Honor the Streams but Possess the Ocean

The Holiness of the Here and Now – Part 41

So let no one boast in men. For all things are yours, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future—all are yours, and you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.

–1 Corinthians 3:21-23 (ESV)

I no longer look for you in the narrow limits of a book, or the biography of a saint, or some profound idea. These are just tastes of the ocean. I now see the ocean itself as it pours itself out on all of creation. The divine activity floods everything and everyone. All things are but atoms that disappear in this bottomless sea. I will no longer look for this activity in the thoughts of spiritual people. I will no longer go begging for bread from door to door. I will no longer seek the favor of mere creatures.

–Jean Pierre de Caussade

It is natural to be impressed when we learn spiritual truth, or hear a biblical teaching we have never heard before. Such truth has great power. It is natural to be impressed not only by the truth, but by its source: a certain teacher, a book, a movement, a school of thought.

When this happens, two paths are common. Some people settle down, content to promote and defend the source of truth they have found. Other people move on, always looking for the next teacher, book, or movement. It was no different in the days of the early church. The Corinthians were dividing over their favorite teachers. Meanwhile, in Athens, people “would spend their time in nothing except telling or hearing something new” (Acts 17:21).

There is a third way, an uncommon path. To follow this path, keep seeking to learn new truth, but look for it in a different way. Look for the divine activity, learn to discern it moment by moment. Then you will learn from all men, but boast in none. You will receive from every source, but cling to none. You will honor the streams, but possess the ocean.

The Holiness of the Here and Now is a daily devotional that I am currently working on. When I am finished, there will be 365 chapters like the one above. Meanwhile, I am sharing this work-in-progress. Like the Facebook page to see content like this in your feed.