Tuesday, February 9, 2010
THE LOGIC OF ILLOGICAL LOGIC
Have you ever felt that the TRUTH of God went against your normal perception of what is TRUTH? Have you ever considered that what He asks of You goes against everything you’ve learned was the correct way to proceed? Indeed, if we are honest in our response, all of us have and it is entirely natural to do so. The operative word is “natural” for the TRUTH we are debating with ourselves is SUPERNATURAL! No small wonder that in this realm of thought everything is upside down.
As I pondered this, I began to examine what we are often confronted with that fits our faith response to God’s upward call from earth-bound logic. Go with me as we consider a few applications of LOGIC that are ILLOGICAL.
The FIRST truly must be the beginning one to apply, for without it the others will not be understood in their TRUEST sense. Jesus says to us, “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it.” (Matthew 8:35) LOSE TO GAIN?. Illogical! Yet the context makes perfect sense. Christ’s purpose is to bring us into another realm of life – His heavenly! Anyone can see that there is a vast difference between the earthly and that which is spoken of as heavenly. In a physical sense, we can see this truth applied in the recent space launch. The astronauts, in order to reach beyond the earth’s law of gravity into the freedom of space’s weightlessness, had to LOSE earth’s hold as they GAINED the new realm of space. You think they may have been disoriented the first time they space “walked”? Ask them. You’d be right. The point is if you desire to walk in another realm, be it space or the kingdom of Christ, you have to leave one to reach the other. Logical, pure and simple.
Now, consider another related passage. “I count all things but loss for the excellency of the gospel of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ.” (Philippians 3:8) LOSE TO WIN? Again with the LOSING! Paul’s not talking about a game. There perhaps is our hangup! Paul is merely applying the truth we’ve stated before. He’s our spiritual astronaut, who has “slipped the bonds of earthly” cares and consuming passion for things, stretched forward like a track star breaking the tape, and laid hold on the prize – WINNING an intimate knowledge of God in Christ. To WIN he had to put the LOSERS behind. Not people, but the things that attempt to keep pace with us, that they might win our focus from the prize that awaits. To push the astronaut analogy one “step” more, consider the natural attempts to keep one foot on earth and test the freedom of space with the other. Never happen! Now, that’s illogical in any realm.
Next, here’s one that many will know is true, particularly those with any background on the farm. Jesus said, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die it bringeth forth much fruit.” (John 12:24) A related verse declares, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth (prunes) it, that it may bring forth more fruit.” (John 15:2) DIE AND YOU WILL LIVE or, at the most have YOUR LIFE TRIMMED TO PRODUCE is the thrust. Now, if you’ve ever planted a garden you know that a seed has to be planted in the ground, and begin to have its contents consumed by the tiny sprout it contains, until that sprout breaks free of the softened hull. This new plant lives because the seed died. The death of life produces life. In the other passage, the reference is to the necessity of having excess branches cut off, in order that the life force is not wasted on just limbs, but channeled into new growth producing fruit. The application of both gives the logic of DEATH TO LIFE issues. And the example of Christ, Himself, is supreme. Christ DIED, was CUT OFF, from the LIVING in order that those who are the ALIVE BUT DYING might TRULY LIVE and NEVER DIE. The lesson in LOGIC also is extended to those who, after His example, would SACRIFICE themselves that others might LIVE, as well. Illogically strange, for we call that logic “heroism” and applaud it vigorously.
Another that often takes a good bit of heart change is GIVE TO RECEIVE or GAIN. Now, I caution you at the outset. This is not to be applied as motive for giving, though some, out of avarice, apply it so. Nevertheless, it is a LOGIC that is ILLOGICAL. I mean how, if you GIVE something away, can you expect to have an INCREASE in your own pocket? Note this passage, “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.” (Luke 6:38) Now, actually this passage winds up a whole discourse of related ILLOGIC that Jesus shares regarding kingdom behavior. He spoke of HUNGERING TO BE FULL, WEEPING TO LAUGH, and of BEING HATED TO REJOICE and contrasted it to being FULL AND ENDING HUNGRY, of LAUGHING THAT ENDS IN TEARS, AND PRAISE OF MEN THAT’S FINISH IS DESPAIR. His counsel? Love those that hate you, bless those that curse you, offer the other cheek to be slapped, give another garment to the thief who takes one, and give and don’t expect return. Hard “pills” to swallow, are they not? Well, they can be for the one who has invested so much in REAPING, whether he has SOWN anything or not.
How do they work? Like the food you eat, it must be digested and absorbed into the blood stream, to carry its nutrients of growth to every part of the life. Practicing this LOGIC with an open and trusting heart will bring about an ILLOGICAL miracle. We will receive fullness, love, joy, and a basket of blessings that is packed solid! I like that kind of LOGIC, don’t you?
Well, I’m going to call a halt to this LOGIC’s launching for now. Maybe you’ve thought of some others that could be stated and debated. I invite you to share them in your comments. Now, for one last thought.
When I think of the attempts to hang on to the TANGIBLE and test the INTANGIBLE, I am reminded of the cartoon type, like Beetle Bailey’s Sergeant Snorkel. He has again fallen off his proverbial ledge and is hanging by one slender sapling growing perpendicular (now there’s logic) to the cliff. He cries for help and out of the blue, the Voice of God tells him to let go and He will catch him. (Unknown to Snorkel, who is afraid to look down, the ground is only about two feet below him.) Weighing this heavenly counsel, he finally cries out again, “Is there anyone else up there?”
FOR YOU “WOULD BE SNORKELS” OUT THERE, BE ENCOURAGED THAT IF YOU WILL TRUST THE COUNSEL OF GOD TO LET GO IN FAITH, HE WILL CATCH YOU, AND YOU WILL FIND MORE TRULY SOLID GROUND UNDERNEATH YOU THAN YOU EVER EXPECTED!