Saturday, January 07, 2006

God is good. So good. He never fails, He never let's His people down, He never ever loses. When it looks like He is not good ... He is still Good. You just have to trust that The Truth is good. When it looks like He is failing ... He is still winning. You just have to trust that the end game is all about Him. When it looks like you are being let down ... He is still going to come through for you. You just have to wait. When it looks like He is losing ... get ready for the victory. It is surely coming. Maybe not until you are dead ... but it is coming. (By the way, you are not ever really dead. Not if you are a Christ follower.)

Those are unshakable, unalterable truths. They are part of my "core values." I count on them and stake everything on them. I have learned much through my journeys on this planet. Most of what I have learned are mere details. Details, while important, in some cases are the composition of a fact so huge, so over-riding, that you cannot see it all at once.

And I think that is where so many people get lost. People with spiritual tunnel vision cannot grasp the fact of God. Not really. They say they can. And they really believe they can. But experience has shown that they are wrong. What they are really grasping is a tiny portion of truth that fits their fancy. They find it to be comfortable because it supports their desires and agenda. They are looking at a detail and missing the vision.

Let me give you an example. A person decides that he wants his church to be a certain way. He wants it to be a place that feels comfortable to him. He wants it to look just so, sound just so, and work just so. Because that makes him happy. And he read in the bible that God wants to give you the desires of your heart. Translation: God wants to make you happy. And so it is easy to extrapolate that out to seem to mean you can manipulate your church to be what you want it to be. And because that will make you happy, God will be happy too. This is a person who has looked at one detail in the bible and grasped it (incorrectly) and that is as far as he ever gets. Because he is busy killing a church. And all the while he truly believes that his actions (based on his own opinions) are God given.

Do you realize how dangerous that way of thinking is?

Nobody can completely grasp God. That is a silly notion. He will not be understood or grasped. But I believe that spiritual visionaries have an insight that allows them to see past the details of life and come to some sort of understanding of a big picture. He thinks like this ...

He reads where God says in His Word that he wants to give you the desires of your heart. And he does not stop there. He keeps on reading. He reads where God says He is entirely pleased with His Son and wants us to follow Him. And he keeps on reading. He reads where God allows His Son to be nailed to a cross, He turns His back on Him, and His Son dies. Dead. Stone cold dead. Real flesh bleeding out onto the dirt dead. He reads where God's Son is pried loose from the cross, planted in a borrowed, closed, sealed tomb. He reads where God raises His Son from the dead three days later, gives Him some more truths to teach, and then takes Him back to sit down at His right Hand. And this person wonders, "If God is pleased with His Son and yet allows Him to go through this humiliating agony ... if God allows His own Son to experience the greatest example in history of delayed gratification ... why would I think that He would treat me any differently?"

And that person has discovered a remarkable truth. God does love us and want us to have the desires of our heart. He also knows (because He read the whole book) that God already tried to give us non-delayed gratification. That happened at a place named "Eden." It did not work out so well. We screwed it up. It was our fault, not God's. God gave us everything and we wanted more. (The couple in Eden were looking at a detail ... the serpents lies ... and not the bigger picture ... God's truth.) And this person knows that God wanted to give us the desires of our hearts so badly that He didn't give up there. He kicked in what appears to us to be "plan b" but was really "plan a" all along. I mean, God knew that the Garden of Eden thing was going to go south quickly. It did not come as a surprise to Him. He knew that if He was going to create man and stick with this dubious project it was going to cost Him the ultimate price. And He went with it anyway. God knew the big picture before there was a day-one.

Let me wrap this up for you. A spiritual visionary understands something that a tunnel vision guy cannot get. We do not call the shots. EVER. When we try to we screw it up every time. Go ahead. Read the book. Find me one example of a time when we called the shots and it all worked out alright. Good luck. Plan on taking some time off for your search. You are going to need it. Come in real close to the screen ... closer ... I want to tell you something. It-is-not-in-there. Is that print to small? Here ... IT-IS-NOT-IN-THERE.

Do you think that your precious vote means anything in God's economy? Do you really think the church is a democracy? Do you think that you know best? Do you scoff at those who say "I have prayed and God told me ..."? Do you think nobody can be trusted because everybody has their own agenda? Do you waffle back and forth, wringing your hands, wondering what we should do? Listen closely one more time ...

God is laughing. Not with you. At you.

Stop staring at the details. How much? How long? Where? Why? Give it up. Tunnel vision only gives everybody around you a head ache. Get the big picture ... the huge, over-riding FACT ... or get out of the way.


Anonymous said...

You'll know who this is. Wink at me and mention the blog and I'll wink back. You're the one who started this winking thing. Just a couple of points; great writing, great truths about God. One question: do you think if the person(s) you are referring to would read this blog, would that bring them closer to Jesus or further them away from Jesus? If they would be angry, whether at you or generally angry at the core, then that would further them away from Jesus. Some might say well I guess the truth hurts! To clarify, you, and the person(s) referred to, believe the same truths, but it is the interpretations that differs, i.e., they believe their stance is from God and you believe your stance is from God. This stance has caused sooooooooo much agony, fights, even wars. Can't we put "who's got God" question out of the way, "I've got God, no I've got God", and just work out "OUR" differences about what's best and what needs to happen?
May God direct and reveal.
Your brother in Christ.

Ron said...

Your points are valid and well taken, my friend. Thank you for leaving them. I guess my only defense is that ... well ... my blog is a space where I think things out, give my opinion, and maybe even rant and rave a little bit. I certainly do not have a corner of the truth. (read my blog on the church web site ... it's a total confession thing.) Hey, maybe I'll take my picture off the blog and put yours on! Then I can't get in trouble! (KIDDING!) Thanks for the truths and the wonderful, loving heart behind it.

Derklee said...

I think i see where your coming from Ron. I would even say that i can empathathize with your situation but what if tunnel vision is what God has given a certain person or a certain group. Tunnel vison in the since that God has a specific area or goal that he wants accomplished and he doesnt want anything affecting that goal. But on the other hand ive seen first hand the destructivness of a closed mind and it is scary. I dont like a stagnant position more than the next person but if a church is not unified then maybe God has still more work or the people have more work to do before The Lord will let them grow

Ron said...

I agree with you pretty much on all counts. "Positive" tunnel vision can be a gift from God. It is the destructive, negative mindset that scares me. If a person does not recieve "the whole counsel of God" ... meaning reading the ENTIRE Word and getting the big picture of what God wants from His people ... and he fixates on a small portion of the Word, then it is very easy to put together your own agenda and seemingly back it up with scripture. That is, in part, how Joan of Arc got burned at the stake.