Readings for July 5, 2020
Psalm 145:1-2, 8-11, 13-14
Romans 8:9, 11-13
It is said that in every group, including every Bible study or church small group, there is that one guy who loves to hear himself speak. He is the one who dominates all discussion with his supposed wisdom, never failing to interject on someone else’s point. It is also said that if you are in a group that does not seem to have that person, look in the mirror. A few years ago, much later than I should have, I looked in the mirror and I saw that one guy. Since then, I have tried to check myself in group settings, often even avoiding them because of my now habitual need to spew my supposed knowledge and wisdom. Though I still often fail, I do understand that Jesus is telling me to be one of the “little ones,” not one of the learned.
I believe that the difference between the learned, to whom the knowledge of the Kingdom is hidden, and the little ones, to whom the Kingdom of God is revealed, is this: Knowledge can be and often is used for power and self-aggrandizement, while simple revelation more often brings about awe and wonder. And we should–I should–be amazed with what God reveals. Awe and wonder lead to holiness. Thomas a Kempis wrote in The Imitation of Christ that “a humble knowledge of thyself is a surer way to God than the deep searching of a man’s learnings.” Similarly, Proverbs 3:5 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Do not depend on your own understanding.”
God’s knowledge is infinite, free from the boundaries of space and time. My knowledge, no matter how much I read or study, discuss or discern, is always finite. In seeking to know everything, I easily miss what is most important. I do not need to be wise to love my neighbor. I do not need great knowledge to trust God. If I wait for God to reveal to me what is necessary, trusting that He knows what is necessary at any given moment, then I can live in the peace of knowing that the future is not in my limited hands, but in the infinite hands of the One Who who has promised to love and shelter me.
God’s ways are always better than my ways. My ways will always lead to living in the flesh, which will always lead to death. Living God’s way is to live within the Spirit, which will, accordingly, always lead to life. So I need to put away my know-it-all ways. It’s just not about me. I don’t need to understand, only to stand in awe and to place my trust in Him. Holiness, peace, and everlasting life await my doing so.
“I give praise to You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although You have hidden these things from the wise and the learned, You have revealed them to the little ones…Such has been Your will.” Teach me, Lord, humility and patience, but do so gently, please. I ask this in the name of Jesus, my Lord and Savior. Amen