Everyone has seen a “cube” drawn on a piece of paper. The drawing is a two-dimensional representation (flat paper with two directions say x and y) but you can “see” the third dimension. The picture is the projection of the cube onto another “dimension” of space. Can you hear the Twilight Zone music playing right now? “You have entered a dimension of time and space…”
We do this “projection” thing all the time. We “complete the picture” in our minds using the information available. If I see a Zebra head sticking out from behind a bush, I know there is a Zebra behind the bush not just a head floating in space. When I see a picture of a Christmas present under a tree, I see a wrapped box that has something in it. What I can’t see (because it isn’t visible), I fill in to complete the picture in my mind. Now of course I am imagining what I can’t see. I don’t know what is on the other side of the Zebra. Maybe he doesn’t have stripes on the other side (that would be weird).
So, yeah, we fill in the blanks so to speak. We “see more” than we can “just see.”
This concept is the same when it comes to God. When we want to “know God” we try to fill in the blanks based on information that we have available. If all we have is a “book of information,” we will “fill in the blanks” or interpret the stuff that we think is missing. It gets worse. An infinite God can’t be contained by a finite number of words. The words may “paint a picture” in our minds but it is our imagination that fills what isn’t visible. Oh yeah, God is spirit. That makes it even more difficult to know Him because we only have shadows of Him written on pages of a book. I hope I am “painting a picture” of this dimensional projection thing.
This is why we have Jesus. This is why Jesus came. This is why Jesus is the incarnate God-man who is joined to mankind. This is why we must have Jesus in us to “see” our God. Not only is God infinite and can’t possibly be projected into a two-dimensional picture, we are finite and limited by our own ability to perceive. Now add a huge dose of forbidden fruit and we are really missing Him. Jesus says they searched the scriptures looking for eternal life when He was standing right in front of them. We have the very same problem. We have eternal life in Jesus revealing God to us but we may chose scripture over Him. We will try to balance the opinion of Moses who saw God as a flat projection in a single dimension over the God that only Jesus has “seen.” This is why we have to have a relationship with Jesus to know God. Eternal life is that we know God through Jesus. His projection into our reality is through the incarnate Immanuel. He joins Himself to us in His life, death, resurrection and ascension so we will know Him as we are fully known. We are a new creation in Him. We are no longer Adam with a fallen mind (2-D). We have the mind of Christ (God-D). Yay!
OK, so with our mind of Christ I say we explore outside our limitations and journey into other dimensions. (Now I know you are freaking out. Don’t worry it is just a play on words.) Unlike our limited understanding and measurable dimensions of time and space, God transcends all that. He is inside and outside of time. He is not limited by space and in fact occupies all the space. Really all the stuff we call space is inside of Him. That should really mess up your thinking.
What if we can expand our understanding by exploring other dimensions WITH God in Jesus? What if we can “grow” and have our minds renewed by letting go of our “old man” way of thinking and embrace His way of thinking? Seriously, He said it not me. Our limited thinking is why we can’t seem to break free from religion and depression and division and exclusion and violence and judgment and so much more. What if we were willing to take the “quantum leap” and explore outside our continuum? Wouldn’t that be fun?
One dimension I believe Jesus shares with us is a dimension of hope. God creates. God is creator. God is creative. God is creativity. God’s resting mode is a continuum of creative ideas of amazement. He is hoping all the time. His hopes aren’t wishes but expectations of awesome.
Hope in the human limited thinking (the good bad processor) is more of a wish. We think that if we can imagine something better and pray for that and have faith in that thing as a reality and God bothers to give it to us….then we have exercised hope. Sorry, that ain’t it. Hoping with God is much more that stuff.
So what is our hope if it isn’t prophesying our good fortune in the future? What is our exploration of the hope dimension? Just like the answer to every other question…Jesus.
You know this verse:
Heb 11:1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. (ESV)
The word “things” is not in the text. The most literal translation looks something like this:
Heb 11:1 “is yet faith of-being-expected assurance, of-matters exposing not being-observed”
Are you really confused? Here is the shocker for me. Hope in this verse is a verb. It is the verb for “hope” combined with the verb for “abide.” So the word could mean “abiding in hoping” or “continuous hoping” or “constant expectation” or something like that. So what is going on? “How about the things?” you ask.
Based on the previous chapter of Hebrews, the writer is trying to encourage these people who have been under great persecution (like all of the church at this time). Their cry is the cry of Habakkuk…”what are you going to do God?” God’s answer to Habakkuk is the same as His answer to these people…”trust me.” When we trust in God’s nature and live from His faithfulness, that is our expression of faith. We are believing that God is good and loves us and is working in the background for us and His kingdom. Habakkuk comes to realize that His joy is just in trusting in God. He says this (which the Hebrew writer makes reference to):
Ha 3:17 Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, 18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation. (ESV)
He also says this:
Ha 2:4 “Behold, his soul is puffed up; it is not upright within him, but the righteous shall live by his faith. (ESV)
Our faith is in His faithfulness. We are already in a right relationship with Him in Jesus. We are His beloved and adored. He will not let us down. That is our righteousness by faith.
OK, to put it all together.
Our faith in His faithfulness is our confidence in our continuous hoping.
Our exploration in the hope dimension is the act of hoping itself. Our confidence to explore the dimension of hope is found in our faith in Him who has faith in us. It is a journey of relationship. We are hoping with Him. We are hoping in Him. Our continuous confident expecting sets us up to catch whatever He throws our way. Just like Jesus we are postured to “do only what my Father is doing.” We live in the unearthly assurance of our acceptance and take journeys into the realm of hoping. There we are attentive to His voice. We are engaged in His activity. We are responsive to His compassion. We are listening to His instruction. We are growing in His presence. We are creating an opportunity for His redemptive work in us and others. We are not waiting for “things.” We are waiting with Him. The journey is the “thing.” Our conversation is the our joy. Dreaming with God…what could be more awesome. We are taking a journey into the Hope dimension.