2 Peter 1:16 For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we had been eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17 For he received honor and glory from God the Father when that voice was conveyed to him by the Majestic Glory, saying, “This is my Son, my Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.” 18 We ourselves heard this voice come from heaven, while we were with him on the holy mountain.
As an apostle, Peter taught from his direct personal experience of Jesus, not from the teachings of others. It gave him a level of authority shared by few others. And let’s face it. It’s one thing to know about something, it’s another to have first-hand experience of it.
Many years ago I was interviewing for my first job as a pastor to serve a church in San Antonio. I was invited to meet the search team at a restaurant not far from the church, a place called the “Barn Door”. I believe it’s still there. Anyway, I’d eaten at this place once or twice before. They are known for great steaks and such, but one specialty item is… a chicken-fried ribeye steak. You read that correctly. A chicken-fried ribeye.
I know what you’re thinking. “Why in the world would you take a lovely steak like a ribeye, coat it with batter, fry it, and drown it in gravy? No, no, no. A ribeye should be served up medium-rare, not fried.” I get it. In fact, I thought the exact same thing – but I wasn’t ordering so it wasn’t up to me. Sure enough when dinner was served it was chicken-fried ribeye steaks all around. My expectations weren’t high as I took my first bite.
Woooow! Sacrilegious? Maybe. Beef is sacred in Texas. Delicious? Yessir!
I’ve found lots of things in life are like that. You have to try things, experience things to really understand them. This is particularly true in matters of faith. So much of what the bible teaches is counter-intuitive. Some examples:
- Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you
- Truly living often involves a death of some kind first
- Giving to God 10% of one’s income and one day per week – when both time and money are in such short supply – will bless you, not put you deeper in the hole
- Forgive those who hurt you, even when they hurt you over and over
I could list many more, but you get the picture. There are many, many things of God I have missed out on over the years because they just didn’t make sense to me. And yet when God has given me grace to suspend disbelief and try life his way, I have generally found the experience to be better than expected. Way better.
What is the a faith step you’ve been avoiding because it doesn’t make sense to you? What would it look like for you to suspend disbelief long enough to TRY it anyway? You might be surprised by what you’ve been missing.
Heavenly Father, give us grace to trust you today. Get us out of the realm of theory so we can put your ways into practice. We pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.