There was a brief moment, yesterday, that felt like my spiritual being was finally stirring, stretching, and waking up to reach out to the Lord. A moment in which I felt like, for that one moment, I could stop thinking and trying and longing, and just be. In my heart I knew I was a sinner, in my mind I knew I knew nothing. But my spirit knew that it didn’t need to understand to enjoy being a part of this relationship with the God of all creation.
I’ve had a bit of a bumpy journey when it comes to faith. Of course I’m not the only one. But it’s always felt like those around me had it figured out. I’ve traveled through a couple of very different churches, all with different faces and different messages. Difference can be confusing though, even if many Christians state that God’s message should be crystal clear. As long as it’s God you’re listening to, you won’t be confused, they say.
But it didn’t look like Adam and Eve were confused when the serpent spoke to them. And the Bible speaks of many different things, from different times and in different ways. I’m weary of anyone who says they don’t get confused by some things in the Bible. God caused confusion at the tower of Babel. So what’s the deal?
Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.
– Philippians 2:12-13
My tiny spiritual experience yesterday has led me to a realisation. All my experiences led me to that one experience. All the confusion, all the doubting, all the longing – all that made me seek the truth. It made me ask questions. It led me through places I wish I’d never been to, and through times I wish I could forget.
In recent weeks, I’ve enjoyed studying the Bible with people who have a much deeper knowledge of things than I do. They can point things out to me that I didn’t know before, and uncover some real gems. And that’s what I’ve been craving. Just knowing more about this wonderful guy called Jesus who saved us was all part of a split second experience, because it made me see His love more clearly. But I may never have understood that if I didn’t have a contrast to compare it to. And it makes me wonder; maybe it isn’t so much about what we experience, but how that experience changes us.
Charismatics are all about the experience. We live in an experience-orientated culture. Yet God created all of life, the boring bits as well as the memorable ones. Singing songs may do more for us than breaking our backs doing something we feel goes unnoticed – but which one is more character-forming, more blessing, longer lasting?
Sure, there is a time for everything. And my tiny experience wasn’t felt whilst I was helping someone. But if it doesn’t make us want to go out and make a difference, then it wasn’t worth anything at all.
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God – this is your true and proper worship.
– Romans 12:1
My God is no longer out of reach. I may not grasp His being, but I can embrace His spirit. And a step closer to Him means a step closer to doing great things, however little they may be.
So don’t lose hope. Everybody is confused about something. Confusion is part of our journey. But only you can use that confusion to steer you towards something that is much greater than all the answers in the world. Answers are nothing without love. And I’d rather be confused, but loving, than have all the answers and yet do nothing with them.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, whohave been called according to his purpose.
– Romans 8:28