I find myself in philosophical discussions in my own head sometimes which, as you can imagine, causes quite a few missed turns while driving and my wife and kids having to repeat themselves more often than I want to admit. This past year, I have focused my ministry’s efforts on subjects that cause so much pain in people’s lives such as emotional strongholds, agreements with the Adversary, and lies that people believe about themselves and their personal value. I observe the human animal in its natural habitat and also study myself like King Solomon did in the Book of Ecclesiastes. I search for meaning or truth in human endeavor and human personhood. Oh, the questions of what motivates human hands and human mouths never cease. I have never been one to shy away from the quandary of “Why?” when it comes to existence. More often than not, I have seen the world through my eyeholes rather than my eyes. It’s like I step back from myself and creation and see what existence actually is.
This week I have been kicking around in my head the juxtaposition of Human greatness and potential and the Wretchedness of the Human Condition. I am never one to immediately come to a conclusion about other people but I was always so quick to cast myself in a negative light. I still wonder why I do that so much. The usual answers I come up with are the conditioning of my youth and the words we all take to heart that we shouldn’t from past voices that now seem so inconsequential. What actually causes a person to have so much potential yet collapse in on themselves?
It would seem that a group of people with a unified mind could potentially unite their personal wills and resolve to do unlimited greatness. The image that comes to my mind is one of people united and stacking brick on top of brick with simple determination and if nothing opposes the process, could there really be a tremendous work of architecture or industrial equipment standing before them fairly quickly? So what stops this from happening? The process seems simple enough if the laborers are united and knowledgeable. Why can’t humans unite and build a better world? Why does that seem so impossible?
I am not sure whether this answer was deduced by me or it was revealed by the Divine, but I have a conclusion based on my background with the Scriptures.
The Tower of Babel
Humans had so much vision, strength, ingenuity, problem solving, teamwork, unity and purpose…….. all for the wrong purpose.
Depending on which interpretation and personal conclusion about the human race’s motivation for attempting to build such a structure, the response that matters most to me was the Almighty’s words when He descended to Earth to see the endeavor with His own eyes.
Genesis 11:6 “The Lord said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them.”
The human hands that set out to complete this vision caused such a disturbance in the Father’s heart that He set about to confuse the very minds of people. He Himself causes so much division among them that the very thought of “unlimited human potential” came to an end that day.
Unity does not replace His presence.
From this event, we humans now are caught in a vicious battle between our potential and our fallen state. Even speakers of the same language can divide because of a confusion in language. To put it another way, a confusion as to the motives or spirit behind the words can divide the oldest of friends very easily. How do so many of us who speak the same language still struggle to understand one another?
What I see with the Hebrew Roots, Messianics, or whatever we call ourselves this week, is that we are still falling short due to the confusion of our languages. Is the division and confusion a sign that there is still a question of our motives for unity? This then begs the question; are we trying to stack bricks to build something the Father does not desire? Are we attempting to build something that attests to our greatness, or His? I wonder if the “puffing up” (1 Corinthians 8:1) that new knowledge brings is more dangerous than we give it credit for? Has our motive for studying the Scriptures changed into something man-made and man-focused? Are we attempting to lay down bricks to build something that we have not been given permission to build?
The only unity that matters is the unity under the banner of Yeshua the Messiah. He is the stumbling block that keeps us from becoming more than we should be outside of His will. So many times in my life I have tripped over Yeshua only to realize that I did not see Him in my path because I was blinded by my own will and desire for greatness. So many times, I stubbed my toe on him because I was distracted by the pleasures of life or the welcome distraction from the self-imposed pressure of my own prosperity or my own definition of holiness.
Humans have so much potential but I thank the Father for limiting the unbridled ability of people to operate outside of His will. If He does not want us to build our own kingdoms and use our potential for our own purpose, how much more does He want us to use our unlimited potential for HIS Kingdom? How quickly and skillfully could human hands build a Temple with the size and scope that human minds and eyes have never comprehended?
With this realization, my vision of human hands building with bricks to build a monument to their own arrogance shifted to a vision of human hands building with uncut stones, laying them in an outline of vision of His House. Human hands lift cedars beams and set them into place while singing the songs of joyful and righteous labor ring through the streets of the New Jerusalem. We all sweat joyfully to assemble a dwelling place for YHVH Yeshua. Human potential that is submitted to His purpose will always bring about blessing and prosperity.
Proverbs 21:21 “Whoever pursues righteousness and love finds life, prosperity and honor.”
The submission of our will to His Kingdom, as difficult as that is sometimes, creates in us a place for His power and potential. A human must set down the hammer and chisel of his own will to make the world what he would like it to be.
Philippians 4:13 “I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”
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