13 Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, He was asking His disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” 14 And they said, “Some say John the Baptist; and others, [a]Elijah; but still others, [b]Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.” 15 He *said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter answered, “You are [c]the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17 And Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon [d]Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. Matthew 16:13-17......"We have questions for the Word, but the Word also has questions for us......There is no such thing as faith if there are no questions to be asked." Beth Moore
I once had a person that said to me after a sermon, "Pastor, you always ask questions, but you never give me any answers." I understood where he was coming from, but sadly, he didn't grasp where I was coming from. It has always been the way of the Father and His Son, and always through their Holy Spirit, to ask questions of us. God asked Adam where he was as he tried to hide from Him. He asked Elijah what he was doing in a cave, and Job why he thought he knew more than He did. Jesus asked people what they wanted Him to do for them, if they wanted to get well, and why were they afraid. Always their questions penetrate. They go far deeper than the surface life many of us appear to be most comfortable with. They are questions that demand an answer, and the answers can be difficult for us to come by. They require the searching of our hearts and their honesty as well. It's not that God doesn't already know the answers in all of them, He does. It's not just that He wants us to know them as well. That's true. I think His deepest desire in the asking is the intimacy He invites us into in the answering. As He penetrates our hearts in His asking, He also draws us to Himself as we answer. As He brings to the surface our fears, wrong conceptions of Him, crooked reasonings, and a host of other misconceptions or lies believed, He replaces it all with His Truth. The Truth of Himself.
When Jesus asked the disciples who they said that He was, He knew they already possessed a certain amount of truth in their beliefs. He was a great teacher, certainly a worker of miracles, and He was truly sent of God. All true, but mixed in were a great many things not true, or at least only half true. T. Austin-Sparks said that "Satan's main work is deception by mixture." He's done that work to a great degree in the Church, and to our great harm. There's a lot of mixture in what we believe about Him, and about ourselves. It's always been there, but it is growing ever faster in this day. The lies we believe can only be dispelled when replaced by His Truth. And so He questions us....if we will allow it. Are we allowing it? Are you?
Who do we really believe Him to be, say who He is? Why do fear as we do? Why do we hide from Him? Why do we think we know more than He does? Why are we living where we're living? Why do we live so far beneath our calling? Why don't we even know what our calling is? There's likely much mixture in to be found in our answers. That's why His Truth can only be entered into by deep intimacy. His deep questions will always require deep responses, and will lead to deeper and greater intimacy....if we'll have it. That is, if we truly want to answer.
I couldn't give answers to the one who asked them of me. I only asked the questions that the Father put on my heart to ask...of him, and all who heard. Those answers could only come in conversations...deep conversations with Him. Chit-chat with the Holy Spirit would never do. It still doesn't......I don't know what questions He asks of you today, but I know He does. Do you risk coming to the answers with Him? It can be painful. It likely will be...but the end will be His riches, His healing, and His wholeness. And His Truth without mixture. Who do you say He is? Why are you here? Why do you fear? Where are you? He has questions.....and answers. How badly do you want to share in them?