Common themes seem to present themselves as I learn, grow, and study. They vary according to the phases of my life. But, I love how God frequently seems surround me with a theme, sending lessons from so many seemingly unconnected sources.
Recently a theme for me has been preconceptions. This is not the first time I have been challenged to consider my preconceptions, but it’s coming around again with fresh lessons.
We all have them. We enter prayer, study, and growth with those preconceptions affecting every piece of information we process. There is no way to completely eliminate them. But we can submit them to the leadership of the Holy Spirit.
This morning I read these verses from John:
So some of the people of Jerusalem were saying, “Is this not the man whom they are seeking to kill? Look, He is speaking publicly, and they are saying nothing to Him. The rulers do not really know that this is the Christ, do they? However, we know where this man is from; but whenever the Christ may come, no one knows where He is from.” John 7:25-27
The Jewish people had their preconceptions regarding the Christ, the Messiah. These preconceptions were based on their Scripture (our Old Testament), but they were incomplete. They missed a few things. Consequently, they ended up confused about Jesus.
It was not that they were wrong. They were just limited. They viewed Jesus like the proverbial blind men viewed an elephant. Each man encountered a different part of the elephant, so none of them had the full picture of the animal before them. In the same way, the Jews missed the full picture of Jesus.
What do I really “know” for certain? Of what can I be absolutely sure? Obviously, I can fully rely on what God shares through His Word. But, do I have the full picture? I can stand with certainty on what has been revealed, but can I limit what I know to that revelation? Or is there much more to come?
There are many things I do not understand. Theologies. Spiritual uncertainties. Anticipations. Revelations. But, I must be careful not to allow my preconceptions to hinder my ability to learn and grow in these areas. My prayer is that the Holy Spirit will reign over my preconceptions, and that I will be willing to let them go as He molds my way of thinking into alignment with His own.
May we not be stymied by our own preconceptions.