June 18, 2015 Matt Pennock

Real Free-thinking

I’ve wondered greatly at my own self-determination and personal resolves and how just far off they really are from what is really going on in my life. I could conjure up a million things in my mind as to what God might be planning for my next steps—what his purpose for all this is. I’ll foolishly see it as logic, reason, even simple math as I am just adding things up to see what they amount to—the product being the purpose. But the product is not the purpose.

It never is.

When we talk of God’s purpose or plan for our lives it’s easy to dream up all sorts of fantasies, for our minds work like that. Imagination has it’s place—we encourage it in our kids. We need it to enliven our hearts. But growing up into maturity requires putting away child-like thinking and understanding. In the Bible wisdom is contrasted—or even posited opposite—with simple-mindedness. Maturity should be rooted in the growth and expansion of wisdom in our hearts, souls, and minds. If we live by wisdom, we are no longer living by simple rules. We learn to observe and judge the outcomes and events of our lives according to something outside of our finite minds—by the infinite. Now that’s what I call free-thinking! In contrast, it is extremely limiting on ourselves to judge our lives by simple dictates or elementary mathematical analyses. The Word is for us, and belongs to us. We are heirs with Christ, and not subordinates sent to do God’s biddings. The redemption story positions us as co-creators, co-participants, and co-heirs with the All-wise One. Therefore, our individual lives should be seen in such a capacity.

What happens when we consistently, and immaturely, reduce our lives into simplistic, 1+1=2 arithmetic? We become incredibly short-sighted, but worse than that, we show ourselves as rather unconvincing, and even silly, to the world around us. The reality is the variables of our lives are part of a larger, much more complicated equation beyond what our finite minds can deal with. No amount of finite thinking can calculate it out, and I think God intends it to be that way so that we will grow up and learn to live by wisdom, that is, to see the infinite wisdom in things. Such a posture will inevitably slow us down and help us to avoid jumping to conclusions. Immature, child-like ways don’t just cease and desist when we want. They have to be restrained and held back until we are free from their influence. The wise man holds his tongue says the Proverb. We should not be quick to speak even to our own affairs, but rather seek the wisdom God offers freely.

They say God works in mysterious ways, and conceals matters from our eyes but I am beginning to see that this is not true. The mysterious-ness was all in the past. Now all things are supposed to be clear, obvious, revealed, and made known. He does not hide anything from his own. But do we have the wisdom to see it?

“I know that You can do all things, And that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted.” Job 42:2

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Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary:

thought—”purpose,” as in Job 17:11; but it is usually applied to evil devices (Job 21:27; Ps 10:2): the ambiguous word is designedly chosen to express that, while to Job’s finite view, God’s plans seem bad, to the All-wise One they continue unhindered in their development, and will at last be seen to be as good as they are infinitely wise. No evil can emanate from the Parent of good (Jas 1:13, 17); but it is His prerogative to overrule evil to good.

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