Thursday, February 14, 2008

Seeing the Invisible God (2)

The Sixth Sense.

How can we see an invisible God?
I'm talking about perceiving God, about knowing him in real-time... here and now. Not knowing about him or even believing in him but encountering him in relational dialog that extends beyond mere words into deep and intimate interaction.

It's tragic how we've relegated our spiritual sensibility to the realm of mysterious diversion. Human beings are spiritual beings as much as we are physical. Our spiritual sense is a sense... a mode of interaction not unlike sight or taste or smell. It's as real as physical touch and as necessary to our intimate experience of God as physical touch is to our intimate experience of our mate.
If a man joins himself to a woman, he becomes one body with her, for the Scriptures say, “The two become one flesh.” In the same way, the person who joins themself to the Lord is one spirit with him. (1 Corinthians 6:16-17)
Perceiving God, knowing him in real time, is a relational reality. That sounds so simple, but it's nothing short of amazing. The lessons from this realization are profound. For example, as a relationship, intimately knowing God grows with time and faithfulness. Other biblical terms for faithfulness include righteousness and obedience. Maybe that's why Jesus so frequently called his disciples to abide in his love by remaining obedient. Look for the elements of time and faithfulness in the following passage and for how they relate to perceiving God:
Hebrews 5:11-14 … There is much more we want to tell you about Jesus but cannot because you've become spiritually hard-of-hearing. By now you should be teaching but you still need to learn the basics of God’s word - like infants who still need milk and aren't ready for solid food. Milk is for infants who can’t understand the word of righteousness; but solid food is for the mature who have trained their senses through practice to discern the ways of good and evil.
I've been married to my wife for only five years, but the growth we've enjoyed through our increasing time and faithfulness to each other has yielded a depth of awareness and intimate experience of each other that is difficult to explain. It's humbling, amazing, and far sweeter than I ever imagined. This is the reward that awaits all who invest time and faithfulness in their relationship with God: depth of awareness and intimate experience.
With the mature, we speak the hidden mystery of God's wisdom that is far beyond the wisdom of this perishing world and its rulers. The wisdom predestined before the ages to our glory which this world's rulers failed to understand and so crucified the Lord of glory, just as Scripture says, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.” But to us God has revealed it by his Spirit; for his Spirit understands everything, even God’s deep secrets.

A person’s spirit penetrates their thoughts just as God’s Spirit knows His thoughts. And we have received God’s Spirit - not the world’s spirit - so now we can know the things God freely planned for us. We don't interact in human wisdom but speak from the Spirit, spiritual words and spiritual wisdom. People who aren’t spiritual can’t understand God’s Spirit. It's foolishness to them because they don't have a spiritual sensibility and aren't spiritually aware. Those who are spiritual understand God's mysteries and even appear, themselves, mysterious to the world.

Scripture says, “Who can know God's thoughts? Who knows enough to teach him?” But we, unlike before, now have the mind of Christ. (1 Corinthians 2:6-16)
The goal of our faith is not miraculous power or worldly prosperity (so popular in our culture). The goal of our faith is the culmination of a love relationship with God and with all who share that pursuit. It's a goal achieved as the result of a relational process of time and faithfulness.

"Lord, please develop our spiritual sensibility so that we might know You more as we commit ourselves to loving, faithful obedience to You over time."

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