Saturday, February 05, 2011

The mysterious life

TODAY'S SPECIAL: 1 Corinthians 2:1-16

TO CHEW ON: "But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory." 1 Corinthians 2:7

Something I love about the Bible is the way it shows itself to be increasingly interrelated and consistent, richer and more satisfying the deeper I dig into it. No matter what Bible topic I study — light, water, fire, new life — the more I mine, the purer the treasure I find. That's probably because in the Bible we're dealing with what Paul calls the "wisdom of God," truth that comes from God's pure gold, IQ-off-the-charts mind.

Paul calls God's wisdom a mystery. A footnote article in my Bible explains:

"Mystery in the New Testament does not mean mysterious or difficult to understand, but denotes a truth hidden in God's mind until He chooses to disclose it. God had the plan of redemption in mind before the creation of the world, and it would have remained unknown had He not revealed it in Christ..." New Spirit-Filled Life Bible, p. 1582.

I love how the verse that follows our focus one (vs. 8) tells us that no human in charge at the time or even Satan (the "god of this age" - 2 Corinthians 4:4) or the demons of hell ("principalities and powers" Colossians 2:15) had any clue about God's plan or "they would not have crucified the Lord of glory." Foiled!

But we can tap into that "mystery" mind. How? Through the Holy Spirit:

"But it was to us that God revealed these things by his Spirit. For his Spirit searches out everything and shows us God’s deep secrets. No one can know a person’s thoughts except that person’s own spirit, and no one can know God’s thoughts except God’s own Spirit. And we have received God’s Spirit (not the world’s spirit), so we can know the wonderful things God has freely given us" NLT vs. 10-12

It's as our little paragraph above finishes:

"...Believers live by a secret, the essence of which is Christ and His glorious purposes for the world" NSFLB, p. 1582.

I ask myself, am I living true to that "secret," that "mystery"? Do I set my priorities by it? Or do I let the din and clamour around me drown out that divine Pied-Piper song?

PRAYER: Dear Holy Spirit, please reveal the mind of Christ to me. I want my life to be part of Your mystery, lived in cooperation with Your plan that was "ordained before the ages." Amen.

MORE: What the above may mean:

"Never choose to be a worker, but when God has put His call on you, woe be to you if you turn to the right hand or to the left. He will do with you what He never did with you before the call came. He will do with you what He is not doing with other people. Let Him have His way."
- Oswald Chambers, My Utmost For His Highest, October 25th reading.

"God breaks up the private life of His saints and makes it a thoroughfare for the world on one hand and for Himself on the other.... Let Him have His way; if you do not, instead of being of the slightest use to God in His redemptive work in the world, you will be a hindrance and a clog."
- Oswald Chambers, My Utmost, November 1 reading.

"It is one thing to go through a crisis grandly, but another thing to go through every day glorifying God when there is no witness, no limelight, no one paying the remotest attention to us....The test of the life of a saint is not success, but faithfulness in human life as it actually is."
- Oswald Chambers, My Utmost, November 16 reading.

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