released? Now I could go on and on with questions which some specialized scientists might be able to answer but I most certainly could not.

What does my lack of solar knowledge have to do with anything? Whether I can explain it or not; one thing is particularly clear; without the sun, life, as we know it, could not exist on this planet. It is crystal CLEAR just how important the sun is, even if I can’t explain all its processes.

Here’s where the grace, the mercy and the love of our Heavenly Father comes into play. You see, Dear Sisters and Brothers; God’s Word, in the forms of the Old and New Testament is His way of bringing clarity to us about His loving nature to us. His Word is not a text book designed to lead us to a perfect understanding of His methodologies and processes. His Word is about being the Light that brings clarity to our relationship with Him and the blessings He desires to share with us.

Why doesn’t God just come out and explain it all to us? When a very little child asks you why the sky is blue; have you ever tried explaining the finer references of Rayleigh scattering in the atmosphere? The simple answer is that we don’t have an adequate frame of reference to allow God to offer the explanation that would lead to our understanding. We live in a linear existence so how are we going to understand being in the past, present and future all in the same instant? What exactly is spirit? Is it some wispy energy thing that glows or……..what?

God tries to get us to understand; His thoughts, His process, His being are beyond, are “higher” than us and our ability to understand no matter how much we might study or research. However, He doesn’t want to leave us in the dark. Therefore, He sent us the One person who intimately knows the Father; the Son. Jesus Christ became fully human to speak to us in human terms. Christ speaks to us of the mercy of the Father, the forgiveness of the Father and especially, the love of the Father.

And as if Jesus Christ were not enough; we are sent, God to dwell in us as the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the Bringer of clarity, the Guide to the truth. A truth that indeed passes all understanding, but a truth that is clearly the most vital to our successful being for all eternity.

So when I’m asked those why questions from others, I have to, in all humility, admit, I don’t know. I don’t understand. Yet I don’t end there. What I also try to get across is; Your question is directed in the wrong direction. You’re asking of another person, another equal act of creation, for insight and understanding of the Creator. There’s only one place to direct that question; to the Creator, Himself. Here’s the miraculously merciful point; the Creator will answer. God wants the question. God craves the question. For it is through the question; honestly asked, open to the Truth of the answer, that God will come and bring His blessed clarity to the questioner’s life.

Our Most Gracious Heavenly Father, we are so thankful for Your Patience and Mercy with us. Thank You for not becoming impatient with our questions and sometimes arrogance that we believe that we can completely understand You. Thank You for the amazing lengths You go to, through Your Word, Your sending of Your Son Jesus Christ and Your Sending of the Holy Spirit to bring clarity concerning Yourself to us. Continue to forgive us when we lose focus on that clarity and turn to the false understanding of the world. Through Your Spirit, guide us back to the Truth and the Light. That by being clear in You, we might become beacons of Your light, helping to live and bring Your clarity to this world so ravaged by confusion and darkness. To the glory of Your Most Holy Name and in the Name of Jesus Christ we pray. Amen

“I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children.  Matthew 11:25

“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” Matthew 5:5

“……and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.” Matthew 11:27

So just what is the importance of human understanding? In the work I do in organizational behavior, many a dysfunctional workplace and interpersonal conflict comes from human’s misunderstanding.

In the concept of Emotional Intelligence, a great amount of emphasis is placed on our ability to feel empathy, which is the ability to “step into another person’s shoes” so that you can better understand where they’re coming from. People with low EQ are said to lack that ability.

In discussions with non-believers, probably the number one reason for their disbelief is the idea that they can’t understand why God or Jesus would act the way the Bible purports that they do. They “just don’t get it”. They say it just doesn’t make any sense so they can’t believe it.

And, what about we who proclaim we believe; do we believe we have a complete understanding? Do the ways of God make complete sense to us? Are there biblical concepts or proclamations that we skip over or pass by because we don’t understand them? We believe our God wouldn’t work that way?

Well, when Jesus came to earth, there was a group that should have embraced Him wholeheartedly; would have been the ones that the people then would have looked to, to welcome the Messiah. The Pharisees, Sadducees and the Scribes were deeply versed in the Mosaic law and the prophets and should have easily recognized Jesus, welcoming and worshiping Him. However, they didn’t understand. They didn’t get it. Whether or not it was willful, from a fear of losing power/control, or a simple mistake of misreading scripture, the religious leaders and scholars of the day, completely missed Jesus. Thus, learning and study is not a guarantee of understanding and recognizing Christ.

The uneducated initially flocked to Christ. They were more open to His message and more believing in His ability to accomplish miracles. Yet, it was mostly just 11 uneducated followers that followed Him to the end. Yet even they did not truly understand what Jesus was trying to accomplish, at least while He was with them on this earth.

Again today, are we so sure in our knowledge, so arrogant in our own wisdom that we believe we truly understanding the workings of our Heavenly Father, let alone the nature of the Heavenly Trinity? If we don’t why is it so hard?

These next two examples are not completely representative but they give some idea. There comes a time for many parents when, although they promised with all their heart they would never utter this phrase, they find themselves, in exasperation, stating: “Because I said so!”. Often times this will come after, the plaintive, sincere; but in a whining voice, exclamation from the child for the umpteenth time: “Why?” We may have tried, as a loving parent, to simplify some complex concept down to language and some basic idea that the child can grasp. However, because we don’t have a shared level of experience and understanding of language, we can’t bring about clarity to our confused child’s mind. Similarly, if you’ve ever tried talking to your dog. It may be some simple command to “get this” or “stop that”. The dog may simply sits there tilting its head a few times as they listen, then returns to the same act you were trying to stop them from.

For me, Dear Sisters and Brothers, I get very worried when I feel my confidence growing in comprehending the true and complete nature of God. He declares in the old testament “I AM WHO I AM” because we have no better language or equality of experience basis to classify God any more accurately.

The very miracle of God coming to earth in the form of Jesus Christ (fully God, yet fully human a concept I can’t fully grasp) can give us a false sense capability to know God. If Jesus was human (which He was) and can know God, then I, who believe in Jesus Christ, can attain that same understanding too.

Yet Jesus is very clear. No one knows the Father except the Son. Should the Son decide to reveal the nature of the Father to others, Jesus still has to do so within the scope of experience of a human being who has never experienced any spiritual realm like heaven or has no real idea about the concept of omniscience and eternity.

Christ advises that those who are accepting, believing and humble, like a child are the ones who will be saved. Not always of course, but children tend to be more accepting and when the answer does come down to: “Because I said so”; they are more likely to accept that then adults are. All too often adults, believers and nonbelievers alike, are too quick to rely on their own “take” of things and behave, not as Christ would have us behave, but based on their own perception of what Christian behavior is.

Thus, more often then not, when someone asks me to explain, I tell them I cannot. When they ask me how I can believe when I can’t explain, I advise them I don’t know how atoms or even my own darn computer works, but that doesn’t stop me from believing in one and using the other. My understanding is not the basis of truth.

Finally, I advise them, and me and you, that should we have questions of understanding; go to the source. Our Heavenly Father, through the grace of His Son, Jesus Christ, through the revelation of the Holy Spirit, will provide enough of an answer. Plus those Three will bless the sincere act of the seeking, the asking, the knocking. No, I often don’t get it. But thanks be to God, the Father Almighty, that His love is with me regardless of my understanding. Thanks be to God, He doesn’t turn His back on me because of my lack of understanding. May His Name be eternally praised that His Love, Mercy and Grace toward me (and you as well), even in this state endures forever. I am truly at peace, with no frustration in that.

Our Most Gracious Heavenly Father, we praise you that you have given us mental faculties to gain knowledge and a certain level of understanding both about this world and about even You. Forgive us Dear Father, when we arrogantly demand a greater understanding from You and threaten to turn out backs on You should we not receive it. Additionally forgive us when, in our arrogance we believe we’ve attained equal and complete understanding about the nature of all things especially about You. Send Your Holy Spirit to answer our questions to the extent that we can understand. That in a greater understanding of You we would strive to more align our limited will to Your Perfect Will, living lives that will bring praise to Your Most Holy Name. We pray in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

“Most assuredly I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you.”  John 6:53

“It is the Spirit  who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit and they are life.”  John 6:63

Am I speaking a foreign language?  That question we ask after we said something that makes perfect sense to us but we’re getting nothing but blank stares from our audience ( I will tell you as an instructor, that is very sinking feeling).  There are times when I am searching through the television channels and I’ll stop on a foreign language station.  As I listen, I know that I am completely clueless in regards to what the person is saying but every once in a few sentences they  will say a name like:  New York or Washington.  Or they might say the name of a famous actor or politician and then I’ll respond:  Yeah!  I know that name or I know that place.

With zombies seemingly being a current worldwide rage, Jesus’ comment would seem to be out of some movie, book or television show.  Yet Jesus didn’t make that comment for some fictional entertainmet purpose.  And just as the bible said that many of the people did back then, if we heard someone today speaking of letting people drink his blood, we would think him deranged.  Earlier in the Gospel of John, Jesus has another encounter with a man who can not understand the point Jesus is trying to make.  Jesus tells Nicodemus that he must be born again.  Nicodemus takes Jesus literally, as in the flesh, and asks how can this be?  In both cases, the earthly flesh only speaking and understanding people, turn away in confusion and derision.  This saying is hard, who can understand it.

I freely admit, even with the bible, there are sayings which I don’t completely understand.  Why don’t I turn away?  The difference is the Spirit.  After many turned away from Jesus, he asks His disciples, don’t you want to turn away too?  Peter answers:  “Lord to whom would we go?  You have the words of eternal life.  (John 6:68)  Note that Peter did not say that he understood Jesus words, only that Peter knew they were the words of life.  Yes the Spirit tells us that these words are important and that we are to listen to them.  The Spirit tells us that these words come from the Son of God, who is speaking them on behalf of His Father, our creator.

The beginning of understanding of the language is to understand that there is the spiritual.  God is Spirit.  Yes, as He did with Moses, He can manifest Himself in the physical.  Spiritual beings can come into our world as they did countless times in the Old and New Testament.  And Spirit can take on flesh as is shown by God becoming man in the form of Jesus Christ.  But between the two, it is the Spirit that matters more.  It is the Spirit and the spiritual nature that is eternal.  The language of God is in the spiritual realm and that language is perfect.  God has never had to say:  “I know I said that but I really meant this.”  It is certain that God can completely understand us or we would not be exhorted to pray.  It is also very clear that we can not completely understand God, at least not through our earthly, flesh-centered intellect.

How can the gap be bridged?  How can it be that we can begin to learn and grow in understanding?  Who will be our translator?  As in all things, God has provided.  He provided His Son Jesus Christ, who came to live among us and to teach us, as best as we could comprehend, the words and the ways of God.  But it didn’t end as Jesus Christ returned to the Spiritual Realm.  For we have been sent a Counselor, the Holy Spirit, who graciously communes with our spirit attempting with our limited language and experience to teach us the ways of God and the path we should travel.

So let each and every one of us resolve that it will not be a dead language.  That to the best of our ability we will attempt to use the spiritual language of God.  We will know we are using it when our words are those of love and truth.  We express thoughts of mercy and not judgement.  Our expressions are those of light with the intent of uplifting those with whom we are communicating.  We will not be perfect in using them.  Our fluency will start out being questionable.  Yet as with any language, as we use it, the understanding will come more and more until there is a time when we no longer are thinking in our own terms, but are now thinking in His.  It is a language we should be yearning to get used to.  For it is the language, that by the Grace of God Almighty, we will be hearing and speaking for eternity.

Our Most Gracious and Heavenly Father, we thank and praise You that You have seen fit to communicate with us, Your creation.  We thank You, most Merciful Father, for your patience with us, when we either don’t understand what you are trying to say, or miscommunicate Your words as we talk with others.  We also thank You for the gift of the Holy Spirit who connects with our spirit to educate us in Your ways.  That we may come closer to You each day, coming to a fuller realization of Your Glory and Your Love for us, we pray.  In the Name Of Jesus Christ.  Amen.

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