In the last post I discussed the idea that real wisdom and understanding come from doing. Not from thinking about how something works. But from doing it. Jesus described this to the disciples:
“If you love me, you will obey what I command. 16And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever— 17the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. 18I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. 21Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.” John 14:15-21
In the early days of my own spiritual journey, I was lead by my intellect. I believed in the risen Son of God. I first studied the lives of Jesus and His disciples as they led them 2000 years ago and all the prophecies that were made about His life before He had lived it. Then I started studying the New Testament. I was gaining head knowledge, believing that this was worth something, while in truth, it was all worthless.
Spiritual growth comes from being filled with a hunger for God, not from head knowledge. I began to meet people who had experienced the living God acting in powerful ways and they introduced me to writers who spoke of having an interactive relationship with God exactly as the Bible describes. I became increasingly hungry. As I sought God, I became more willing to put Biblical teachings into practice.
Previously, some things were easy to practice because I was brought up to believe certain things. But others were counter to what I believed to be best for me or different than what I wanted for my life. Examples were attending regular Church gatherings, sexual purity, serving, tithing, and time spent in prayer. There are logical and persuasive reasons not to do each of these things when you are not practicing them. But each time, the Lord blessed me with the will to push through (sometimes kicking and screaming, and with stumbles along the way) and to be obedient to more righteous living. Each time that I did this, I gained a closer relationship with God and understanding about why living life in this way was better – not just for others – but for me. It was only after living in the way God teaches, that I gained a deep understanding for why this was better for me.
How are you living?
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