Searching For God
Is "doubt" the opposite of faith, or is it unbelief. Is "doubt" sin? Now that might seem nitpicky about a word but the meanings of the words are very different to me "Unbelief" is an active verb***, an active verb implying will. "Doubt" is a noun, being rather a "state of mind" rather than a willful act. "State of mind" in this case I'd put, in orthodox terms, in the realm of temptation. Because doubt not only is a state of mind but it's a state of mind in which "I'm not sure, I don't know, I can't tell," is the predominant theme, and it is not yet known which way the doubt will go.
I would put the Garden of Gethsamane in the realm of doubt as I am meaning it, where after performing the most incredible miracles the world has ever seen, after the confirmation at the Mount of Transfiguration, after having prevailed over Satan in his trial in the desert, after giving the greatest sermon of all time (John 14-17), the Son of God went through "doubt" (even though He had repeatedly said this was the purpose for which He was born) and wondered and questioned Himself, really, Himself almost as a "separate self, who maybe had been wrong all along about the will of the Father, maybe it was something else -- wasn't that what He was asking when He wondered if there could be another way? Still Jesus was nevertheless, in the trial of His faith in Gethsemane, rescued & propelled into faith by the Spirit so that He walked through to the end in the blinders of faith.
"Unbelief" is active will, resisting the wind of the Spirit by being wrapped in its own self-image, for a time.
In questioning these things as I pondered them I had my own mini Gethesemane, wondering for a moment was I saying the wrong things, had I gone out too far on a limb, and in the midst of that suddenly "I AM" popped into my head.
Here is the mystery of God ....
Did you ever when you were a kid look up at the night sky and try to imagine infinity? It breaks your mind.
GOD, in plain common language, at least since the time of Moses, has been telling us His name.
I read a book years ago, some esoteric mystery, and the hero gets to the apartment where an important computer is, because of course he needs the files on that computer to save the world or his butt, (same difference to him I guess), I forget which. He turns on the computer and when the screen comes up it says, "DO YOU KNOW THE PASSWORD?"
So he starts typing passwords, anything he can think of, especially things he knew about the guy, birthday, kids names, etc. He tries for hours and nothing works. He keeps seeing on the screen before him, "DO YOU KNOW THE PASSWORD?" and his time is running out and finally out of sheer desperation he types "N-O" into the computer.
And the pot of gold was his ....
The answer was TOO obvious, so it was overlooked.
"I AM" is in first person.
God didn't say to Moses to say to the Egyptians, "Tell them 'HE IS' sent you." He told Moses to say "I AM sent me."
Moses was to say God's name the only way it can be said, in the first person -- "I AM."
And likewise, when we say God's name, we can only say it in the first person -- "I AM."
Tricky of God, huh?
Why is it then that we can only say His Name in first person? Because HE is the Only One who ever uttered "I AM." We say "i am" as an echo of the same one I AM but there is only ONE I AM.
Like standing at the edge of a precipice in a rocky gorge and yelling out at the top of your lungs "I AM" and then hearing the echo of your one spoken I AM reverberating back and forth off the rock walls down the length of the gorge: i am i am i am i am i am. God's the one who yelled out into an empty universe that perhaps was like the scientists say at one point an infinitely dense singularity, (which by the way I can no more conceive of than I can infinity), and He yelled out, "I AM" and things started popping, "Lights, Camera, Action." Deity is unfolding eternally nothing but Himself, nothing but I AM and everything echos and restates that which He has Eternally Said. What will be contrary has the freedom to do so, but we are not talking of that.
Now, the implication of this first person business is this: the "I" who utters "I AM" and the "i" who returns the echo "i am" are the same "I". At the foundation of all things one cannot separate one from the other.
And that obvious, in our face, NAME, "I AM", has been there all along. While we've been sifting around, looking for other passwords.
Reminds me of what that Philip Yancey fellow said: "Searching for God is kind of like looking for your glasses when you have them on."
In other words, quit looking up toward heaven for another god to come down and rescue you, save you, help you. No one is up there.
Look in yourself. There is a He, and there is a you, but they are one. I AM is first person. Who are You talking about when you say, "I AM"?
***Lest I be thought of as a grammatical ignoramus, let me correct myself before someone else does.
"Unbelief" is not an "active verb" as i said earlier. It is a noun just like "doubt" is. However, my point was, and it's still my point, is that inherent in the word "unbelief" is something more than passive to me, implying "action" has gone into making "unbelief" to become something more than doubt. It's taken the "right negative" -- doubt -- and made a "wrong positive" out of it. Faith must have "doubt" to swallow up as its engine to propel it.
"Unbelief" is simply faith in reverse, or "doubt" becoming the illusory reality of "unbelief" by our agreement with it. We are assaulted by "doubt" every moment of the day and countless times every day "I AM" rises up & dispels the doubt with the inner Word which then propels us into a new SEEING of GOD in the present moment. This is our normal life in Christ. Unbelief is no longer our normal bailiwick, and we don't visit there too often anymore, because this wonderful inner settling has occurred in our inner being, where we've SEEN the ROCK, we KNOW the secret place of the Most High, like Moses we've SEEN the Promised Land.
But unlike Moses in the flesh, who represented the Law, we DO enter into the Promised Land and find rest, because TODAY we have heard His Voice, TODAY we have believed, TODAY "we who have believed do enter into rest" (Heb 4:3), TODAY we don't follow an "evil heart" into unbelief, because TODAY we have ceased from our own works, as God did from His.
TODAY the Word is:
19 For the people shall dwell in Zion at Jerusalem: thou shalt weep no more: he will be very gracious unto thee at the voice of thy cry; when he shall hear it, he will answer thee.
20 And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity, and the water of affliction, yet shall not thy teachers be removed into a corner any more, but thine eyes shall see thy teachers:
21 And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.
29 Ye shall have a song, as in the night when a holy solemnity is kept; and gladness of heart, as when one goeth with a pipe to come into the mountain of the LORD, to the mighty One of Israel. (Isaiah 30:19-21,29)