Friday, July 20, 2012

Contradictory? No.

Romans 8:7
Psalm 29:1-11
Do you regularly practice listening to the Holy Spirit? I am blessed to be in an environment where it is normal and expected to hear the Holy Spirit. Not new revelations, contrary or at least different from orthodox Christianity: but rather reminders of Scripture passages, reassurances of what has always been true, help in understanding what is most important for me right here and right now. When you're in an environment where this is expected of you on a regular basis, it becomes that much easier to expect it of yourself too.
We were singing a song based on Psalm 29, a song which is lively, emotionally stirring, and complicated in that the men and women sing verses separately and harmonize for the chorus, only coming together to sing the same words at the very end of the song. It struck me as we sang "the Lord blessing His people with peace" that the Lord's mind and His perspective are so different from our own. The peace which He gives is lively, emotionally stirring, and sometimes complicated. It is an inner peace which gives us the ability to handle whatever life brings, not like the world's peace which is so fragile, ready to break the minute someone speaks a single word. He is different in other ways too: He is described as both the Lion of Judah and the Lamb of God, and as the righteous and just Judge and as the merciful Redeemer. In a human perspective these are contradictory. Someone who is like a lion is very much NOT like a lamb. "Just" means to give exactly what is deserved, "merciful" is to NOT give the punishment that is deserved. How can the one who judges us be the one who rescues us from our deserved judgement? And so the mind of our flesh tells us not to trust the Lord, to be God's enemy and refuse to submit to His law. Yet somehow all that God tells us about Himself is true. It is our language, our vocabulary, our perspective that is too limited and that creates apparent incongruities. God is so far above us that our words are inadequate to describe Him. As we enter into His worldview we discover the too-good-to-be-true reality: The righteous, just Judge has chosen to redeem us, the Lion powerful enough to overcome every obstacle is more gentle with us than a lamb, the peace He offers lasts and strengthens us when the world's peace shatters, submission to His Law brings freedom greater than we've ever encountered before.

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