It is the duty of an infant human being to experiment.
They are at this duty constantly. At first the world is a blur of colors, a din of noise, and a baptism of sensations. Gradually, by constant experimentation with all these stimuli, the child begins to discover the order of things. That lovely sound, a voice—mother’s voice! That strange pain inside—hunger! Cold and warmth and light and dark, quiet and rhythmic pounding are all put together into a world that starts to make sense. What are those things?—Ah! Toes! And these things?—fingers! And where do they go?—mouth! The life of the infant is a constant process of experiment and discovery.
As the child grows, this voyage of experimentation and discovery continues as play—the duty of the child. Coupled with the gift of imagination that is unbounded by the inconvenience of logic or material realities, the child experiments with activities and images, words and feelings, all the while learning and discovering.
The same is true for older children and teens. Their experiments get more daring and even can be dangerous as they age, but true to the mission of a child, they continue as random scientists seeking to understand the world in which they find themselves.
Of course, this is all a picture of the life of the believer. We are challenged to experiment in the ways of the Spirit.
We must discover a method for private prayer.
- When should we pray, morning or evening? Both?
- How should we pray, talk to God? Pray the Scriptures? Pray in the Spirit? All of the above?
- How many types of prayer are there?
- What does it mean to pray without ceasing?
We experiment with the Bible to determine how we should best consume its nourishment.
- Morning? Evening?
- Old Testament/New Testament?
- Gospels/Acts/Revelation? (The Jesus Story!)
- Apostolic letters?
- Should we memorize verses?
- What is the difference between Bible reading and Bible study?
- Experience tells us not to read in sequence for we will bog down in Leviticus for sure.
There is much in daily living that requires experimentation and discovery.
- How do we turn the other cheek? Go the second mile? Pray for our enemies?
- How do we discover the will of God for a certain task, opportunity, or life-long vocation?
- How can a husband love his wife as Christ loves the church?
- How can a wife submit to her husband without losing herself?
- How can parents raise children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord?
- How can children honor their fathers and mothers?
- How do we learn what pleases God?
The Lab of Life
Life’s questions are many, but the Lord has them all covered. He has given us a laboratory called “life” and an experimentation manual called “The Bible.” Now He wants to enjoy watching us do our work, the work we were designed for from the beginning, the work of experimentation and discovery.
Life is a treasure field with riches buries within it; some close to the surface and many hidden way down deep. It is the glory of God to conceal wonderful things and it is our glory to find these treasures. So, get to the lab today. Do the work. Find the treasure and don’t forget to keep good records.
“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.
It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings.
For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord.
1 John 4:1-3 4:1
Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-24
Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not put out the Spirit’s fire; do not treat prophecies with contempt. Test everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil. May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it.
2 Corinthians 13:5-6 NKJV
Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? — unless indeed you are disqualified. But I trust that you will know that we are not disqualified.
Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God-this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is-his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Lord Jesus, You are the God of mystery who has revealed Himself in the written Word (the Bible) and the Living Word (Jesus.) There are mysteries in You that call to me. Help me understand more of You as I prayerfully read Your Word. Your Spirit dwells within me to prompt me to explore, to experiment, to examine the things of life so that I might understand. Holy Spirit quicken my heart and strengthen my resolve to discover the wonders of You and Your creation. For Your Glory, Lord. Amen.
Show Me Your Ways
Words and Music: Russell Fragar
Show me Your ways That I may walk with You
Show me Your ways I put my hope in You
The cry of my heart Is to love You more
To live with the Touch of Your hand
Stronger each day Show me Your ways
© 2017 Stephen R. Phifer All Rights Reserved