Patrick and I were talking about the Greek word praxis today. Don’t we sound deep?
Praxis basically means the working out of a theology or belief. It is about doing; it’s characterized by a mode of acting. Here’s where our conversation headed. We were discussing why so many Christians were anemic, seemingly devoid of power and growth. (Before I go on, let me assure you I have often slid into this category). Growth in the Christian life, I said, has more to do with what we do with our belief than merely our statement of it.
In practical terms, this means that a new Christian can grow feet to our inches simply because he’s acting out his newfound belief in God. I’ve seen Christians who have walked with Christ for years who experience less and less growth. Why? Because without action, there is atrophy.
Do I really believe God is big enough to take care of me? Truly? Then, why haven’t I stepped out into the unknown, where He beckons me? If I continually walk away from His directives and gentle encouragements, I will soon become deaf to His whispers. And I will quit growing spiritually. That means I can stretch and grow in knowledge, but if that does not result in praxis, a practical walking out of an inner belief, then I will stagnate. I may sound smart, profound even, but if I don’t put the belief to the pavement of this world, my walk with Jesus will seldom progress beyond today’s spirituality.
Then, the conversation turned when Patrick said, “It has to be both head and feet. We must think correctly about God, and then obey.”
Tozer said, “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” Before we can put walking shoes to our faith, we must think rightly about God. So many of us (me included) construct God in our own fallible and meager minds. We, because of our finiteness and propensity for sin, cannot conceive adequately of a God so big, so holy.
We are small-minded believers in a manageable God. We are guilty of reversal–we are calling the shots, He obeys. Perhaps praxis flows out of a titanic theology of God–that He is big and we are not. That He is all things wise and we are needy of that wisdom. That He is beyond our comprehension, yet stoops to come to our aid. He is God. I am not.
So, if I believe God is big, that He is beyond my comprehension, how now shall I live? How will my high theology meet the low roads of everyday life?
Step by blessed step.
I want to grow, tall and strong. I want to reach my arms to the heavens and shout HALLELUIA! I want my life to emanate Christ in every way, in every relationship, in every decision. In order to do that, I need to know God’s ability as He stoops to meet my inability. In my frailty, I am strong. In my small willingness to walk the paths He has for me, He meets me there, enabling me to live in praxis, as a disciple who thinks right thoughts about God and who walks out those beliefs here on terra firma.
The questions are:
- What prevents us from having a high view of God?
- Why is it so hard to put shoes to those high views?
I don’t have a complete picture yet. I see in a mirror dimly. But, I am curious what you think.