What if much, what if most of what we believe about God and man, about His relationship with us, about His will and purpose, His character and heart, about heaven and earth and hell and eternity and the future and the past were more the product of false foundations, misunderstandings of intent than they are emanations of Gods own heart?
What if much of what we believed about God and His Word were based on our own, fallible perceptions, our misperceptions; our sinful, broken, carnal, our failure-bent minds? What if these, and not “holy inspiration” and simply accepting the words we read in the library of scripture as direct, straightforward truth were the actual sources of our iron-clad ideas about God and man, about God and us?
What if many of our understandings were actually misunderstandings? What if we have read truth but believed untruth: what if we got the information right but in the process of “getting it” we have re-processed, re-arranged, re-translated what God said and what He meant in our humanness and not from His “Godness”?
What if we, and not God were the architects of theology, of religion, assigning to Him what we believe He must think and feel, how He must speak and act towards us?
How might our human fallibility and the resulting chasm between truth and assumption, the breach between imagination and reality impact the very core of what we believe and therefore the way we live?
We have built our holy systems, our theological camps, our understandings of the Divine – The God of our creation is marked by justice and holiness, by righteousness and divine perfection, and He is all those things; He is just and holy, righteous and true. But is He, at His core, at the center of His character primarily just and holy and faultless? Or is God, indeed, something else, something beyond?
Could He be, is it possible, “what if” God were primarily merciful and gracious, patient with our foolishness, understanding of our stumbles, forbearing at our collapses – our stupidity and our wanton disregard for Him and for His being? What if God were altogether and first, good and not judgmental? What if overwhelming, unconditional, unlimited, unrelenting love marked the character of God, and not holy wrath and divine judgment against sin?
What if God saw, long before you or I or any human life existed that we would be, as creatures of choice, predisposed to blunder and failure, to weakness and collapse – to sin? And what if God, in His mercy and grace provided, long before the first cry emitted from the first human, a cure, a remedy, a solution to the sin problem, and that He would entrust sin’s anti-toxin that would heal from every sin and from every sin’s effect to none other than His only begotten Son, Jesus, the Son of Mary, the Carpenter from Nazareth.
What if God would ensure, by coming to us in miraculous fashion and in sinless form and by dying a substitutionary death and rising again to seal His perfect work that the sin problem would be dealt with? Fully, finally, once and for all? What if?
What if He asked us to consider the cross, to remember the death and to celebrate the resurrection of His Son’s provision; that He desires that we live now in celebration and not in sorrow, that His will is that we should live with rejoicing and not regret. What if.
So much time, effort and toil is spent by so many good people, trying to live righteously, trying to deny sin and weakness and failure because of a simple and fundamental misunderstanding of Who God is.
He IS mercy. He IS grace. He IS love. God does not merely possess a capacity to be merciful; He IS merciful! God’s grace is not an inanimate mechanism. His grace is not a partial cure – it IS the cure for our false theologies, our crippled understandings, our self-made gods of criticism and rejection, our gods of religious gratification, our weak and empty and lifeless gods that lead us to unfulfilled, unhappy, confined and crippled lives.
What if we began to see God as He is and not as we have thought Him to be? What if we ran like horses let loose from a man-built corral? What if, like lions freed from their confinement we found our freedom on the Savannah’s of God’s great and boundless grace? What if we became, who and what He always intended us to be? What. If?