June 25, 2022
I well remember the drudgery of Algebra 1 back in junior high.
I’ve never been the mathematical, linear, or logical type. Always motivated to dig into music, art, history, and English, I’ve relished math like a trip to the dentist.
Sure, I’d do my homework, study theory, listen in class, and try my hardest to understand what all my classmates apparently had little difficulty grasping. But somehow those funny little formulas never seemed to penetrate my gray matter.
But then came a day, a day still clear in my memory, when I discovered the truth of negative numbers.
If you could have been sitting there in class with me, I just know you would have seen that big proverbial light bulb flash on over my head. Ah-hah! Eureka! I was thrilled to finally be able to grasp all those equations and proofs.
Discovering truth after a long mental wrestling match is an exhilarating experience. But we shouldn’t make the mistake of equating that sort of intellectual discovery with the experience of grasping the truth of God’s Word.
We can participate in Bible studies, do our homework, grapple with all kinds of doctrines, and try really hard to make sense of Scripture. But if any light bulb flicks on in our understanding, it’s probably not because we’ve “discovered” truth. More likely, it has been revealed to us. By God.
Peter thought he made a great discovery when he answered Jesus’s question with the words,
“You are the Christ, the Son of the living God”
In the next verse, however, Jesus is quick to declare that it was no artful detective work on Peter’s part that brought him to that all-important truth. Peter did not discover who Jesus was. Christ said,
“Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man [that is, by human logic and surmising], but by my Father in heaven.”
You can’t unearth spiritual truth by the muscle of intellect or the brawn of our brains alone. God the Holy Spirit reveals these things to us. In fact, God goes so far as to say he hides these things from the wise and intelligent, revealing them instead to the childlike.
Perhaps our prayers today ought to be seasoned with the kinds of petitions that simply say, “God, reveal yourself to me. Reveal your truth in your Word.”
We may be surprised to find that all of our homework, study, listening, and trying will be effective. Not because we’ve put so much energy into it, but because our Father in heaven has chosen to pull back the curtain.
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