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Knowing God - Part I 'Spritual Wisdom'
In Sunday School this past Sunday, a question was raised that really made me think. This is a paraphrase of that question that sparked a lot of talking.
“Do you think it is possible that because we have so many commentaries and so much access to the Bible and Christian ‘stuff’ that we lose our own focus on God because we only have to go get a commentary to find out what this or that means in the Bible instead of really reading and allowing God to tell us through the Holy Spirit simply by reading the Bible?”
Let me start out by saying commentaries and such are not a bad thing at all. But when it starts to take over our life more than the Bible and we look to man more than God’s Holy Spirit indwelling us, that is when I am concerned for my own self. Where have I placed my own priorities? Has God come first or has the easiness of life and readability of man’s interpretation of God’s word taken it’s hold on us?
Romans 8:15-17 “For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, ‘Abba Father.’ The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children then heirs - heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, in indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.”
Romans 11:33-36 “Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgements and His ways past finding out!
‘For who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has become His councilor?’ Or who has first given to Him And it shall be repaid to him?’ For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen”
I ask again. What comes first in our life when we want to know God? How do we go about knowing God? You see, this very thing disturbed me a couple years ago. I was so focused on reading devotions and saw the same thing when I was in Youth Group. They have all this material ready and all you have to do is read and fill out simple questions without really searching God’s Spirit.
That’s when I asked the question. Is it possible for me to actually understand God without all this extra material? All this extra commentaries given by people who were trying to help? I think we lost our focus. We got all this material at hand but do we honestly dig into the Bible EXPECTING God to reveal His truth to us without more help? I think it involves some trust and believing on our part.
1 Corinthians 2:6-16 is what I was pointed to Sunday. I read through these verses and I tell you, these are powerful words for one who constantly needs other men’s opinions. Verse 7-8 “But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory, which none of the rulers of this age knew: for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory,”
God’s wisdom does not come by simple reading and understanding. I don’t think anyone who truly wants to follow God can simply sit down and read whatever anyone else says about what God wants to make known to our own hearts. Those who want to follow God I believe have to search the Bible with all their hearts and souls, opening themselves ready to receive all that God imparts. There will never be anything new but what God has already made clear in His own understanding. But for us to understand His ways we first must be willing to search and be open to the Spirit.
Verse 15, “But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one. For ‘who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?’ But we have the mind of Christ.”
Here I will use a commentary. As I said, they are not bad. The only thing is we must rely on God’s Spirit instead of man. Search all things with the Truth. Decipher all things with a critical mind, the Word of God and Spirit that which we use to decipher all things in life. And to tell the truth, I would decipher all things mercilessly. I demand for myself truth the more I try to understand God. It’s weird but true. I demand truth and will have nothing less.
Taken from Psalm 119:105 and John 14:21, here is what one says on Spiritual growth. “Beginning in 1 Corinthians 2:10, Paul elaborates our need of Holy Spirit-given wisdom and revelation, and he ties this very firmly to our receiving the “words...which the Holy Spirit teaches” (2:13). He immediately turns from these observations to an outright confrontation with the carnality of the Corinthians, attributing it to the shallowness of their intake of God’s Word.”
The demanding truth of this passage is that no amount of supposed spiritual insight or experience reflects genuine spiritual growth, if it is separated from our basic growth in the knowledge of God’s word in the Bible. Without this rootedness in the word, we may be deluded about our growth. Such “rootedness” is in truth and love, not merely in learning knowledge or accomplished study. In order to experience true spiritual growth, we must spend time in the Word and separate ourselves from the hindrances of lovelessness, competitiveness, and strife.”
Jumping over to James, this is sort of a personal study on my part dealing with the tongue. James 3:5-12 speaks on the tongue and the very real danger involved, the extreme carefulness each person who even tries to speak the truth needs to be aware of. Verse 6 “And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of natured and it is set on fire by hell.”
In other words, what is my main goal in saying anything? Is it for my benefit? What am I focused on before I even try to speak or write this? If I were focused on simply benefiting myself, would I really want to speak the truth? The tongue is untamable. It speaks whatever our mind tells it to speak. And the majority of what goes on in our mind....is wickedness that is constantly fought with to do what is right.
Verse 13-18 speaks on how to discern what is the wisdom of God and what is not. It starts by a self examination. Verse 13-14 “Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth.”
What happens when we seek God’s wisdom and we’re doing it for our own gain? Or what He says we don’t like and we’re known for being truthful? It’s a dangerous place to be in if we dare speak.
James 4:4 “Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.”
“Adulterers and adulteresses” are not referring specifically to sexual immorality in this specific passage. Instead it’s a metaphorical term used in the Old Testament for those who turn from God and embrace the world. So when we try to seek God’s wisdom and His council in our hearts, be prepared to not like everything God tells you. But accept it. Who comes first in your life, God asks.
James 3:17 “But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.”
I think if we truly were to study the Bible as God intended, without the clutter of so many other comments on this or that though they may be good, I think we might just find something about God that we never knew before. He does listen and He does answer and when we search Him out, we WILL know the truth of what we seek.
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03 Jan 2003
"WOW", That was great teaching, you gave good understanding as well, I loved it. God Bless you to write more, for the body of Christ and for whomever has a intrest in knowing more about walking after the Spirit. Thank you
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