Tuesday, March 4

Plumbing the depths......

"The purposes of a man's heart are deep waters, but a man of understanding draws them out." Proverbs 20:5 (New International Version)

I'm reading the Gospel of John as part of the 'homework' for the leadership group I'm studying with. SO what's the Proverb have to do with John?.......

It is interesting to see Jesus' interaction with Nicodemus, the Pharisee who hides under in a tree and comes to Jesus in the cover of darkness……."The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit." (John 3:8 NIV). The NIV commentary says, "The Holy Spirit is sovereign. He works as He pleases in His renewal of human hearts." But, I think it goes deeper than that.

Jesus continues His discussion with Nic, "Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God." (John 3:20-21 NIV).

Our moral behaviour is too often defined before we reach out to discover that which is missing in our lives; Jesus Christ. Some respond to the light quickly and with due haste because of the representation in their own lives through the parents. Some are broken upon the mantle of righteousness before they can see. Others won't ever know the reality of the depth of their Heavenly Father's love because they've never realized it can be deeper. A study done recently by Pew Research (I think, or Barnum) showed that the faith of the children is exactly the same as the faith displayed and represented by the parents.

Is it any wonder that the millennials who are defining the church today in the emergent movement do so with a shallow and pale comparison of the truth? Christians in the United States are supposedly 82% or greater of the populace, but what kind of faith is represented? We find that only about 8% are of the 'old guard', those conservative, evangelical followers of Christ, while the vast majority have a dim and boxed image of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Some have gone as far as saying God can be found in every religion, others that Christ is representative of Buddhist, Hindu, and Islamic faiths.


Because man has defined the surface tension that protects the deeper, more basic purposes of his heart. We hide the interior of our homes and our lives from outside view because we are ashamed or fearful of exposing that which is done in the darkness. And, anything that is not of God is not good. We don't want others to know that we are basically fallen, sinful beings that imperfectly attempt to follow a God that we have devalued and boxed into a definable presence, brought out on Sunday and put away for the rest of the week. Our children, who are 'coming of age', are finding the world moldable and a God that can be fitted into their definition of truth. There is no prophecy; there are no miracles because we are in control of the picture.

For a people designed to live in relationship with each other, we are constantly seeking a method in which to claim relationship without connection. We maintain a distance in our church relationships with those who claim our beliefs, keeping our 'personal' business personal and putting on an image of propriety that isn't even tested by our closest brothers and sisters too often. They may attempt to explore a deeper relationship with others, but when the surface tension is met and they feel resistance…..they think they have plumbed the depths of each others soul….and call it good.

Who is this 'man of understanding' Solomon talks of? What are these 'deep waters' of a man that hide the purposes of their lives? And how are they 'drawn out'?
The good, the bad, the ugly. Those wounds of our hearts caused by ill-intent parents or in the best of circumstances by loving and gentle parents are what we hide within the deep waters of our hearts, dealing with each other from a position of painful relating and setting the 'depth gauge' to a pressure that we are comfortable with. Who wants to know the true brokenness of another, for knowing requires a response (at least that is what we are taught). After all, a true Christian will not simply walk beside their brother and sister in pain, but seek to 'lift up' that person from the anguish of being human.

But a 'man of understanding' looks to his own wounded heart and seeks to bring the light to the darken depths of his soul. Realizing that we are all living flawed and imperfect lives and that the true nature of God is so far beyond our understanding that we cannot contain or direct His movements in our lives and the history of the world. We can only seek after that which we were meant to be and find in the passage of time that we have changed. As the wind blowing in our lives, eroding the landscape to an image more reflective of the Father.

Why does God do the things He does? Why does the world exists the way it does? Who decides who has to suffer and who can triumph over the trials of this life?

By living our lives exposed, to the wind of the Father's breath, we find and root out the basis of evilness that has permeated our beings since the Fall. Living in true relationship with each other; loving despite the pain, accepting the pain of a broken world as it affects us, and striving in the storm tossed seas of this journey to our true homes despite the growing water in the bilges of our vessel, we find understanding, joy, and peace.

We find a touch of Heaven in our living.

But we have to dive the depths and discover our true purposes hidden there. And expose them to the light of the Truth so that the evil of our broken humanity can be charred away by the purity of His presence, and our true design can shine through, as God intended.

And in the process, we discover the solidity of our Creator………

Just my thoughts..........

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