When I was a kid, on more than one occasion, I remember sitting around with my friends having serious conversations. You know the kind, which super hero was stronger, what would you do if a wild bear came into the room right now, and, of course, the ongoing debate of all childhood: if you could have any super power, but only one, which one would it be? (You’ve done this, right?) You know… Being invisible had it’s merits, but you could also think of the downside. Super strength was always at the top of the list, and was certainly desirable at times for every young male. Then, of course, the lesser powers like telepathy and teleportation…the definitions and merits of all these were debated endlessly.
I know it sound funny, but I think I finally figured out the ultimate super power; the one that would trump every other one. Even more unusual, I actually know someone who has it. The Bible says that God “gives life to the dead, and calls into existence things that are not…” I’d like to be able to call into existence things that are not. This is the one, the greatest super power imaginable. In fact if you could do this, you could “call into existence” any of the other powers whenever you needed them. The more I think about it, this is what makes God, God. This puts Him in control of everything. In fact it puts Him in control of everything including things that don’t exist yet.
Sometimes, I think, in our humanity we make God too small. Because we’re small, we live on a small planet, and well, honestly, sometimes we just think small. I mean, if this is God, we are talking about He made everything. Everything from the minute intricacies of DNA to the unimaginable star forming Nebulae, HE made it all, it issued forth from Him. He’s big, no He’s not big, He’s huge, well not just huge He’s… well… this is the problem right here: small language can’t describe a Big God. Our small-ness will always keep us from really grasping His enormity.
By necessity we have to use our minds to understand Him. But this is a little like trying to understand the ocean using a microscope. We would see molecules and chemical make-up, but certainly the ocean is much more than the sum of it’s minerals. It’s vast and it’s deep and it is full of life and living systems. In the same way, God is much more than the sum of our understanding, no matter how much we think we understand.
So, God’s problem with communication has nothing to do with His limitations and everything to do with our smallness. Every grouping of words or set of ideas used to describe or explain Him is already much less than the reality being described. Remember this is GOD we’re talking about. Let’s talk about how the One who created everything, and, by the way, is still creating…set about to communicate to us, humans, you and I, what He wants us to know. Of course, He began…In the Beginning God created the heavens and the earth…by communicating reality into existence.
I wonder what it sounded like…when He did that? What sound came out, when He spoke and the universe into existence? Did it sound like English? Like Hebrew? Did it even sound like language the way that we think about language. What if the things He said, the sounds that made things come into existence, were written down?
So, God speaks and things become. He expresses Himself and reality happens. He says heavens…and Heavens happen, he says earth and, well, you get the idea. You also see how really super this power is. But it gets better. Once He speaks things into existence, He also speaks them into order. He tells things to line up, and water separates from land, and earth from sky. He gives instructions and the instructions have the power to follow themselves. Don’t you wish He would speak to some things in your life? You see His word doesn’t just create all things, it also holds them in place. In the same way that the expression of what is inside an artist results in a masterpiece; the expression of what is inside God results in the heavens and the earth, living things, eco-systems, and… even your life. Your life and everything in it is not only connected to God, it is a direct result of God speaking.
(By the way this also means, since God’s Words holds everything in place, that anything that gravitates away from God’s Words become increasingly out of place.)
Now think about this…
Have you ever taken a trip, or been on a roller coaster, or had some experience that was so intense, or meaningful or pleasurable that you wanted to tell other people about it? You didn’t just want to tell them about it, you wanted them to feel the things you felt, see the things you saw. You try to use words to get people to feel what you were feeling. You speak, and describe, you gesture and move around, then you finally give up and say, “you just had to have been there.” The words of men fall short of the ability to convey things about reality. To convey actual reality is impossible for us. Just to transmit the inner experiences of life, from one person to another is an amazingly complex process. Just ask any husband and wife.
So the same God who speaks reality into existence with His words wants to communicate to us. The same God whose words result in cosmic creative explosions wants to talk to you about your life and His unfolding plan. How would He go about that? Well, I think He would say the same thing in as many ways as possible. I think He would embed His message in the things He creates, He would say it, and do it and write it and demonstrate it, and so on and so on. I think He would even write the message deep in the hearts of the people to whom He is speaking, and I think He would get the message written down …somehow. I think He would use every channel possible to allow men to get the message. (Has He ever spoken to you?)
So, He’s got this message. He really wants to get it across to us. This thing that is burning in His heart to communicate to the human race, He begins to express it; His love for us, His desires and His plan for us, and maybe most important His provision for us. Like you and I, when we desperately want someone to understand, He begins to tell, only He doesn’t give up. He doesn’t have to settle for the “you had to have been there…” strategy. Remember, this is God, and He calls into existence things.., He speaks and things become, so from deep in His heart He begins to express the Message, the thing He wants all of mankind to get, with all of His Being He speaks and what comes out is…Himself, only packed in skin and resting in the womb of a virgin. And just like a seed contains the whole tree which will unfold, this Baby contains the whole message. And His life and death and His resurrection will unfold it for the whole Human race to observe.
In His creativity and zeal to get His message across to us, and to keep us connected to the voice that holds all things together God gives us multiple channels for the message to be broadcast on. And the most important of these channels are a story a Baby and a Book. The story and the Baby are both written up in the Book. The story, as we can grasp it, begins with “In the beginning…” and ends with a new beginning in a new heaven and a new earth. This story passes through people and generations and nations and wars; it passes through you and I in this present moment and races on ahead to our future. Can you find yourself in the story? …or maybe even find the story in you? The story includes the Baby, and is about the Baby, it is even authored by the Baby. And all of this…the message…the voice and heart of the God with the coolest super power, the story that unfolds the message and all the multi-layered communications of an all powerful God, are contained in this…the Bible, (pick up a Bible…) a book? Well, yeah, but a book only? Hardly. This book seen only as a book…is incomplete. This book as a transmitter for a signal that is all-powerful… as a connection to the very person of God, and as a force which controls all other forces…? Now we are beginning to get it.
God’s creativity in getting the book written, by multiple human authors and editors, has kept any man from claiming authorship. The fact that it is written by many men, but one God, gives it a cohesiveness and unity that is unparalleled. The way God describes Himself, and His relationship to us, and the way He enacts Himself within the book, form an incredible weave of communication which, connected to the author, can tell us about history, our hearts and the nature of reality today, and tomorrow, help us with a specific personal decision. Read like the manifesto of a human dictator it can lead to all manner of death and rigidity, but viewed as the living voice of a living God…it flows with rivers of living water. Let’s take a drink.