For the last few months, I have had the desire to dig down
through the current level of my faith to find the bedrock of what I believe.
Like the geology of the Earth, our faith has layers. Some of us have assumed our
current depth of understanding is the final layer – a place of arrival. It is too
easy to park at these shallow depths and assume there is nothing more.
In my journey, I have been looking for Jesus. Not the Jesus
limited to my history or my current level of experience, but a fresh encounter
with Jesus who sits on a throne in Heaven in a place of unimaginable splendor
above all the tricks and gimmicks of manmade religion.
In the process of my digging, I have come to realize what we
believe can too easily be turned into a metaphor as a replacement definition for
the real thing. Our metaphors for God can become like trees that blind us to the reality of the forest that stands before us.
Dictionary defines a metaphor as “a figure of speech in which a word or phrase literally denoting one kind of
object or idea is used in place of another to suggest a likeness or analogy between them.” The word metaphor comes from the Greek word “metapherein” which means, “to transfer”.
we use a descriptive metaphor in place of Jesus to describe Him or transfer the
meaning of who He is into the form of a metaphor, a danger exists. What we are
trying to define – the person of Jesus Christ – becomes a thing or an
experience instead of a person. People who listen to us talk about the Lord can
begin thinking the metaphors we use to describe Him are the complete truth
In our exploration of truth it is important to realize we
are exploring the depths of a person who had no start date and who has no
limits to His power and authority. How could we ever come to the end of a journey
of discovery when we are exploring a person who existed before the beginning of
all things? Strange theologies have been created by this kind of thinking.
Here is the reality
of the one we are trying to communicate – “In the beginning was the Word, and
the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.
All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into
being that has come into being.” John 1: 1-3
We are searching to
discover the depths of a person who was present before a place called, The Beginning,
came into being. In the beginning no human metaphors existed. Standing in that metaphor-free
place was the fully complete and fully defined I AM. He needed nothing more to
define Him. He was and is, the forever I AM – the same yesterday, today and
This I AM is the uncluttered
manifestation of Jesus the world needs to meet, but first, the Church needs to
rediscover this pure image of Jesus. When that revelation takes place all our definitions
and metaphors about Him will pale in comparison to His raw and beautiful
revelation. In that moment our mission and our worship will undergo a dramatic and radical change. That change will define a new reformation within
the Church and the beginning of a reformation within culture.