1 Cor 2:7-14
7 No, we declare God’s wisdom, a mystery that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. 8 None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 9 However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived” — the things God has prepared for those who love him— 10 these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. 11 For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12 What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us. 13 This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words. 14 The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.
Would you rather carry around a 3 pound backpack or a 50 pound fire safe today? I think I already know what your answer will be.
In The Deep End, Pastor David uses a backpack and a fire safe as a metaphor to represent two common ways of understanding how faith works in our lives (p.8). A fire safe is designed for maximum protection but minimum flexibility. We don’t open up a fire safe very often and it really doesn’t travel well. But a backpack holds things we use daily and can travel with us wherever we go. We sacrifice a bit of safety for this accessibility, but the risk is worth it.
Faith is not about finding the right answers and doing whatever is necessary to eliminate the questions - like a fire safe to be filled and a set of beliefs that are protected at all costs. When our beliefs are boxed in and locked away two things can happen:
We stop growing.
Our beliefs become inaccessible and eventually irrelevant to our daily lives.
Pastor David says, “If faith is simply about finding answers in order to eliminate questions, then we end up losing the mystery. And when that happens, we trade a God of infinite mystery and majesty for a God who is small, a God who is safe, and a God that fits inside our own little box.”
In today’s scripture reading, the Apostle Paul writes about the wisdom and mystery of God and how, when we open ourselves to the work of the Holy Spirit, the “deep things” of God are revealed to us.
What do you think about Pastor David’s metaphor of the backpack and the fire safe? How would you describe the work of the Holy Spirit in this metaphor?
Holy God, thank you for your grace. Please help me move beyond the hurdles that trip me up and give me more faith in you and more assurance in your love for me. Amen.
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version ® NIV ®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2014 by Biblica, Inc.®. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.