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Saturday, March 27, 2010

Knowing God Is Like Speaking Another Language

I grew up in Texas. You might say I speak "Texan" though I have done my best to adapt wherever I am. I still use terms which puzzle others. I remember the first time I said, "Looks like we are going to get a norther," when I lived in east Tennessee. I was informed that Tennessee gets "fronts" not northers. Yet, I can still communicate with most American, non-Texans.

That has not been true when I have preached in other countries. I have had to have a translator in every other country with the exception of Canada and England. Usually my translator and I would go over the sermons in advance so that he would understand my sermon before the service began. I have trusted that they preached a better sermon than I did by refining it before it arrived for the congregation.

Now to my point today.

I get several comments and emails from writing this blog. I only publish those that I think are helpful. Some people think they can put ads for their products on my blog by writing a comment. I reject every ad. I might also reject a comment if it tells so much information about the person that it could be harmful to them if his or her identity is discovered. I don't want anyone to be hurt.

However many people who comment on this blog don't understand the message, at all. It is as if I have spoken to them in a language which is foreign to them. They respond in ways that reveal the lack of a connection. I have wondered how to speak to these people but I realize that I no matter how careful I am to translate the message of God in a language they will understand, eventually I will have to use terms they are unfamiliar with.

On the other hand, these people think I am speaking gibberish. My communication is not like any they normally hear. They communicate with a variety of people who speak their language. They can communicate with each other. They all agree that the language that I speak and others like me speak must be gibberish. It doesn't fit into any other language they know.

I have spoken to a number of these people through the years who suddenly understood. At one moment they stood on the outside without understanding; the next my words started to make sense. It is quite like the "translators" worn on the people in Star Trek. The language becomes their language. There isn't even an accent.

It seems a translator came to interpret the language. It is a spiritual language. It is not like the mumbo-jumbo of some of the new age spiritualists thinking of today. Understanding that language means you must lose all touch with reality. You have to think of God as being you and the table and the computer you are reading. I must admit this is a language I cannot understand.

This translator makes my language make sense to me as it does to you. He gives us the insight for understanding the things in the Bible. He helps us "hear" God when there is no one speaking. This translator changes values held down deep within us. This translator changes our lives. He is a presence which walks within us.

I suppose I should not be surprised that many people don't understand what I am saying. They can't understand. I am speaking another language. They have no translator and I can't be their translator. Many of the terms do not translate clearly from one language to another.

Some of you reading this blog understand completely. Others will think this is gibberish.

Those who understand this language also need to understand something else. Those who can't understand our language are not doing so because they wish to be obstinate (though they may act very obstinate). They can't understand. We will need to be patient if we ever hope to "speak" with them.

1 Corinthians 2:14 (ESV)
The natural person does not accept the things of the spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.

1 comment:

Tami said...

i am new to your blog- i found it while searching for answers on google- and i am reading all your old posts too. i love it all! keep writing :) you have helped me with some questions i have.