I have a firm belief that you will never understand something that you don’t live out. Our identity in Christ is resolute. But discovering the depth of that identity happens in the process of relationship, not in the acquisition of concepts. There is no concept or philosophy that can adequately reveal God; nothing can substitute for actively tasting and seeing His goodness. And His goodness is completely revealed in Jesus Christ. So then, knowing the Father comes by walking out the identity of the Son.
The Father revealed His heart through the Son. The Father still reveals His heart through His sons and daughters. Understanding and embracing His heart makes all the difference between a religion we live in verses a relationship we walk out. Learning His heart has less to do with what He does to us, and more to do with what we do with Him. Because God is always working in us as He is working through us.
I was reminded of this yesterday. I had to pick up a few items from the grocery store, and as I was checking out I felt like I needed to share something with the cashier concerning God’s direction and call on her life. But I couldn’t make sense of it in my head, so I played it safe and said nothing.
As I was putting my bags in the car, I was sort of lamenting over the missed opportunity. But then I felt like the Holy Spirit was saying to me, “You haven’t missed anything…You’re still here, and she isn’t going anywhere.” I could also hear the voice of one of my students reminding me of something that I had reminded her about–your willingness to go back becomes your opportunity to move forward.
So, I went back inside, grabbed a bottle of water, and got back in line at the same register. Here’s how the conversation went:
“Hi. I was just here.” I said.
“Well, I wanted to come back in because I feel like there is something God wants to say to you.”
“So, I feel like there is a special call on your life to work with children. I also see you as…like a lawyer…maybe not necessarily practicing law, but more advocating for children. I don’t know if that makes sense to you, or if that resonates with you.”
She looked at me with absolutely no emotion and said nothing. “I don’t know if you have children.” I said, more as a question.
“If you work with children…”
“If you even like children…”
She finally cracked a smile. She took off her glasses and began wiping the tears that were filling her eyes. She then told me about how she had just been accepted into a college, but was unsure of what direction to go. She indicated in her own way how my words gave her a sense of confirmation. I told her how loved and valued she was, and then I left. Simple.
As I walked back to my car for the second time, tears were filling my eyes. The depth of what God was working in that girl through that brief encounter, I’ll never know. But I do know this, God is always moving. He is always moving because He is always loving. And the depth of our understanding of that love is always expanding…as we move with Him.