The Israelites were cloud-led by day, fire-led by night. The Presence was the priority. Are we fully open to Jesus as a master leader … a master teacher? Or do we merely worship inductive Bible study? Or liturgy?
Jesus says things like “Learn from me” and “I will make you free” when we first encounter him. But the primary thing we hear is “Follow me.”
We quickly discover he is unpredictable to our ways …
Jesus is always about deconstructing our familiar thinking. He challenges us to die to what we’ve known—“Take up your cross.” He elevates us into the higher ways of the Father. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55).
To our limited thinking, he can even seem ambiguous. Eugene Peterson, teacher and prolific author, best known for his para-translation of the Bible, The Message, says that most sermons suffer greatly for a lack of ambiguity. Do we try to force Jesus into our linear, airtight logic?
The Israelites were cloud-led by day, fire-led by night. The key was to stay aware of the Presence, to move accurately as they were led. Are we fully open to Jesus as a master teacher, a master leader? Or, as post-Enlightenment Westerners, do we somehow have to be led merely by truth propositions and principles? Do we worship inductive Bible study? Doctrine? Liturgy?
Mystery forces us to depend upon his presence. Our highest propositional truth falls short. The Truth is a Person. A Person is the Way forward. “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.”
The presence of Christ transcends propositional truth. Jesus is not doctrine. You search the scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me; and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life” (John 14, John 5).
It’s good that Jesus keeps us off balance. If we think we can predict everything, I’m not sure we’re experiencing Jesus as we should.
Are you willing to truly follow the Spirit of Jesus into the unknown? The only way to get into what you really desire—what you are truly designed for—is to courageously move forward into what is new.
“I make all things new” (Revelation 21).