“These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is made up only of rules taught by men.” Matthew 15 :8-9

In essence, God is like flowing lava. He is constantly moving, consuming, and creating. Too much of religious life is spent on the cold hardened crust. We can take ore samples and conclude that God was once here, but God only lives in the now. He has moved on. The crust is predictable, sterile, cold, and lifeless – the perfect habitat for parasitic religion. The flow is dangerous, vibrant, peaceful, and free – God’s home. All too often, in hopes of finding stable ground, we settle for a second-hand description of truth – essentially rejecting the intense reality of living truth. Historical writings, commentaries, religious creeds, and systematic theologies are great when used in the right place and for the right reasons. If we look to them for the definitive interpretation of Scripture we are subjecting them to a standard they cannot uphold. The Holy Spirit is the ultimate source for interpretation. The disciple uses these cherished tools as catalysts. Disagreeing with them, he is thrust into scripture for truth to refute. Agreeing with them, she is thrust into scripture for truth that authenticates. As they spark new thought, we are encouraged that though nothing is new under the sun, God continues to reveal Himself afresh. Use the writings of others. Use the structures of religion. Use systematic theologies. But use them to get closer to the flowing presence of God, not to secure a self-preserving stronghold on the crust. We must risk the dangerous venture of intimacy with God through His revelation. We must ride the wave of life at the brink of flow.


“The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found and hid again; and from joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.” Matthew 13:44

It is so easy to read over this tiny parable of Jesus, as just one more “should” in a seemingly endless list of religious expectations. “If you really loved God, you would be willing to sell everything (spiritually, emotionally, relationally, financially, etc.) for the sake of the Kingdom.” But the context of Matthew 13 does not support this interpretation. In all the parables grouped in chapter thirteen, the “man” is God. This then is not another rule that we ought to live by, but rather the revelation of our Father’s love. God treasures us so much he is joyously willing to sell everything he has – Christ on the cross – to purchase our life. The greatest loss in our grim drudgery of self-conceived kingdom expectations is the accurate picture of God’s passionate pursuit of us. It is almost impossible for us to embrace the concept that God, who is in need for nothing, desires us with all of who he is. And yet he does. The beauty of this revelation is that as we embrace God’s passion for us, no matter what rock we feel stuffed under at the present moment, and begin to rest in that love, we cease from our work and begin to naturally desire God’s Kingdom above all else. Be still and know that God is God and that you are treasured.