As I have mentioned several times, there are many things that drew me to Christ. Initially, as I questioned things, it was more intellectual. Science, history, and reason brought me to a Creator, but Christ through His Holy Spirit changed my heart, allegiance, and life forever.
Faith was never a blind thing for me, in fact it was and continues to be quite the opposite; it is the most intellectually stimulating thing I do. I may spend a lot of time at work in code, databases, spreadsheets, managing issues, and sometimes teams and projects. However nothing piques my interest more than sitting down with His Word, the words of a deceased (or sometimes living!) theologian, or staring out my window on a dark quiet night talking to my creator, listening, or just standing in awe of His works.
I absolutely love sharing and discussing not only what I am learning, but how God is working in my life. Why? Because the best part is that the words on the page are just a reflection of what He is doing in my life. God reveals Himself through His Word, and others, but Truth is a gift from Him that resonates in me; testimony is something that simply reflects reality. You can take away my books, you can try to poke holes in my logic, you can deny what I believe, but you can't take away God and what He has done in my life.
I may be much more well versed in Scripture, have a better foundation on theology, and could explain my faith much better than I did a year ago, than I did 3 years ago, and certainly 10 years ago. However the real change was not words on a page, but the fact that Jesus reached in and took a hold of my heart and threw my world upside down.
This is why ... as I get emotional even writing these words ... that it just crushes my heart when I watch someone I called a brother in Christ lay down his cross and give up and walk away (which happened to me just recently).
A very non-emotional, cards on the table, shake your hand, good bye.
I felt speechless ... but not without Words coming over my thoughts ...
"but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven." (Matthew 10:33 ESV)Two particular things are on my mind now that I would like to share. I won't be too long winded as I really would like you to ponder this as well, but I think these things are important to consider.
1) Imagination vs. Logic
As I've said before, my journey started with much logic, reason, and reflection. However that is just part of my journey. If there is a Creator of the universe, imagine how much knowledge said Creator must have? Imagine "all" knowledge there is to be had; impossible to even do I would say, but try. Compared to how much we know? So while logic, questioning, and reason are great, and encouraged in Scripture, it will never all-satisfy. Trying to do so may even drive you mad ...
"Imagination does not breed insanity. Exactly what does breed insanity is reason. Poets do not go mad; but chess-players do. Mathematicians go mad, and cashiers; but creative artists very seldom. I am not, as will be seen, in any sense attacking logic: I only say that this danger does lie in logic, not in imagination." - G.K. Chesterton2) Emotion and Faith
I can't imagine a more emotional thing than submitting yourself before God and worshiping Him in song, action, and love. As a man, how does our culture treat men with emotion? It means we are weak, unstable, and simple-minded. Sad really (ironically using emotion) that we have to live in a culture that stifles emotion [at least for men]. It is this that I feel concerns me the most. If men cannot connect to God on an emotional level, there is an empty relationship, and strong men will continue to walk away. Faith is described in Scripture, but I think Oswald does well with his perspective here as well:
"Faith is not some weak and pitiful emotion, but is strong and vigorous confidence built on the fact that God is holy love. And even though you cannot see Him right now and cannot understand what He is doing, you know Him." - Oswald Chambers
So where does this leave me?
Praying that I and others will love the intellectual stimulation that study provides, but not wholly lean on it; and certainly never forget the need to get to know Christ. This can't be done on a page, but rather in our hearts. You don't read about your spouse, you get to know your spouse; may we continue to know Him more each day, month, and passing year.
... so much so that walking away will seem like a divorce, not just opening a new book.
Hold Him tight ...