A dear friend sent me a written piece this afternoon about how God’s “Word is Unchanging.” A line from the essay asserts that, “While every plan and desire has died and is buried under all your past failures, (God’s) word is alive, active and well.” If this were a scriptural quote, I would not alter it; however, I would like to tweak it a bit to read that while every plan and desire has died and is buried under all your past failures, God is alive, active, and well.
It is a point of semantics, not to mention theological debate, as to whether the divine entity that I talk to and listen to is Jesus, the Holy Spirit, or some other saint with which I have communion. It matters not to me, nor do I think it matters to God if I get it wrong. God is God. If I am comforted by the image of Christ sitting with me as I write or standing before me as I lay bundles of troubles at His feet, I am justified. It is plausible. Theologically, it is more likely the Holy Spirit, but due to the remarkable relationship I have with the person of Jesus (see A Ward of Jesus), I prefer to deal with Him. He doesn’t seem to mind; in fact, He smiles.
Now, I will have to say, Holy Scripture is wonderful stuff. The Bible is said to be alive, and I believe that; I have known it personally. Messages from God can and are communicated through syncronistically-chosen passages. Verses recalled from memory reveal new and timely wisdom. Answers to problems and prayers jump out at you from devotions. The Lord works in mysterious ways. But, the Lord is also present, beside you, closer than your breath.
Martin Luther went to great pains to emphasize the proximity and availability of God. I bring this up, not to criticize any believers who chose to follow the guidance and direction of a representative of God; personally, I adore Pope Frank, but when scripture gets confusing, muddled, and problematic, I say go to the Source. Ask God directly.
Granted, our past experiences, upbringing, and wounds can distort if not block what God says back. For that, I have sought spiritual healing and the guidance of spiritually-led friends. My former priest, and current beloved friend, once told me that if I could not believe, myself, then let my friends believe for me…and that worked; their faith carried me through some very hard work. The premier reward for all that hard work is my ability to be aware of the presence of my dearest friend, Jesus.
What I know, is between me and God; what you believe is between you and God…and that’s a good thing.