Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Words are not enough...

We don't really understand the significance of phrases like "Don't touch the hot element on the stove or you'll get burned," until we experience being burned. Likewise, we don't really understand the word "skiing" until we do it. In the same way, we don't really understand what "being filled with the Holy Spirit" is, until we are. We don't really understand God until we know him, and all the words and explainations in the world don't provide us with experience.

Just as words aren't not nearly as informative as the experience they describe, so God is far bigger than what we say about him. Words in and of themselves don't really have much sense - it's the meaning behind them that makes sense. Mathematics looks like a whole lot of random lines on a page, and it's only when one understands the meaning behind the maths that it makes sense.

So I think that's sometimes why God doesn't make sense to people. They look at the words and the way things look on the outside and can't see past them - because to understand God very much at all we have to experience Him. So when we describe God to other people, of course it doesn't make much sense - they haven't experienced it for themselves and they can only hear the words we are telling them. But the words don't mean anything to them until they experience God.

Now interestingly, God has given us the Bible... and it is full of words. Here's an interesting thought, which was the greater - the prophesy of the Messiah or the fulfillment of that prophesy? Obviously, it's fulfillment was far greater. Likewise, which is greater, the directions about how to walk with God, or walking with God?

Too often I think we stop at head knowledge. It's like we think it is enough to know the ways of God, even to be able to describe them to others in great depth, without actually walking in them ourselves. I think Jesus rebukes such people... hearers but not doers of His word. People can argue about words and interpretations, but they cannot tell you that your experience was 'wrong.' Surely, there is no greater foundation for our faith and our light as having our feet solidly walking the ways of the Lord.

If we sit by the path and talk about where it goes, then it is no wonder we people are not willing to follow us as we travel nowhere. Jesus said, "Follow me." He didn't say, "understand all my teachings." Understanding was secondary, because only by following Him do we understand His teachings. They cannot be understood by intellect alone.


PS: Seventh Fret no longer exists.


Nathan said...

Ok, apologies if this is up twice...

Good post - If I was to probe the issue further, how do we reconcile this with the fact that God's revelation to us these days is primarily through his word?

Fraser Dron said...

Hey, I think you should elaborate. Go on.