Is it just me, or does anybody else out there ever have trouble with knowing God’s Word sometimes?
I don’t mean with the really tricky stuff, like “if you have faith as a mustard seed, say to this mountain *be removed* and it shall be thrown into the sea” or anything of that ilk. I mean the easy stuff. Stuff like:
Do you know He died for you?
Do you know He hears your prayers?
Do you know He intercedes for you?
Do you know He sent His Holy Spirit to help you?
Do you know He is coming back to earth someday?
I can almost hear the “Well, DUH!” in your mind right now. And I understand. As Christians, we “know” these things. I thought I knew them, too. I had filed them away in my mind under “faith” a long, long time ago. But did I know these things…or did I KNOW these things? Uh oh. There’s a difference?
Here’s a quick check to see if you are knowing things or KNOWING things:
Does what you “know” change the way you live? Change the way you feel? Change the way you respond to situations? Change…you? In those secret, dark and damp places in your heart where the door is tightly shut and barred and closely guarded…does any of that truth ever get in?
Let me be frank here…I have known lots of stuff in my life. I’ve believed in Jesus since I was four years old. I knew the lingo. I could preach it with the best of them. Jesus loves me. Jesus died for me. Jesus forgives me.
And then I got alone with the Lord, really alone and quiet before Him, and He very kindly informed me that I didn’t KNOW much of anything at all. Here’s a little illustration of what He showed me has to happen before we can turn knowing into KNOWING:
When we read His word and when we pray, when we listen to solid preaching and when we read truthful books, all that truth goes into our heads. Obviously, it has to go there first. It gets processed there. But it’s not supposed to stay there. If it stays there, it never changes us, not For Real. For it to change us, it must percolate down into our hearts, where it can flow out to the world around us in daily life.
The biggest thing, the crux of my difficulty, and, I suspect, the crux of most folks’ difficulty, is in KNOWING God’s love for us. The magnitude of it. Such a thing could not help but change us fundamentally. I used to think I simply couldn’t know it, that it was beyond my capability. But that’s not what His own words tell me.
For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Eph. 3:14-19
You see right there? Right. There. He says KNOW the love of Christ, which surpasses knowledge.
What? Know something that surpasses knowledge? Yes. The difference is right there, between heart and head.
I wanted to KNOW it. I knew I needed to KNOW it. What was wrong with me that I could hold such a thing in my brain for so many decades with only tiny bits of it sporadically getting through to my heart? I asked the Lord. He showed me again.
(highly scientific cross-section view)
Ouch. Here’s the problem. Pride. Anger. Unforgiveness. Fear. These are my own clogs. Your results may vary. They block the funnel, clog it up. Make it downright impossible for those seeds of truth to settle down into the soil of the heart, where they can grow and bear fruit.
What to do? How to remove it?
What else to do but pray?
I prayed for Holy Spirit Draino. Roto-Rooter, even. No matter how it was going to scorch and burn, I wanted it. I stopped caring if it would hurt. I knew it would. And it did. But He is SO GOOD, friends. SO. GOOD. Suddenly (and yes, it seemed just that sudden; I am not overstating the case) He blew my mind with the revelation of all He has done for me. It had never seemed so real. It had never been so close, so fresh, and so precious.
So I’m starting with this advice: get some Draino. Get some now. Because anything else will seem like just so much blahblahblah without it. Turn off the computer. Shut out the voices. Get on your face before Him (and no, I don’t mean metaphorically or in your heart, I mean literally, face to carpet) and mean what you say.
He will come. And He will pour you clean.
Jesus. You are awesome, so faithful and so immediate with help. Please keep me free from the buildup of pride, fear, unforgiveness, and anger. Let the pipeline be so open that the truth dropped into my mind goes straight into my heart, where it can yield a harvest of Your righteousness in my life. Oh You are so beautiful to me! Thank You. Thank You that You are not disgusted with the magnitude of filth in my life, but eager and delighted to blast it away.