This morning, several hours before the sun rose, I walked out of my home and stood on the front lawn. I looked up into the night sky. Stars filled the black of night from horizon to horizon. As I stood in my bare feet looking up, I began to ponder God and His immensity. I was over-taken with awe.
It is human nature to seek formulas to make life work or attempt to solve the mysteries of our faith. Some natural formulas, like scientific problem solving, actually work. In the realm of spiritual matters is where our formulas lose their consistency. They require no faith to see what has not yet arrived in this realm from beyond the veil. A formula can only work when we have available and visible components.
People trapped within the confines of various forms of theology can reduce God and His Kingdom down to rational, human concepts. As a result, they produce religious theories that only work if the formula is properly exercised. In the end, this creates an image of God who comes and works only in response to our formulaic way of thinking. Doctrines and theologies are then crafted, and those who live outside the formula fence are considered ignorant to the truth and therefore easy to reject.
When we produce formulas regarding God, it reveals the end of our search of His depths and our pursuit of deeper understanding because we feel we have arrived at a place of final truth.
I just read part of Psalms 139, and it reminded me of the God we serve who cannot be reduced to a formulaic simplicity. He is beyond the reductive thinking of formula.
“I can never escape from your Spirit! I can never get away from your presence! If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the grave, you are there” (Psalms 139: 7-8).
Early this morning, any semblance of formula dissolved under my bare feet as I stood on the dew-laden clover of our lawn looking up into the heavens. I saw no formula that could create the impression I was receiving. Only awe and wonder-filled my heart.