We live in a digital age, our world is ordered by 0’s or 1’s in a digital code. We live in a quick solution world, ads on TV hawk the “faster is better” premise. Everything is simplified and personalized; it’s all about getting you from point A to point B as stylishly, quickly and painlessly as possible. Perhaps that is why we cringe at the drug commercials when they start describing the possible side effects of their medicine (as they are forced to do by law), “could cause, heart attack, depression, suicidal thoughts, etc…” Then why in the world would I want to take that? you might say. They seem jarring in our pre-packaged world. We want to take a pill to solve our problems and not worry about side effects, anything to get us from point A to point B quickly. Keep it simple for me.
The shame is that we find that life is not like that; there are rarely pills or packages that solve your problems instantly. Same for even a greater concern, our spiritual life, but then perhaps that is the beauty of it, that life really is not like that, it’s much richer than that. We have more than point A to point B to consider, life is like a recipe as are its problems and solutions. We find this in the church, consider John 14:6, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” I frankly grew up in a “Truth” church; we were really good at rules, commandments and living a certain way. The “Way” part was mostly overshadowed by the “Truth” part so I am not sure we really totally understood the whole “Way” concept, but if you had asked us we would have thought we did.
As for the “life” part well that was personal. To be honest the whole passage about David dancing before the Lord with all his might before the Ark as it was brought into the temple made us “truth” folks kinda squirm in our seats. Dancing before the Lord was not something we saw much in our church!, nor showing that much emotion, it might even be sinful to even contemplate it. We were “Truth” folks!! and that was not necessarily bad but short sighted. Yet being all life without truth is short sighted too, it leads to churches wandering away from what God spoke and intended. It’s a recipe.
Think of it in this analogy. Say “Truth” was like the flour part of a cake recipe, an important ingredient to be sure, and the “Way” part, well think of it as the egg part of the recipe, yet if you left out the “life” part, which was the baking powder or sugar, what would you have? Frankly flour and eggs alone are not going to come up with a very palatable cake. Sorry but I am cake guy, I’d like the whole recipe to be in there. With God I’d like the whole life He planned out for me, yes I do need some Truth, I do need some Way, I do need some Life, I need grace, love, peace too, and all those things that the apostle Paul suggest that we think on in Philippians 4:8. It’s the balance of the ingredients, and that balance cannot be solved by going from point A to point B. You miss the rest of the alphabet, focusing on just one or two.
Try this: think about “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, the “joy of the Lord is my Strength”, the “Peace of God passes understanding” and “rather fear Him who can cast both body and soul into hell”. They are all admonitions, or teachings, of the Lord. Try to make quick work out of understanding all these things together, it can’t be done quickly! But then it’s like listening to the instruments before the concert warming up. There’s Truth over there sawing on a violin, there is Life on the drums, there is Grace with the harp and all the rest of the instruments God will use to convey his message and teaching. Alone they are easy to hear and understand but oh when they play together in harmony and unity then you get the power of the music, the sum total of the parts working together, you get the awe! You get what God really intended for you to hear and become. Ephesians 4:13 NIV “until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.” I want the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.