The Mind of Christ in His World: Part 1 (6)
The works of the LORD are great,
Studied by all who have pleasure in them.
His work is honorable and glorious,
And His righteousness endures forever.
He has made His wonderful works to be remembered;
The LORD is gracious and full of compassion. Psalm 111.2-4
“Impression without expression leads to depression.” It’s an old saw of uncertain origins, but it contains a wealth of truth.
Practicing creational theology can be exciting. Something in the creation catches your attention. You focus on it, begin to take in the scope and wonder of it, recall some place where Scripture mentions this item in connection with God, and suddenly you become aware of His glory and some of His thinking in the object you are contemplating.
Further reflection on your observation and other associations in Scripture leads you to some conclusion about your experience, so that you proffer an insight from what you have learned about God or seen of His glory, or how you are being renewed in His mind. Later, you spend more time meditating on this, and you find what God has revealed of Himself in creation is leading you to more applications in many areas of your life.
Now you’re thinking with the mind of Christ! Now you’re experiencing that renewing of the mind that God calls us to pursue every day. And that can be exciting, indeed.
Deeper joy and awareness
If you’ve gotten this far in the practice of creational theology, you’ll have experienced some new and very exciting insights into the Lord, and seasons of communion with Him. Careful observation, prayerful association of Scripture with these observations, then integrating your experience into an insight or conclusion, expanded by meditation into other areas of your life – these activities can lead to deeper joy and greater awareness of the Lord.
We have been called to God’s Kingdom and glory so that we may know the righteousness, peace, and joy in the Spirit this way of living affords (Rom. 14.17, 18). And doing the work of creational theology can lead to deeper joy and wider awareness of the Lord, Who is with us always.
And, in my experience, whenever I get to that place in my walk with the Lord, it’s time to celebrate. Celebration is the next activity toward completing the circuit in the practice of creational theology. Celebration can help to make those divine impressions even more real and permanent than before.
Tips for celebrating
How do we celebrate what God is teaching us through His “two books” of revelation – creation and Scripture? Personally, corporately, and with some kind of memorial.
What do I mean?
First, personally: obviously, the place to begin in celebration is with joyous worship for what God is teaching. Find a hymn that expresses your experience and sing it over and over until you know it by heart. Each time you sing that hymn, remember the experience of encountering God that you used that hymn to celebrate. It will be like you’re living that insight all over again.
Pray daily with increasing thanksgiving and praise, celebrating God’s love for you, Who cares enough to make Himself known with such intimacy and power. Talk often with the Lord throughout the day, as you again encounter Him in the things and places where you’ve met Him before. Share your insights with the people you encounter throughout the day, and let them celebrate with you.
Then, corporately: bring your experience to church with you on the Lord’s Day, and let your encounter with the Lord fill your public worship. Or use it to offer testimony in your Sunday school class or Bible study group. Let others in on the joy and power you’ve experienced by celebrating what God has shown you “in the assembly of the upright and in the congregation” (Ps. 111.1).
Finally, consider making a memorial of some kind to commemorate and revisit this experience – like Jacob setting up the altar at Bethel, to which he frequently returned. Write a song or a poem. Take a picture of what you observed and post it on your desk or in an album. Paint a picture, make a soap carving, write a children’s story, send an article to your church newsletter. Get together with some friends for a meal and share your experience, like the woman who celebrated finding her lost coin (Lk. 15.8-10).
Do something public that has more permanence to it, bear witness to others of your experience, so that they will be encouraged to seek the Lord more earnestly for themselves.
We are made in the image of God; thus, we are made to be creators, as He is our Creator. Celebrating our encounters with God in the world He has made and upholds can lead to all kinds of creative activities. To fail at this point is to let our experience slip away and to rob ourselves and perhaps others of some of the joy of our salvation.
Creational theology can provide plenty of inspiration and substance for celebrating the Lord, both in worship and in the creating of memorials of various kinds to honor Him. And celebrating the Lord in such ways aids in the renewing of our minds in the mind of our Lord Jesus Christ and thus to the strengthening of our souls.
1. In what ways do you presently celebrate the Lord’s goodness?
2. What experiences or activities do you associate with the idea of celebrating? Why is this an appropriate word to use in memorializing what we’ve experienced of God’s mind or glory?
3. Celebrating can take the form of creative activity. Do any such activities appeal to you as a way of celebrating what you’re learning about God? Explain.
Next step – Demonstration: Today, find a way to celebrate what God is teaching you about Himself from His world. Invite someone else to share in your celebration and explain why you’re celebrating.
T. M. Moore
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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.