We don’t have a clue
Until we look at life
From God’s point of view
And let Him be the glue
That holds us together.
“Knowledge puffs up.” Studying theology without actively embracing the presence and humility of the living Jesus can easily cause pride to override our heart. Theology too often misses the experience of the glorious mystery of the present-day reality of “Christ in you, the hope of glory.
Theology that doesn’t open and overwhelm the heart with the presence and reality of the living Jesus is intellectualism disguised as faith. No matter how much you study electricity, until you turn on the light and experience its power, your knowledge is mere theory. The same is true for theology.
How much more! It’s easy to view Jesus as merely in the past (but we humans desperately need the living and present Jesus now). We need to focus on and surrender the control of both our individual lives and of our lives together (when we gather as the body of Christ) to the actual presence of the risen Jesus and let Him be our present and living Head and Lord. The book of Romans calls this being “led by the Spirit.” (See verse 8:14.) How much more there is to Christianity than just remembering and learning about Jesus in the past!
Modern Christianity too often focuses on theology while ignoring actually opening the heart to the living Jesus and to one another. Theology is like train tracks. It’s vitally important and without it Christianity can easily go off track. However, the best tracks in the world without a train to run on them are worthless. Without taking the time to train people to actually open up to the risen Jesus and to each other, theology is empty tracks. The Bible says that people who are Spirit-led (not theologically ahead) are the children of God.
If you focus on continually studying and learning the details of a friend’s life but don’t open your heart to personally interact with him, you will have a very shallow relationship. Jesus is my Friend and Lord! I don’t just want to study Him. I want to follow Him with my heart wide open to His presence and love! A mind full of theology, without a heart openly overflowing with the reality of the living and present Jesus, tends to produce a present-day Pharisee.
The more you know yourself the more you know that you need to say no to yourself. It takes courage to open your heart in a closed-hearted culture. Be courageous! When one person has the courage to open up his heart to be radically and continually led and changed by the living present Jesus, it creates a powerful chain reaction that influences many other people to do the same. Will you be that person?
It takes much more courage . . .
- To fully surrender your life to the living Jesus than to study theology.
- To open your heart than to keep it closed.
- To do what’s right than to do what’s wrong.
- To be kind than to be rude.
- To control your thoughts than to let them control you.
- To admit you’re wrong than to justify yourself.
- To forgive than to hate.
- To resist temptation than to give in to it.
- To be honest than to lie.
- To humble yourself than to exalt yourself.
- To obey your conscience than to ignore it.
- To discipline yourself than to let yourself run wild.
- To argue with yourself than to argue with other people.
- To fight your unruly feelings and desires than to fight people.
- To obey the living Jesus throughout the day than to go to church.
Great thoughts. I love your comparisons at the end.