Thursday, January 29, 2015

January 29 – Does God even know you?

If anyone thinks he knows anything, he does not yet know it as he ought to know it.  But if anyone loves God, he is known by Him.  (1 Corinthians 8:2-3 HCSB)

A spiritual teacher who thinks he has it all figured out is either about to fall into the sin of pride, or is already deep into it.  Jesus’ greatest critics were the ones who were the most knowledgeable of the scriptures and the ones who were supposed to be leading the Israelites to God.  They were also the ones who Jesus criticized the harshest, even calling them teachers who make disciples that become twice the sons of hell as they are (Matthew 23:15).  Jesus was so forgiving and kind to the sinners, thieves and prostitutes, but He was ruthless with the arrogance of the religious leaders.

This should be a warning for every pastor, every church assistant, prayer counselor, seminary student, and every Christian who attempts to lead others to the knowledge of God.  You'll never know enough, and you never have it all figured out... never.  You will always need the attitude of humble submission to learn more and more, as you put your faith into practice daily, and allow His word to speak through every circumstance.  Faith is not head knowledge.  Faith comes from living in a loving relationship with your Father, making mistakes, getting up and trying again, listening, talking, repenting, celebrating, honoring, obeying, offering and giving of yourself because you love Him above all things.  When you truly learn from God, it hits you on the deepest level of your being and permeates everything else. If you love Him, you live out what He teaches you.

When you think of the excitement you have when you get to spend time with loved ones - that is how the Spirit of God wants you to treat Him.  When a romantic relationship begins, you both think of each other constantly and can’t wait to spend hours together, talking and sharing and just soaking up each other’s presence.  No one has to teach you how to do it, it just happens.  This is the love we need to develop with God.  You may not have the right feelings at the moment, but that isn’t how spiritual love begins.  It starts with choosing to love Him and treating Him with that same eagerness to be in His presence.  The feelings that come later are far greater than pleasant human emotions.  They are the supernatural joy and peace of the Spirit — the supernatural love that teaches you how to love the unlovable, to love yourself, to love the lost with purity and strength, and to really feel and know God’s love for you.   

An intelligent knowledge of the Bible’s stories and teachings is vital, but that knowledge is meant to be the springboard for the Spirit of God to start dwelling in you.  Unfortunately, many are gluttons of Bible knowledge, but are not known by God.  If they died today, Jesus would tell them, “depart from me, I never knew you.” But His promise is that if anyone loves Him, they’ll be known by Him.  He’ll see them with the eyes of a Father and will lavish them with His abundant life. 

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