Yes I Ken (All Around the Word part 4)

“That ye may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.” (Ephesians 3:17-19)

I have not wrapped my mind around God

My mind isn’t broad enough. Einstein said “I want to know His thoughts”. Well, so do I, I must admit. But I’d rather know His heart. Him. And my mind? It’s more like a color, say yellow. And that has been infused with red–bled in, as it were. To where it’s now orange. No, one doesn’t wrap their mind around God. He wraps you in His heart.

As you may know and realize, the word ken means “your understanding”, your “ken”. While the name Ken (Kenneth) means “handsome”–and that really doesn’t mean anything–your inner ken, is where it’s at. Scripturally speaking, it’s along the lines of when Jesus says “He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.” (Matthew 11:15) He’s broadcasting a deep line of understanding and wisdom leading back to Himself that, if you got the guts, you can take hold of back to Him. It’s not beyond your ken, you just may not know that yet.

“He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.” (Revelation 2:29)

The thing (one of them, anyway) about Revelation is that it’s broadcasted as this impossible-without-a-PhD-to-understand book of high symbolism and abstruse, if arcane, meaning. And this is true. But why would Jesus take hold of John and then speak these things in his presence–telling him to write them down no less. Loose the book on the world and then discourage and demur one from diving into it for understanding? And just like I don’t have concrete, black-and-white answers for each and every one of my questions, I am confident that the Lord will broaden my understanding as my life progresses. One day, one thought at a time.

“I will run the way of Thy commandments, when Thou shalt enlarge my heart.” (Psalm 119:32)

Ooh! One quick thing. The more questions you get answered, the more your mind fills with whatever color with which God reveals Himself, the more you’ll be expected to walk in that truth. Don’t worry. As a child of God, He takes great pains to ensure you’re strong enough to bear the added responsibility befitting the crown with which you’ve been fitted, if that makes sense. And this is why we will cast whatever crowns we’ve accrued at the throne of the King. I think it says that somewhere in Revelation.

Operating Instructions (All Around the Word part 3)

“And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should already come; and even now already is it in the world. Ye are of God little children, and have overcome them: because greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world.” (1 John 4:4)

That’s kind of creepy. To know there’s this spirit at loose in the world trying to ply the counterpoint to everything Christ stood (and stands) for is horrifying. And boy does that sound tame in comparison. All the attributes the Jesus exemplified and lived and lives through us. Joy, peace, contentment and calm. Love. But you’ve got nothing to worry about as John says. Because you possess one who is greater than all that. It’s as if you have been given the gift of the Holy Spirit to see God’s work come to pass in your life and your world and all you have to do is read the directions. This is why it’s of utmost importance to study the Word as the Holy Spirit leads.

“Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth an abideth for ever.” (1 Peter 1:23)

So, the Indo-European root for “death” is “nek-“. Might sound counterintuitive but it’s where we get the prefix “necro-“. Now look at the word “nectar”. The first syllable has its root in the previous. But the last! The Indo-European root for the second syllable comes from the root “tere-” meaning to overcome. The idea behind “nectar” was it was something drunk that enabled the gods to escape, to overcome death. But what Jesus enacted for you by way of His death is greater than myth. As an aside, I find it amazing that the same root for overcome gives rise to the word “truculent” meaning “fierce” and “brutal” and yet in English, the word “truckle” comes from a different source altogether and means the opposite. Its root (“dhreg-“) means “to run” and the word itself means to acquiesce and give in. To cower.

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death.” (John 8:51)

“Him that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.” (Revelation 21:7)

Think about the things in your life that you need to overcome. To vault over with the help of the Holy Spirit. Look at them now and see them get larger as you get closer. They loom. They’re huge. Time plays no favorites in moving everyone along its conveyor. But understand. God is also the Lord of time and everyone moves at the speed He has ordained. As His child, you are moving towards full and complete overcoming regarding everything (should there be anything) holding you back from the state Jesus describes in the above verse from Revelation. And I hate to sound faux New Agey or overly positive to the neglect of reality. I suppose I should add that apparently, time does not flow linearly. I could cite all sorts of science to back up my assertions–but only up to a point. Should you try and substantiate with the purely physical, the truths in God’s Word as they apply to your life, you will always run up against a grain of grit that will grind your gears and potentially cause them to stop. Look to Him. See what the Bible says regarding topics with which you may be having a hard time. And if you don’t find the exact keywords that label your struggles, synonymize. Reword your insides and see if you get something. Every answer you need is found by knowing the One who made you and spelled you out.

“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Romans 10:17)

 

Core Samples (All Around the Word part 2)

“This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.” (Joshua 1:8, emphasis mine)

Touchstones

This was a bit of a hangup for me as a kid. It certainly helped that my name was Joshua. Of course I went by Josh. I knew my namesake, however. But just knowing that I was named after the Joshua of the Old Testament didn’t do much to help me “observe to do according to all that is written therein”. I mean, you have this tooome. Thousands of pages of dry, onion-skin leaves holding a language that was most-likely no less easy to comprehend four centuries ago as now to the untrained eyes and mind of a kid more interested in playing outside than donning my spectacles to study the Word. I remember reading Jurassic Park in fourth grade and merrily skipping sixty pages at a stretch if I got lost or misunderstood what was going on. Don’t worry I read it again and got it. Lost World twice, too. But that act of omitting sections with impunity made its way into other parts of my life and world and as such, there were whole realms and vistas of God on which I missed by virtue of not making contact with God in His word. Okay, so my first Bible was a New King James. The thees and thous replaced with their modern counterparts. You get the idea.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6 NKJV)

“O that my ways were directed to keep Thy statutes! Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all Thy commandments.” (Psalm 119:5-6)

Mantle rock

Also called regolith (sounds so cool), mantle rock is the loose, sedimentary rock above the solid part of Earth’s crust. Analogized, it’s the fragmented pieces of life above the foundation to our world. God aims to make sense of all of it but He must necessarily dig down deep. He sees the mistakes we make at an early age. The kind that become deep-rooted evil trees of doubt and fear and maybe anything akin to that which would propagate a generational curse or two. The kind of thing that creates tectonic shifts in midlife and that leave us wondering where the hell everything went wrong. Trust. God sees and and loves and understands. He understands the influences that lead us to diverge, however slightly, from anything that would “make [our] way prosperous” or give us “good success”. And after a certain point, because He is a good Father, He will come calling to shore up those blind spots in us. Those that may not be in keeping with the ways Jesus would act in our place. Best not to think about it too much and let the Holy Spirit do what He will. I digress. Look at the desperation in the psalmist from the above verse. How many places in the Word of God does that little qualifier of “all” come in to play? And again, because God is a good Father, He won’t let us escape “Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:” (Ephesians 4:13) Read that one way (What can I say? I regressed to the King James in my late teens.) and it sounds like Paul is telling the Ephesians that we’ll be able to only get so much like Christ in this life. This is how I read it for many years and it kind of made sense to me. Read it again in the New Living Translation and understand: “This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ.” That’s it. God’s got me, God’s got you. The great and grand fissures that would keep us from furthering along in God’s plan for our life are seen by Him alone. And as we belong to Him, warts and all, it’s He who takes responsibility after we acknowledge Him in those ways.

“Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:6)

All Around the Word

“That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.” (Ephesians 3:17-19, emphasis mine)

Warping ones mind around

So that word in the Greek is katalambano. A loose translation would be “wrap one’s mind around”. To so know Jesus that we feel some aspect of His presence at all times. I would say that the ways in which we seek the Lord are both central to our walk (that’s what it is, for God’s sake) but also eminently unique to us. My opinions and observations regarding another’s fellowship with Christ better be backed with love and non-judgment. And so, I would say that in whatever way we encounter Christ, we are indeed seeing and/or sensing an aspect of love. Wrap your mind around that. But before one is able to do such a thing, one must necessarily wander a bit.

“For they got not the land in possession by their own sword, neither did their own arm save them: but Thy right hand, and thine arm, and the light of thy countenance, because Thou hadst a favour unto them.” (Pslam 44:2)

Anymore, with property taxes and eminent domain and the discouraging lengths of red tape the world over, the acquisition of physical property is reserved only for those who really, really want it. But within, where all the space you could ever want–is yours for the asking, the idea of “staking out one’s territory” is absolutely doable. With God’s help, of course. From the above verse, the Israelites did indeed use steel to accomplish their territorial ambitions. But when the psalmist(s) describes the victory (as history is written by the victors), they rightfully place both God’s strength as well as His “favour” as the top reasons the land was gained. God seems to have flung the territories out as trinkets for anyone who wanted. The internal space of heart and mind is God’s to grant as well, make no mistake. We will never attain unto our right mind unless we meet and then get to know God. He holds the deed(s). But there is one thing we can do.

“Every place whereon the soles of your feet shall tread shall be yours: from the wilderness and Lebanon, from the river, the river Euphrates, even unto the uttermost sea shall your coast be. There shall no man be able to stand before you: for the Lord our God shall lay the fear of you and the dread of you upon all the land that ye shall tread upon, as He hath said unto you. Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse.” (Deuteronomy 11:24-26)

Choosing God means sitting at the feet of Christ. It means doing one thing. And that is whatever He says. It’s different for everyone and it means that there will be seasons of dryness while God aligns us with His will for our life within and without.

A little give and take

“I have shewed you all things,” says Paul, “how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how He said, it is more blessed to give than to receive.” (Acts 20:35)

In closing, did you know that whatever space inside you devote to God and to knowing Christ, He will give that space back to you? I feel there is this lie at large that would have us believe all God wants to do is shackle us to the outworkings of religion (the Indo-European root for “religion” means “to bind”) to the neglect of our heart and passions and imagination. God is nowhere near any preconceived notion that is not based in peace and joy and love. And when it says “that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God”, it’s understood that God won’t give you Himself, or, more of Himself, unless we truly want it.