Saturday, January 29, 2011
Saturday, January 22, 2011
Why is this important to you and me? Because we learn the same way--that will never change. Because learning these kinds of life lessons, although aided by instruction, requires time living "loved and listening." Jesus was tempted to worry, just like we are. Jesus was afraid and tempted to question His Father's care, just like we are (Hebrews 4:15). But it was His ongoing experience of His Father's character that led Him to the perfect trust that kept Him without sin.
Trying to live by principles and instruction without the experience and time with Abba just doesn’t work (for many reasons!), yet many western Christians seem to think that instruction alone (or instruction plus good feelings) will change them. Jesus never intended for His teaching to be sufficient in and of itself, but rather intended for it to bring His hearers closer to His Father. Instruction provides the foundation and the framework for us to recognize and understand who God is (and sometimes what He is doing) but it cannot replace our experiencing who God is as we live out our lives with Him. Even in ordinary life this is how it works. Someone may say to us that they can be trusted or that they are capable, but we don’t really know that it's true--we don't really know them--until we see them live it out, as we experience over time the truth of what they say. Think about this, and I am sure you will not only "get it" but also hear Papa speaking to you about what this means to you.
For me, what it means is that John 1:18 takes on new meaning to me now. Jesus "lived in the Father’s lap" (a literal translation) continuously while He was here on earth, and it was in the Father's embrace that He learned the truths that He so confidently taught others. We can do the same--indeed, I am convinced that it's the only way really to "learn."
Leaning into Father’s embrace,
Tom, one of Abba's little boys