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Pointers along the way #158

Favourite subjects
- Jacob Ninan

God is so big that we, as small created beings, will never be able to know everything about Him. But our privilege is to keep trying - to know Him a bit more today than we knew yesterday. That's what He likes. He takes great delight in revealing Himself to those who seek Him, because He knows that the more we know Him, the more intimate our fellowship will be with Him. It was like that with Moses, because he had grown to know God's ways intimately, while most others only saw God's external acts (Ps.103:7).

Sometimes we get stuck in our ways. When we suddenly see some part of the truth that we had never seen before, we become so fascinated with it that we begin to think and act as if nothing else matters. Obviously the thrill of receiving a new understanding is so strong that we can't think of anything else. For example, when we get to the experience of being born again, an entirely new world opens up for us, and everything else gets forgotten. But then is that the end of it? When we cross the milestone of water baptism, experience the filling of the Holy Spirit, speak the first few words of an unknown tongue, see a vision or a dream, etc. - every step is overwhelming! It is all very good as long as we keep going forward, from faith to faith and grace to grace, experiencing more and more of the closeness of God. But sometimes we get stuck, like the needle in a gramophone record, producing the same sounds again and again as the record goes round and round.

Many have their favourite subjects. That is their speciality. Whenever they meet someone, the discussion turns to this particular subject. Whether it is about the interpretation of some verse, some special experience, a certain emphasis of life, some doctrinal controversy, a certain way of doing things - the list can go on - they can speak of practically nothing else. Even if they talk about something else for a while, very soon they come back to their favourite subject.

Now it is only natural that our latest experience thrills us and stays uppermost in our mind. But we must not forget that the wisdom of God is manifold (Ep.3:10) (with many folds?), and that when we unfold one there are many more folds to see yet! We must also keep in mind that while we have just opened up one fold, our brother may be opening up a completely different fold at that moment. Let's not waste time arguing with him. Given enough time, he will come around to the fold we are familiar with. And if we are willing to be humble, we may also be able to get to the fold which he is excited about just now!

It may be that God allows many different groups to exist so that each group may contribute a bit to the total process of unfolding (Ep.3:18). We would imagine that in an 'ideal' church, there should be a perfect balance of all truths. But this ideal is approximated only by the universal church and certainly not by ours alone. Let us recognise our smallness and be willing to learn from the others.