Day 141 – All Puffed Up With Nowhere To Go
On: March 21, 2015 | By: admin
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At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, “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. Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do. “All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows who the Son is except the Father, and no one knows who the Father is except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.” Then he turned to his disciples and said privately, “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see. For I tell you that many prophets and kings wanted to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.” Luke 10:21-24
We know God, not through learning, but through revelation. He has revealed Himself to us through the natural World in which we live, through His written Word and, most gloriously, through the living Word, His Son, Jesus Christ. Those of us around in the 21st Century have the benefit of all three. The early forefathers of the faith and the Old Testament Jews had a growing awareness, but not the fuller picture we have today.
Problem is, Mankind has learned a lot of other stuff as well, particularly in the scientific sphere, and this has proved to be a snare to trap so many, who somehow think it’s for them to prove whether God exists, let alone whether He has any claim on our lives. Their own knowledge puffs them up, so that they become blind to what those with a childlike simplicity and recognition of their own limitations, can see without any problem.
Clearly we should not seek to remain ignorant, but knowledge can be dangerous, as pointed out by the apostle Paul, himself possessing an intellect the size of Kent: “We know that “We all possess knowledge.” But knowledge puffs up while love builds up. Those who think they know something do not yet know as they ought to know.” 1 Corinthians 8:1-2
Pray, now, for those known to you who choose to use their intellect to challenge God, and even the mere idea of Him, rather than process the revelation God has given us.
You don’t need to go the extremes of a Richard Dawkins to see that people with the best brains can often use them as weapons against God. I can’t decide whether to be angry with them – those blessed with more firepower in the brain department, denouncing God and potential leading astray others who look up to them; or to smile that God has chosen to by-pass our intellect so that anyone, anytime, anywhere can grasp what is needed to respond to His love. For that is what the gospel is about. Not a thesis to prove God once and for all and comprehensively nail all opposition; but an outpouring of love to welcome home those prodigals who will lay down their arms and humbly rejoin the family. Yay!
Jesus was on a roll when he said: “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.” Does God proactively block clever people? Clearly, there have been many wise and learned people down the centuries who have been at the forefront of the church. Without them, our understanding of God, and the very love that by-passes our intellect, would be considerably the poorer. Think of the New Testament without the letters of the brilliant apostle Paul.
But you don’t have to look far, particularly amongst the academic and scientific communities, to see that many very clever people seem to revel in belittling God and magnifying their own ability to see clearly. It’s not inevitable though. Paul recognised this danger and submitted his intellect to the guidance of God’s revelation.
For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you, except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 1 Corinthians 2:2
Paul also realised that knowledge was passing, but love would remain.
If I can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, but do not have love, I am nothing. Love never fails. But where there is knowledge, it will pass away. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. The greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:2,8,13 (extracts)
In an age of unsurpassed and rapidly growing knowledge, surely one of the priorities for our prayers should be that God would have mercy on those blessed with the best brains and bring them back to Himself. We need them.
He may want to use you and me as bridges.
Father God, I’m sorry for where I allow what I have learned to make me proud. Open the minds of those known to me, who reject You because they think their own ability to work things out makes You redundant. Forgive them, and transform them. And me. Amen