Hi this is pastor Ken and these are my thoughts on a Thursday…Waking Thoughts

Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night and realized that all of the sudden you had the solution to a problem you were working on the day before? This has happened to me a few times over the years. When it does I am reminded just how amazing God created the human brain to be. The fact that I can be completely asleep and still be considering some unresolved issue and come up with a solution is incredible in and of itself. When you add to that the fact that my brain knows I will not remember said solution without it being conscious thought, it wills me from slumber so that I can consider the solution from a state of consciousness and commit it to memory. Amazing!

Just two days ago I had a similar experience. This time it involved no unresolved puzzle, this time I simply recognized I was waking up with an amazing thought on my mind. The older I get however, the less I recall on command so I commenced to grabbing my ever present smartphone and committed it instead to its internal memory. I can assure you it is much safer there. This is my ‘waking thought’ that I have been pondering for the past two days. “We are always in error to attempt to make the ways of God fit into our experiences, when we do that, we severely limit the ways of God. If instead we make our experiences fit into the ways of God, we unlock the vastness of our potential experiences”. Even as Christians we are prone to do the former rather than the latter. the reason for this is simple really. As human beings we try to attach a known to an unknown for understanding of the unknown. In other words, if there is something I don’t understand, I quite naturally seek some frame of reference from my experiences to give context, so that I can try to understand. This is fine except for the fact that I have a limited number and scope of experiences.

When we consider the ways of God, we have very little if any experience that can give an accurate frame of reference. So then, if I try to fit the ways of God into my limited experiences to understand them, I limit the ways of God. If I have never experienced healing and don’t personally know someone who has…I might have difficulty understanding God’s limitless ability to heal. If I have little experience with prayer, I might have difficulty thinking prayer will change much. The place I really see this principle bearing itself out is in my office. There I spend a great deal of time attempting to help people with their marriages. Because I have the benefit of always being the inhabitant in the room, I get to experience every couple’s marriage. That being the case, I get to see the amazing things God does in the marriages there. I get to see forgiveness and healing take place in the most horrific of marital hurts. I get to see God heal broken hearts, trust and marriages. I get to see it all…and have yet to see a case too difficult for God. Because of that, there isn’t much I don’t think God can fix anymore. But for the other participants in the room, when they first come in, they don’t have the benefit of my experience. If they limit the ways of God, forgiveness, healing, restoration, reconciliation, based on their past experience…they may never believe that healing is possible because they are allowing those experiences to severely limit the ways of God.

So what is the solution? How do we solve this dilemma? We have to come to an understanding. Our experiences are not truth. They truly happened, but they are not truth. There is but one source of truth…God. We can trust that our experiences did in fact occur, but we can only trust God to be true. With that understanding, scriptures like 2 Corinthians 5:7; We walk by faith and not by sight, begin to have new meaning.

Romans 12:2 (NLT) tells us to call our experiences into question and instead look to God to guide us into real truth. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. If we want to unlock the vastness of our potential experiences, if we want to begin to have those incredible experiences that are the result of incredible faith, then we must begin to seek to have our experiences fit into the ways of God. How? The first step is to agree with God that He knows best. If He prescribes forgiveness, then forgive and don’t allow past experiences to steal from you the incredible. If He says to love, then love and don’t allow your past experience convince you to do otherwise. If He promotes reconciliation, then reconcile, don’t trust your past experience, it may be ready to rob you of a powerful life changing experience.

What should we do when we aren’t sure what He would tell us to do? Read His Word, search the scriptures, but don’t argue with what you find there…that’s your experience talking!

2 Timothy 3:16-17 in the New Living Translation says; All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.

So now, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God on your life in Christ Jesus…and go be awesome!