“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.