Monday, October 26, 2009

Relationship vs. Research - Part 2

We can pursue God by way of his written Word but should we approach the scriptures like we might a textbook? Rather than being a static archival manuscript, scripture is living. It is Spirit-given and to be received it must be done so via the Spirit. As we open our hearts and souls while looking into scripture, we find someone looking back at us. We should not presume to examine scripture if we do not offer ourselves to scripture for examination. The Word is more than data. It is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. We do not interpret the text so much as the text interprets us.
Initial vulnerability will require more vulnerability. Deep will call to deep. This approach to scripture is dangerous because such an encounter demands a response and we cannot remain unchanged without doing so in disobedience. But it is a wonderfully indescribable moment when first we discover the written Word to be more than a static historical document.
When we find it to be alive we are startled with shock and amazement. There is a resonance made apparent between the now and the eternal, between our spirit and his. The vulnerability invested pays off big and there comes a knowing that this intimacy is worth the risk. That is to say, we trust the one who is seeing us unveiled. In this moment of seeing and being seen, we are enlivened. In that moment we are powerfully alive and the God of scripture animates its pages, comes off the page, loosed from the cage of critical reasoning. He is alive. We are alive. Suddenly so many possibilities now seem evident.
Where has this God been? How has this Word been so neglected? How has this relationship been shelved for rhetoric? The emanating life force is astounding. It is alive. I feel it in me as the words of Jesus become an experiential reality, “I am the vine, you are the branches.” (Jn 15:4) NKJ
Oh, to be completely given to this moment, never to retreat into myself again, but ever make my retreat in him.
Don’t domesticate this. Don’t try to refine this. Don’t take a weed-eater, an edger or a hedge trimmer to this relationship. This encounter can abide the want of a sharp-edged doctrinal definition. Don’t sterilize this wild moment. Let the reader read and be read. Let the Creator create. Let the Giver give without our presuming restraints. If we offer our lives uninhibited, we will know him to be truly alive and alive in us. Let him come off the page, out of the outline, off the timeline. Give yourself to this moment of proleptic advantage. Let God out of the laboratory and he will not only prove himself alive but will take you with him in a marvelous experiential knowing of life.

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