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.