When one spends time reading the Bible and going to church, one tends to grow into the philosophy that he/she knows God. That he/she understands who God is, what he stands for and how he works. That he becomes predictable.
Ladies and gentlemen, can I share, God is not predictable!
He's not a tame lion, after all, as C. S. Lewis would say.
Tonight I attended a service that was very much focused on being filled with the Holy Spirit. As in, spending at least an hour in praise and worship, but not even singing all of that time. The leader explained that they did not want to create a false sense of worship through singing; this was just raw Holy Spirit at work.
The speaker referred to the philosophy of the Holy Spirit being like the crazy uncle we put in the corner and pretend he's not there. And although I don't know anyone who would proudly admit to that, I think that is actually what we do.
Let's be honest, I was a little bit freaked out by the way I felt the Holy Spirit moving in me tonight. No, I did not fall over on the floor and start shaking, but I felt like that was a definite possibility. Because if one lets the Spirit take complete control over oneself, well, I mean, he's in control. He can do whatever crazy thing he wants. So if someone next to me does fall over and start shaking, can I shake my head and say, "That's not God. That's someone desperately in need of attention?"
Because I have come to learn that despite having grown up in church and Bible camp and VBS, I do not know everything about God. I do not know anything about God! One of my favorite songs is by Addison Road and says, "Where have I even stood, but the shore along your ocean...What do I know of holy?" Romans 11:33-34 says, "O the depths of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgements, and his paths beyond tracing out. 'Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?'"
We are just too finite to understand God. How can we understand one so beyond who we are? We cannot define him. We cannot box him in. God works in ways we would never imagine, and as C. S. Lewis says, "Things never happen the same way twice." We just don't have time to get bored, or to sit down and write out a list of who God is. We can't set up a facebook page for him and define all of his likes and habits and relationships. He is way beyond that. Humans are way beyond that. You know that one person who you just never know what they are going to do? God is like that. You can't define him or predict him or grow bored of him.
So I pray that I can let God be God and do whatever the heck it is he is going to do now and the next moment and the one after that. And that I stop believing that he is not a part of those moments when he is most powerfully at work. And perhaps, if I shut my eyes and hold my breath, I can take a step into that ocean of which I am so afraid.