“For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears.  When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child.  When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.  For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.”   1 Corinthians 13:9-12

My daughter was working on an art project that consisted of recreating a picture.  Given that this was not a project of interpreting your imagination, but an exercise in replicating something easy to compare, the success or failure would be fairly evident.

The teacher mercifully taught them to use the “Grid Method” to interpret the photo.  The grid method consists of drawing grid lines across the picture to break it into more manageable chunks.  Once a 12 x 12 sectioning had been established, each of the 144 smaller pieces make the whole much easier to replicate through this interpretive grid process.

At a retreat I was part of this last weekend, we talked a lot about interpretive grids.  There is an obvious one that is implied for all Christians.  We call it a Christian “world view” and it contains all the basic apologetics of the faith.  But there are many others that help slice the onion thinner and provide ever deeper understanding.

We talked about the interpretive grids of:

  • Walking with God (Conversational intimacy with God).
  • Hearing His intimate counsel (Discernment of the Holy Spirit).
  • Deep restoration (Healing as a process to live into on this side of eternity).
  • Spiritual warfare (We have an enemy set against us and we have tools to combat).
  • Suffering (Part of the human condition that seasons us for life after this).

For example, if you don’t operate with the interpretive grid of spiritual warfare, you are left with one of two other interpretations for the trial and tragedy of your life:

  1. I’m completely blowing – everything bad happening in my life is my fault.
  2. God is holding out on me – punishing me.

Sometimes we are blowing it and the Lord does choose to not come to our rescue at times, but we also have an enemy set against the beloved of God.  Our opposer has come to steal, kill, and destroy those that would claim citizenship in the Kingdom of God.  Sometimes the frustration and confusion we find is rooted there.  A good interpretive grid of spiritual warfare not only helps you interpret the situation, but will help lead you to resolution.

Without grids to help break the circumstances of life into more manageable chunks, the task of interpreting our lives will be overwhelming; finding clarity and peace will be impossible.

  • Are you operating with a lot of clarity right now?
  • Do the things around you seem distorted, confusing, or even unkind?
  • What interpretive grids are you employing to understand your life?