The other morning, I met with a friend of mine for coffee. Being one of my mentors, I highly respect his opinion concerning questions that I have.
In light of my recent fascination with the mysteries of God, I wanted to make sure that I wasn’t being stupid with some of the materials I have begun to read (examples such as the Apocrypha, and the Book of Enoch).
Concerning the Apocrypha, I always had a sense of hesitation–or, rather, a warning from the Holy Spirit. But this wasn’t the case with the Book of Enoch. Quite frankly, I found many things that made my spirit leap for joy at the reading of it. I knew my friend had read both of the materials and, trusting his wisdom, I wanted to see what he thought of them.
An Opportunity to Hear
Our conversation went something like this (highly paraphrased as I didn’t take notes):
How do I know when to stop reading something, or if what I am reading is deceptive?
Answer: Well, you have the Holy Spirit. You know, there were times when the Holy Spirit told the disciples to not go somewhere, or where they weren’t permitted to go to preach the Gospel. The same applies with your pursuit of the mysteries of God. He’ll tell you when something isn’t right, and when it is. You just have to listen.
One thing I’ve found during my pursuit, is that my view of God has become so big, so unfamiliar, that at times I lose the personal aspect of our relationship. How do I deal with that?
Answer: Well, it’s actually good that your view of Him is expanding. There is a reason that the Apostles in Acts were so shocked and blown away that God loved them. Paul even said that “God dwells in unapproachable Light”. It’s only with this view of God, that you can actually appreciate His immense love for you.
You know, even in your pursuit of His mysteries, you are developing a relationship with Him, as you pay heed to His voice over what is truth and what isn’t.
Dare to Take Risks
After our conversation, I was inspired and more confident than ever to know that Jesus was telling the truth when He spoke about the Holy Spirit, saying:
When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.
For too long, we in the Western Church have lived without the guidance of the Holy Spirit, afraid that we will be too easily deceived. So we stick to our Bible and preach in safety, without actually pursuing the God that we preach.
For too long, I have done this. We must be willing to take risks, and trust that the Holy Spirit will guide us into Truth.
This isn’t to throw wise counsel aside, or to supercede the doctrine of our Church fathers. It is to continue with them and to discover greater and more amazing things about the God of the Universe, His plans, His attributes, and to keep doing so for eternity.