Monday with Michael Spencer
The Question Is God, the Answer Is Jesus
An article from another blog Michael authored: Jesus-Shaped Spirituality
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“Anything that one imagines of God apart from Christ is only useless thinking and vain idolatry.”
• Martin Luther
It’s been a very interesting day. I can’t tell you much about it, but I can tell you something.
When a discussion starts about God, the Christian is not faced with the same choices as other people.
Most people can go wherever they want in the discussion. They can talk about “God as I understand him” or “my higher power” or “my church says that God….” and so on. Really, the choices are practically infinite.
The Christian, on the other hand, must immediately think about Jesus. Jesus from the pages of scripture. Jesus the light, the revealer, the image of the invisible. Jesus in his own words, in the Gospels and in the totality of scripture.
Jesus reveals God, and from there, the discussion can go on.
You can explore the Bible, or you can place Jesus into a moral issue or various cultural settings. You can apply what you know of Jesus to what you don’t know of God. You can pray, sing, preach. There are plenty of roads open NOW. But only after we come to Jesus.
It truly breaks my heart to hear, see or read anyone who is a Christian approaching the subject of God, God’s will, God’s guidance, God’s message—without going to Jesus and camping right there with no intention to move or be impressed with anything else.
There are dozens, hundreds of ways to avoid Jesus when talking about God. There are dozens, hundreds of ways to manipulate Jesus to a less than defining place.
Many of these are fun. Some have the approval of important and powerful people. Some are wrapped in scripture verses. Many are surrounded by books or endorsed by ministers.
But at bottom, Jesus isn’t defining the God conversation. So the conversation is on the wrong foot and making a wrong turn. It may not be worthless, but it isn’t reliable.
You can dress your opinions about God up in whatever language you want. You can validate it with experiences, signs and wonders. You can claim miracles, voices and confirmations in the mystical realm.
When the smoke clears, you’ve explored your own imagination or otherwise missed Jesus.
If you are going to think about God, go to Jesus and start there, stay there and end there.
This simple rule is too simple for the religious, the worldly wise, the power seeking and the proud.
It is infuriating to those who want to manipulate for money or distract for some personal agenda.
Jesus will break our idols, complicate our assumptions, overturn our tables and put himself squarely in the center of every question. He is the way, the truth, the life. He is the answer. He is the one way we think about, know, love, worship and relate to God.
When you think about God, go to Jesus.
Now you know.