Monday 21 May 2012

The Wonder of It All ~ Dr. Lewis Gregory

From Source Ministries Blog

There is a lot of talk these days about knowing God. Yet most Christians still don’t really know Him. So, let’s get to know Him!
Proverbs 9:10 tells us that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy is understanding. Knowing God begins with a reverence for God. The starting point for becoming truly wise is to recognize there’s a power greater than us. That power is God Almighty through His Son, Jesus Christ the Lord.
We, as humans, think we understand things. But we only have a surface awareness. No true understanding exists apart from the knowledge of The Holy. There is only one who is holy, and that is God Almighty. In knowing Him, we begin to understand what life is all about. Then, and only then, can we truly live life. That is why you must know God! It is time to seek the One Who is all wise.
The Scripture doesn’t say the knowledge “about” the Holy. It says, “the knowledge of the Holy.” There is a vast difference between having information and having true understanding. We live in an information age. There is a knowledge explosion. Everything is geared to the philosophy that “the more we know, the better we are.”
But that is not the case! The reality is that information is not enough. A true spiritual transformation must occur. Therefore, the knowledge of God is absolutely essential.
Oh, the wonder of it all! Just think, He actually desires to give us the guided tour through life.
The Apostle Paul’s burning passion was that I may know Him (Phil. 3:10). Yet he, of all men, knew Him! Paul knew the Lord in great depth and intimacy. If it was essential for Paul to know him more fully, then how much more do we need to know Him.
Philippians was the first book that really came alive to me. When I read Philippians 3:10 I said, “That is my desire, my prayer. Yes, I want to know you, Lord!” Is it your prayer? May your passion be, “Oh, that I may know Him!” Once I began to know Him, my desire became two-fold. “Lord, I want not only to know You myself, but I also want to help others get to know You.” A few years later I came across a phrase by Dawson Trottman, founder of The Navigators. He said our objective should be “To know Him and to make Him known.” What an excellent summation of the Christian life!
That’s basically it. Once we begin to know Him, we have the privilege of making Him known. We can tell others about how Christ has radically transformed our lives. That is making Him known.
Yet the focus must remain on knowing God. So what does it mean to know Him? It is not learning about Him. It is having a vibrant relationship with Him. This should be ongoing, ever growing and maturing. Do you know Him like this? You can. Let me explain how.
I met Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior at age eleven. Ten years later, Lue and I were married. About six months afterward, I discovered one of God’s fundamental secrets. I was so challenged by Lue’s life, that it motivated me to seek the Lord. I began to reassess my relationship to Him. I prayed, “Lord I want to get to know You afresh and anew.” Lue and I began to search the scriptures together. I kept trying to understand them. I wanted to get a handle on this Book.
At age three, I remember my mother, who was a Christian, frequently reading the Bible to me. Over the years, she continued to tell me about the Lord. Most of all, I saw her live out the Bible. So, I knew the Bible stories. I could even debate Bible facts, but there was still something missing. Finally, it dawned on me! What I saw in the Bible and what I saw happening in my life weren’t the same. I concluded that since it happened in Bible times, it could happen now! In fact, it should be happening in my life today!!
“So, Lord, why isn’t it happening? How can I begin to see in my life what those in the Bible saw?” One evening I got my answer. As we were reading John 14:26, I saw it! But the Comforter, which is the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, He shall teach you all things and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. This was my first spiritual secret to knowing God.
I locked in on that one verse. I said, “Now wait a minute. All this time I have believed the Bible was true. I have gotten information from it. I have tried to follow it. I have attempted to apply its principles.” Yes, I failed in some areas, but I made progress in others. The bottom line—it wasn’t working. “Dear Lord, what’s the problem?” God said, “It’s because the Bible is a Spiritual Book and only My Spirit can make it real in your life.” My problem was I had been reading the Bible like a textbook. Since I had been a good student, I thought I could figure this out. I was able to learn Bible facts and even analyze them, but it never connected with my life. I could see it, but not fully experience it.
I got some further insight from 2 Peter 1:21. It says, The prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. What I realized was that this Book is truly God-breathed, inspired by God’s Spirit. The Author of the Book is God Himself. The Holy Spirit worked through human instrumentality. It was God speaking through the uniqueness of distinct personalities with different backgrounds and occupations, but it was always God bringing forth His Word to mankind! The Bible originated with God who is Spirit. Therefore, as a Spiritual Book, it can only be understood by the Holy Spirit.
Another glimmer of light began to dawn on me from 1 Corinthians 2:9. It says, “As it is written eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man what God has prepared for them that love Him.” It is not possible to grasp what God has prepared for us.
There is only one way to know God. Verse 14 says, “The natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God.” It is humanly impossible to grasp the things of God. The natural mind, which encompasses the physical human realm, cannot possibly comprehend the things of God. They are foolishness unto him, neither can he know them. They cannot be known on the human plane. Why? Because they are spiritually discerned.
There it is again! The things of God are known only by the Spirit of God. They are Spiritually interpreted. The Spirit gives us understanding. He alone can make God’s Word real to us. That’s the secret!
So I prayed again. “Now God, I realize that You are saying this is a Spiritual Book, and the Holy Spirit, who indwells me, is going to teach me. Therefore, Holy Spirit, I trust you to cause me to understand the Bible.” I concluded that since the Bible is a Spiritual Book, only the Holy Spirit can teach me. Furthermore, only by God’s Spirit can I know and understand the things of God. Therefore, every time I open this Book, my prayer is, “Holy Spirit, show me what to read, and speak to me through Your Word. Make this Book real and alive in me.”
Yeah, what about this matter of Scripture coming alive in us? It’s one thing to talk about it, but quite another to live it. Numerous Christian seminars contain powerful truths that we are admonished to go out and apply. Often we think, “Wow, there is so much here, how can I ever apply it?” Good question!
One man, overwhelmed with the volume of information he got at a seminar, said, “There’s so much, I don’t know how I can possibly apply it, but I guess that’s what God expects.” Or does He? No, He doesn’t! God realizes that we can’t apply Spiritual truth. He knows that it is humanly impossible. Thus, enters the Holy Spirit. He is the Divine applicator. The Holy Spirit is the only one who can apply Spiritual truth.
Therefore, we must rely on the Holy Spirit to enable us to live life. Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit (Zechariah 4:7). The Lord is telling us that we, as humans, don’t have the ability to live life. It requires God’s Spirit to enable us. It is God’s Spirit that brings forth the life of Christ in our daily walk. Only by God’s Spirit can this happen!
God won’t overload us. He has promised not to give us more than we are able to bear. He also gives us the One Who will enable us to bear it. That, of course, is the Spirit of God. He has come to indwell us in order to empower us. Furthermore, He will guide us. Christ says in John16:13 that the Holy Spirit will guide you into all truth. He is not an external guide to show us the way; He is a Guide from within who lovingly directs our lives. Just as the internal tracking device of a homing pigeon enables it to maintain its bearings, so the Holy Spirit causes us to go in the right direction. He keeps us on course.
The Holy Spirit guides us by prompting our thoughts, stimulating our emotions and motivating our desires. Words fail to adequately describe God’s marvelous provision through the Holy Spirit. Oh, the wonder of it all! Just think, He actually desires to give us the guided tour through life. Are you letting Him!

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