Tuesday, December 14, 2010
When praying for Pentecost, sometimes we receive it and nothing is like it. Power comes to us not through any labor we have done, but by the power of the Holy Spirit. I have wept under the conviction of the Holy Spirit and laughed with great joy in the Lord.And yet it seems as if there is war between those that "experience" God and those the think about Him. I have said many times I have little trust for Pentecostalism as a movement - too much revelation, not enough reason. Legalism is, I think, a form of over-thinking things. IT results som often from people that read scripture, even believe it, but have not experienced the actual grace of Christ in a supernatural sense.
We are tempted to demand that God always give us His grace in this same way.
I have also done hard intellectual work that ended in a vision of God. Sometimes at the end of working through a hard passage of Plato, I have felt a rush of God’s glory. I have, by His grace, reasoned and felt His pleasure at the end of the process. In the joy of this moment, the temptation appears to do it again . . . to seek God in reasoning.
Reason is a great good, but the good of it cannot come to us at our command.
I have learned to trust no man who does not admit that both reason and revelation are necessary in the life of any sane person. Our Father delights to give us good gifts (revelation), and also delights to see us act in His image (reason). When we use our noetic capacities we glorify Him; when we accept His revelation we glorify Him.
Euripides was right: we need both the god of passion and the god of reason in the City. The good news of the Gospel is that logic became flesh and dwelt among us and that we beheld His glory and His truth.
My personality is such that I want to come at things thoughtfully, but thoughts without passion - a passion that can only be born of a direct experience of the Holy Spirit are brittle, crackly things. They lie there lifeless. A passion born of the Holy Spirit fills them with life - a life that means we have to transmit them - we have to share them - we have to offer others encouragement concerning them. They become the stuff of life.
Do your thoughts sit on the tablet lifeless, or are you filled with a passion that gives them life?