The experience of knowing the Lord is not exhausted by our reasoning powers.
"God to whom I pray for help in every trouble, in every way of which my lips are capable: deeper than seas, greater than reckoning, Three, One, more wondrous than can be told."
- Broccan the Crooked, Hymn to Saint Brigid (Irish, 7th century)
...and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
- Ephesians 3.20
In a very real sense, our relationship with God through Jesus Christ goes beyond what can be explained or accounted for by logic and words. It must be experienced to be truly known. If all we can do is rehearse the rationale for believing, or the means whereby we have come to faith in Christ, we are missing a significant - perhaps the most significant - part of what it means to know the Lord.
The Scriptures at times use language like this in Ephesians 3: "the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge..." In Philippians 4.6, 7 Paul talked about the "peace of God, which surpasses all understanding..." The psalmist insisted that God's thoughts are so many and so vast that they are beyond numbering (Ps. 139.17, 18).
Knowing the Lord is not without logic and words; but our relationship with the living God through Jesus Christ is not bound by them, either. Nor is the experience of knowing the Lord exhausted by our reasoning powers. There is something deeper, something mysterious and inexplicable about knowing the Lord, partaking in His glory, glimpsing His majesty, and knowing His presence with us in the midst of our daily lives.
We can "know" things with our hearts that our minds cannot translate into meaningful phrases. And we can know them certainly, truly, and so compellingly that no amount of argument, threat, or trial can bring us to deny what our hearts know to be true with a knowledge that goes beyond reasoning.
It was this kind of relationship - deeply heart-felt, rooted in faith, not contrary to reason, but not exhausted by it - that filled so many of the great Celtic saints with vision and courage to seek and serve the Lord. Nor is it easy to explain how one attains to this degree of relationship with Jesus - only seek Him, press on toward Him, pray to Him in every way your lips are capable, and wait upon Him in His Word and in the moments and activities of your everyday life, the eye of your heart straining to see beyond the veil to unseen glorious mysteries of faith.
Suddenly He will be there, and you will know Him. You will know beyond understanding, beyond reason, beyond logic. But you will know Jesus and you will be fairly crushed with joy under the weight of His glory.
And this is how He transforms you into His image so that you become increasingly like Him, more wondrous than can be told.
If this is not your experience of Jesus, know that it can be. And plead with Him daily to make it so.
Today at The Fellowship of Ailbe
Well, whatsay? Shall we rename the country? Today's ReVision thinks so.
Here's something to ponder: There are more precepts, statutes, and rules attached to the eighth commandment (no stealing) than all the others. In the Gates begins a closer look at this commandment this week.
Start the New Year by refocusing on the Christian walk and what it requires. You and your Bible study group or Sunday school class would benefit greatly by working together through one of our new Paruchia Studies in the Christian life. Check them out today at our online bookstore.