Theological Juggling/ Spiritual Gymnastics, Part 2

I enjoyed graduate school. Some of my best thinking and preaching took place during that time. My course of study in New Testament Preaching at Johnson University challenged me, forced me to grow, and helped develop some critical thinking and writing skills.

During that time, my sermons became much more focused. I begin writing and preaching messages that only had one point. I was a better communicator for it.

Over the years I flirted with going back to school to work on a Ph.D in speech communications, but there was never really the time, money, or energy. At the very least I couldn’t find or fund the emotional and mental reserves necessary to commit to that course of action.

I regret that at the same time I don’t. If you know what I mean.

Yesterday, I could have apparently used some better communication abilities.

Maybe this will help…

I am sure of Jesus.
I am sure of the Father.
I am sure of the Holy Spirit.

I believe in them with all my heart.

However, I have no shame in saying, there are aspects of each I don’t know or understand.

I believe Jesus was fully human and fully divine at the same time. I am not sure I understand exactly how that worked except with God, all things are possible.

I believe the Father loves me. And yet, even knowing that, there are some times I am quite confident I am not experiencing His love–at least how I imagine it to be.

I believe the Holy Spirit is my comforter. Scripture affirms that. Not only am I not sure, but there are times I am certain His comfort is far from me.

My need to know exactly how God works and what He is doing and why he does or doesn’t is part of my human nature that needs to control.

If I know, I can feel in control.

God’s nature is love. But the full expression of that love and how it will completely work out in our lives is still a mystery. I wish I could, but I cannot control that.

And like it or not, there are any number of doctrines that have divided, confused, and confounded us. We can’t all be right.

So, I’ll stake some comfort in the idea that when it comes to God, perfect knowledge is incomplete and out of my control.

In a comment today, Greg England said,

One thing I do know for sure and that is the longer I live the more I realize just how little I know when it comes to God and His Word. But it’s a blast, ain’t it, just to be able to scrounge around in the Word without having to know everything for sure (obviating faith) and enjoying the vast mystery of it all. I’ll forever be in kindergarten when it comes to my knowledge of God. But when He says I’m declared righteous because of my belief in Jesus, I’ll take it!

So will I, Greg. So will I.

In the next few days I’ll be writing a bit more about the idea of unanswered prayer (or, when God says nothing at all). As a teaser, I am not a deist, but I have some real questions about the nature of God.

God bless and have a great night/ day/ or whenever you read this!

🙂

Les Ferguson, Jr.

6 thoughts on “Theological Juggling/ Spiritual Gymnastics, Part 2

  1. Actually, I thought the first part to this was extremely well-written and I understood where you were at with it….

    I know there are times where I wasn’t sure of where the comfort was, where the love was. But like you said, that doesn’t make Him not there or you to not believe… but just like with any relationship, when you don’t “feel” the love you wonder why they don’t… or you don’t feel comforted you question why not… but that relationship is still there and that person is real. AND… .just because we don’t feel it doesn’t mean it’s not there….

    Well written, thank you, Les.

  2. Les,
    I have not commented in a while but I have been keeping up with your words.

    I know nothing and claim to know nothing. God is using you so powerfully, more than we can realize. Some words that God gave me and I continue to believe:
    “The more I learn, the less I know.”

    For the more I learn the more I realize just how small I am and just how vast God is, and to think that I could ever figure Him out…well, you might as well call me Satan and cast me down because of my pride.

    When we are real, we can face things, we can question, without worrying about what others think…because, as much as we love others and respect others, our focus is on pleasing God…if we were still trying to please others, then we would really not be serving God.

  3. A couple of thoughts for you, Les…maybe we should not spend so much time and energy on trying to understand God. Maybe we should simply remind ourselves that our life here on earth is very short compared to eternity, and our job here is to do as He commanded. To do as He commanded covers ALL that we need to do here on earth. And eternity will await us with rewards for our faithful work here.
    Another thought: Imagine a water bucket, and the water that fills it is God’s mercy, and the size of the bucket is your trust in Him. The bigger your “trust bucket”, the more mercy you will receive. (paraphrased from Josefa Menendez)
    God bless you and yours.

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