“What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived”b — the things God has prepared for those who love him—these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit. 1 Cor 2:9-10
It has been fascinating for me to re-discover the US through the eyes of my African bride, Bintou. Over the last two years, she has shared a variety of these on our blog.
In today’s world of TV, radio, magazines, Facebook and a host of the media outlets, I was very surprised by the degree of difference between her impressions and the reality in the US. Bintou is both well educated and the most investigative reader that I know. And yet, she would often say “I didn’t know that…” or “I could have never imagined that….”
This trip Bintou’s mom also made her first visit to the US. (Mom is here, clap along with me!) Although Bintou’s mom spent her childhood years in a variety of countries in Africa, traveled as a college student playing competitive handball and worked daily in Cameroon with many American Wycliffe missionaries for 18 years, daily we would hear “Wow, I never knew…” and “I could have never imagined…”
In spite of all the exposure and contact that they had had, they were still surprised, even confused by the U.S. Their thinking, reading and listening from a distance gave them a perception that seemed to make sense. However reality proved to be occasionally inaccurate, consistently incomplete.
All these experiences came back to me recently while reading through 1 Cor. 2 with Pastor Soper’s, excellent read-through the Bible series “Know the Word.” I realized that like Bintou and her mom but to a vastly greater degree, I was completely unable “to conceive what God has prepared for those who love Him”. Reading, hearing and thinking about God’s kingdom gave me the impression of at least a basic understanding. However, I realized that these, without the experience of God’s kingdom, is at minimum incomplete and likely inaccurate.
I realized that God’s revelation to us wasn’t just a certain “understanding,” though it is an aspect. The Spirit of God reveals these things to us by the personal experience of God’s kingdom. “But God has revealed it to us by His Spirit.” As we pray “may Your kingdom come,” may we, God’s people, not settle for just a feeble understanding but learn to live daily IN the kingdom of God!”
“Your religious life is every day to be a proof that God works impossibilities;
your religious life is to be a series of impossibilities made possible
and actual by God’s almighty power.”
Andrew Murray. Absolute Surrender