Open the Door – Part II

This is the second of a two-part series describing comments by an unbeliever. This entry attempts to explain why human reasoning is of no effect to explain why we believe what we believe.

The natural man cannot understand spiritual things.  [1 Cor 2:14]  It is that simple.  Natural men, philosophers, and those supposed harbingers of knowledge have decided that unless metaphysical matters of the universe can be explained through some reasonable and well-thought out process, then they are not feasible.

How can people be so self serving that they think the mysteries of the universe are openly available for their consumption. That they ought to be able to understand and comprehend the very rationale that governs how and why the universe is the way it appears.  The Bible says: “The message of the cross is foolish to those who are headed for destruction! But we who are being saved know it is the very power of God. As the Scriptures say, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise and discard the intelligence of the intelligent [Isa 29:14]. So where does this leave the philosophers, the  scholars, and the world’s brilliant debaters? God has made the wisdom of this world look foolish. ”

Proverbs 25:2 says: “It is God’s privilege to conceal things and the king’s privilege to discover them.”  God has concealed and left to mystery the things He has chosen and left  for the Kings [inheritors of the Kingdom] the privilege of discovering the mysteries.  We live by faith and not by sight  [or even understanding]. Hab 2:4 and several NT references

Even the things we know, we fail to get right.  We love others but still offend or hurt them.  We judge or rule but our decisions fall short.  We do our best but our best is not good enough.  We often don’t know what we don’t know.  So when Jesus prayed “Father forgive them for they know not what they do” it was not just a request for his crucifixion, but for all of our assumptions that fail.  Even in His agony, surrounded by those whom He had loved for years, there was no escaping their shortcomings in the face of the religious and political opposition.

Alas it is the foolishness of preaching that brings men from darkness into the light.  Share your faith and light as you wait for God’s grace . . .

For this cause we pray . . . (Part 2)

Colossians 1:9-11
The Apostle Paul’s prayer to the church at Colosse included his interest in providing support for all that they needed to have to be empowered for ministry. It doesn’t appear that he had visited Colosse when he wrote the epistle since he tells Philemon of his hope to visit it upon being freed from prison [see Philemon 1:22]. Some speculate that Epaphras was the founder of the Colossian church [see Colossians 1:7, 4:12].
Paul’s petition in Colossians 1:9-11 can be broken into five phrases that provide insight into what the Holy Spirit wants to inspire into the entire body of believers so that we may be perfect and entire, wanting for nothing [James 1:4].
The Apostle’s prayer in the text is as follows:
[9] “For this reason we also, from the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to

  1. ask that you be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;
  2. that you walk worthy of the Lord, in all pleasing
  3. being fruitful in every good work
         The world is suffering under the weight of an incredible burden brought on by the faltering economy [deceitfulness of riches], the stalled job market, the uptick in productivity brought on by companies forcing too few workers do work that would normally require many more. As a result, we are rushed, sleepless, exhausted and working in every spare moment. The consequence of this is that it carries over into our spiritual lives.    Galatians 5:22  states  “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance, . . . ”  so then we can logically infer that being fruitful in a good work would produce a measure of these.  How unfortunate it is that so many members of the body end up spending precious time doing things that produce none of these!  How much time is wasted on tasks and activities that are church-based but not Kingdom-based?   We do a lot of church work that is not the work of the church.
               We are not saved by our works, (see Ephesians 2:7-9) so the work we do must be commissioned by the Lord as we strive to follow his lead.  Cain tried to work his way into the kingdom by his work and it bore no fruit, to the contrary it brought forth so much envy of his brother Abel that he murdered him.  Look for the fruit of your work and let go of activity that seems stagnant.  There’s no wrong in serving where we can, but finding our purpose is of paramount importance.  It grounds us as we settle into our place in the body of Christ, doing what we were made to do.
     4. and increasing in the knowledge of God
Paul prays that we increase in the knowledge of God; there is only one way that that occurs – He reveals himself through his word.  We get ourselves in position to hear from Him and to fellowship with Him as we study the word and pray.   Jesus made a similar invitation when he said “Take my yoke upon you and learn of me . . . (Matt. 11:29) He is inviting us to fellowship and get to know him.  He literally says that following him is not difficult and he will let us rest from our struggles and toil.
     5. strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness
This clause is such a delightful surprise!  I continue to revel in the fact that our might didn’t come in a physical package in the way that Samson’s did.   We are set to receive the might that Jesus showed in his passion on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday.  Notice that he prays for us to be strengthened with ALL MIGHT, not just a bit and not just according to what we might come up with, but according to His power.
To what end?  To all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness.   Ride in tight traffic with that!!  Confront your disbelieving relatives with that!  Take that to your workplace and start a revolution!!
We are in for spiritual warfare, frustration, loss, pain, and disappointment.  Our attitude is that one tool and relief that will make the difference in how we wear Christ and how the world sees Him in us.   Second Corinthians 4:8 “We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;9 Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;10 Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.”
 It is not on you!! We pray this prayer of Paul’s and place our faith in the fact that God can and will make it so for us in this present hour! Believe it!