I have been pondering again…… 7/19/17
I think I have discovered a spiritual gift that will not exist in heaven! And it is one that has been given to me….in essence, as I pursue it I am working myself and others with that gift out of a job! And as I think about it, there are probably several other spiritual gifts that will have no use there! The spiritual gifts are only intended for this realm, during this time, while people are coming to know the Lord and awaiting his return. But there will be a time when there will be no need of any of them. Everyone will know the Lord already….fully revealed and in intimate spiritual connection with him all the time! What a day of rejoicing that will be!
As I study Old Testament and New Testament revelations of God, I have come more and more to realize that while God’s character does not change, his self-revelation of himself and the means by which God interacts with his people does evolve as people grow and mature, individually and collectively, and become capable of understanding more, as they grasp the truth of God and hunger and thirst for relationship with God and the righteousness that demands. God’s revelations and ways of dealing with us also change as we mature and are better prepared spiritually and psychologically to receive the deeper, more profound, mystery-laden aspects of God, his plan, his purpose, and his proclamations. As any Good Parent, God deals with us at the level we are prepared to understand and uses each exchange as a teachable moment to build toward another, higher level of understanding and maturity.
It has been brought home to me again and again in the Word, the way God woos his rebellious creation through incremental measures of revelation and refinement based on where it is at the time….in understanding itself, its relationship to God and one another individually and collectively, its relationship to the earth, and even the nature and role of enemies.
The evolving revelation of God’s self to creation and his molding of it toward restoration of what it was intended to be before it was marred by the choice to doubt and be disobedient is a bit like Maslow’s hierarchy of needs or Erik Erikson’s stages of human development. Each level of need met or development task completed builds a foundation on which the next level is undertaken that, over time and with completion of each level, real growth and maturity occurs. Humanity has been like an infantile psyche, learning, discovering, growing, responding. In any group, some are “early learners” and others are “late adopters” and here and there are anomalous “geniuses” who seem to skip a few levels and spring to the top. And others will never advance from one level to the next due to disabilities or refusal to grow. But all in all, the trend and trajectory become obvious over time.
That “process” view of God’s redemptive work in the world is encouraging and motivating. My responsibility is to be open to the work and revelation God is doing in my life. As more and more individuals and groups accept that responsibility the immutability, sovereignty, goodness, and unifying nature of God is becoming evident to those who can see it and will continue to be manifested in the years, centuries, millennia to come. At some point – in the “fullness of time” – the necessary degrees of human spiritual and psychological development will have been cultivated and what seemed hidden and slowly being revealed (except to those individuals who had the eyes to see and ears to hear!) will suddenly be broadly and clearly known. At that point, humanity will be ready for the full revelation of God’s plan in the return of Christ and coming of the new heaven and earth! As with any process of growth and evolving capacity to understand, there are times when there is resistance and confusion. But God is endlessly patient and will not cease guiding us through to where he desires to bring us all.
That is my vision for the future….that God will continue wooing us to that state of being, that “place” that is not so much a physical place as it is a spiritual and psychological “place”. Where are you in that journey toward that place?
Jeremiah 24:7 7 I will make them want to know me, that I am the Lord. They will be my people, and I will be their God, because they will return to me with their whole hearts.
Hebrews 8:11 People will no longer have to teach their neighbors and relatives to know the Lord, because all people will know me, from the least to the most important.
Ephesians 1:17 I am asking the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, to give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation so that you will know him better.
John 17:3 And this is eternal life: that people know you, the only true God, and that they know Jesus Christ, the One you sent.