Last Sunday I spoke about Adam. It made a natural first installment to my new message series called “Profiles in Redemption”. The idea is to take a journey through the lives of 10 of the most important characters in the Bible, and see how their stories weave into the great story of Redemption.
In the course of talking about Adam, somehow I landed on an unplanned metaphor. This happens from time to time, seeing how often I think in metaphors. (This may be my most godly trait, which is unfortunate, because it doesn’t exactly show up on the list of Spiritual Gifts or Fruit of the Spirit.) And I’m not saying this metaphor is canon-worthy, exactly. But it’s blog-worthy, anyway.
The plain fact is, God reveals his fullness to those who recognize their emptiness. Gladly, he doesn’t wait until you’ve arrived and have completely sacrificed everything you have to enter into your life. But in general, I’d say that the more empty we become, the more fully he enters in. “May he increase, may I decrease,” John the Baptist would say.
So I thought of a scale. Nobody steps on a scale when it already reads 10 lbs. And certainly not when it reads 30 or 40. You could step on it if you want, but nobody would take the reading seriously. It would not be an accurate description of your body. If we encounter a scale like this, we realize that we have to calibrate it first, so that it reads at zero, before it can be useful. In other words, a scale can have no recognition of weight on its own. It must be prepared only to receive the weight that comes to it.
If each of us is a scale, I don’t know anybody who’s fully calibrated, although I know some who are pretty close. And when I look at their weight, I see 100, 150 or 200,000 pounds, so to speak. Readings that are not humanly possible. This makes it obvious to me that God has become willing to put his “full” weight into them, and we can begin to see what God “really weighs”.
The question we’ve got to ask ourselves is, do we really want to know God? Do we want to know what he’s actually like, or do we just want bits and pieces of him to complement our own ego and self-esteem? Would we trade the inestimable weight of God’s glory in our lives for the few dozen pounds that we can muster on our own?
I think most of us would.