I don’t know everything there is to know about walking with the Lord, not by a long shot. There is no end to God, and therefore there is no end to getting to know Him. Too often, though, people base what the believe about God, upon all manner of sources other than the one solitary source available to us which is 100% reliable. God can’t be known via our imaginations. He cannot be known by sitting in silence and focusing our minds inward, searching through some imagined labyrinth of our subconsciousness, where some elusive “awareness” is supposedly locked away and can be unlocked if only we can bring our conscious minds to that place where that “inner knowing” is buried. That’s hogwash! God is not mystical. God is not hidden or shrouded. God has fully revealed Himself to us in His written Word. If you sit in relative silence, with your mind focused on a portion of scripture you just read, that is a brand of “meditation” that might result in understanding, but it won’t be by some magical inner transcendence, it will be in yielding to the Holy Spirit’s still small voice.
God doesn’t “appear” to you in the form of a bird, or some woodland creature. He doesn’t hover around in an orb of blinding light. He doesn’t use parlor tricks. He simply tells us about Himself through the Bible. The entire Bible is the “Revelation” of God to man.
You say “I want to understand God. I want to know His will for my life. I want to be a better parent, a better husband or wife, a better Christian, and I keep asking Him to change me. I’ve prayed, and prayed, and still time and again, I fail. I can’t seem to learn”.
Well, maybe what you need to do is be quiet and listen for a while.
“But you just said, God isn’t going to answer me that way!”
Yes, I did. The only way to “hear” from God is through His Word. He has already spoken.
“Oh, come on, are you telling me that the questions I’m asking Him today, in the 21st Century, He has answered hundreds of years ago in that Book?”
Yes, that’s what I am saying. Do you think your questions are really any different from those of thousands of others throughout the history of man? The Word says “there is nothing new under the sun”.
“I know it says that”.
Ok, so what’s the problem?
“It’s not that simple!”
“Look, I take out my Bible, and I read it. Most of the time, well, pretty much all of the time, I walk away without the answers I’m looking for, more frustrated than ever”.
Ahh! Now we are getting someplace. Let me ask you something. If you have poison ivy on your hand, and it is itching like crazy, are you going to go out to the garage looking for some remedy? No, you probably have your house organized in such a way that medicines and first aid products are someplace convenient in the house. And the reason you know that is because you set it up that way. You know which item to use because they are labeled, and because you already know just any old tube of something from your bathroom isn’t going to do the job. Which is why you don’t just rub some toothpaste on it or something. And of course, the more familiar you are with your house, and your first aid kit or medicine cabinet, the easier it is to put your hands on the right thing what you need when you need it.
God’s answers are all there in the Bible, but first you have to realize that’s where they are. You have to believe they are there. Secondly you have to be familiar with what “medicine” is needed, and where to look. God is orderly, and the Bible is written in an order specified by God. Just like the old Dewey Decimal System, if we are familiar with the system, it makes it much easier to find what we are looking for.
“Ok, fine, but the Bible is NOT set up by the Dewey Decimal System! Look, that’s all well and good, but I can read and read the Bible and still walk away feeling like I didn’t get anything out of it.
Have you ever seen that picture that if you look at it one way, you can see an old lady with a scarf over her head and a bump on her nose, but if you look at it another way you can see a young woman with a fancy hat and feathers in her hair? Would you say the artist who came up with that illustration was slightly more advanced in his vision and abilities than the average artist? I mean, how impressive is that to be able to draw two pictures in one?
“Yeah, I’d say that sets him apart somewhat from the average. I’m doing good if I can draw a stick figure”
Well, I would certainly hope that God is more intelligent than we are, wouldn’t you?
“Of course! That’s why we need Him!”
Amen to that! See, the Bibles wisdom is simple, but not necessarily easy. By that, I mean, well, for example, look at the parables.
“Ugh, the parables!!!”
Whats the matter?
” Well that’s another thing. Why does God do that? I’m not sure I even understand all of those”.
How do you feel about the Rubik’s Cube?
“My old nemesis! Though I almost figured that thing out back in the day”.
Almost? What happened?
“I got tired of trying. I got so frustrated sometimes I just wanted to throw the stinkin’ thing! I never could understand how those braniacs could finish the whole thing in sixty seconds. They must have had a better mind than I do”.
“Not necessarily. I’d say the only certain difference between you and them, was that they refused to give up. They had more determination”.
And as simplistic as that may seem, the same applies for God’s Word. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. (Jeremiah 29:13) Here is another example. As a Mom, I do my kids’ laundry, and when they come to me and say “Mom, have you seen my blue tee shirt with the v- neck? And I say, “yea, I washed that yesterday, it should have been in that pile I put on your bed last night”, typically it goes back and forth a bit. They go give that pile a quick glance-over, and say “I don’t see it”. I go into their room, actually move the shirts one at a time, and there tucked between a thick hoodie and a pair of jeans, is the blue tee shirt with the v-neck!
They just didn’t put that much effort or attention into their search.
Everything in the Christian walk comes down to faith. God says His Word contains all the wisdom you need in this Earthly life. So you need to settle one question in your own mind first. Do you believe that? If not, then well, I sincerely wish you the best of luck in finding that wisdom elsewhere. You won’t. And if you don’t believe it’s in the Bible, you probably won’t find it there either. But it won’t be because it’s not there, it will be because you gave up looking for it.
I would say the main reason I am absolutely convinced that the only source of true wisdom is the Word of God, and the only source of real hope is God Himself, is because I have looked elsewhere myself. Gleaning those nuggets of insight may be like digging in a gold mine, and I may not have as great a knack for striking gold as the next guy, but when I do glean one of those nuggets of Gold, it is GOLD! It is worth something! It has value that I can count on! It’s not backed by the Federal Reserve, it is backed by God Himself.
Proverbs 2: My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee;2 So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding; 3 Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; 4 If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; 5 Then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God.
Matthew 13:44 “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure, buried in a field, that a man found and reburied. Then in his joy he goes and sells everything he has and buys that field.
If you worry about how to be a success so that you can put food on the table, clothe your family, and keep a roof over your head, you will live to serve the “almighty dollar”, but the Bible says to
Seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you!
So, you see, seeking God, is not just a good thing, it is the essential thing, but you gotta to at it with intention. Knowing Him through His Word, brings the promise that all other concerns will fall into place, they’ll be seen to, if we make seeking God our primary quest.
But here is another key; ASK!
If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. James 1:5
When you go to digging in the goldmine of God’s word, ask first. Hey, Lord, where is the best place for me to dig today for this particular issue that I need wisdom for? Would You help me understand what it is You’re trying to tell me? But better yet, maybe you should not try to set the agenda. After all, when you went to college, did you tell your professor what you wanted him to teach and when and how to teach it? He’s the expert. He wrote the syllabus, he knows what groundwork needs to be laid first, and what other principles can then be laid down on top of that. Are you a gem expert? Have you ever even seen a rough diamond, ruby, or sapphire uncut and unpolished, covered in bud and dirt straight from the mine? A gem doesn’t look like much in its initial form. In fact if you saw it lying around, you’d likely step right over it. Our natural and human concept of wisdom itself is so pitiful that if God handed it to us we wouldn’t recognize it as such.
A yellow diamond in the rough. (NatGeo)
Could you pick out the precious and semi-precious stones in this pile of rock from a gem mine in Sri Lanka? (Source NatGeo)
See any Sapphires there? (Source http://www.ruby-sapphire.com)
When life feels like you are just in the pits, what better time or place to start digging, mining for those nuggets of gold and rough gems? Let the Lord take you to one of His mines, and rather than show up with your mind set on finding the Hope Diamond, just see what turns up. See what gifts of understanding and wisdom God feels you should discover today. Maybe there are some basic things He wants you to recognize first before you will be ready to tackle the quantum physics realm. 😉