How well can we know God?
The other night I was driving home and as I flipped on the Christian station, I started thinking about how I often feel a religious spirit on many Christian products and radio stations.
I love Christian music and I love Christian products. What I’m talking about is the spirit of religion that promotes performance and rules. People don’t intend this. But there is a power of darkness that can use people’s lack of understanding to operate through them. To put rules and regulations on others in the name of Christianity.
I was talking to the Lord about it and asking, “Why is that? What am I feeling?” I don’t want to be judgmental or attribute something to a religious spirit that really isn’t there.
I felt like He told me, that like the church of Laodicea, they are lukewarm (Rev. 3:14-22). I asked what He meant and He said, “They quote scripture by rote. They use them as platitudes.”
I asked why and He, “It’s because they think they know Me.”
And I knew I was supposed to pause on that thought.
So if they think they know You…there is no intimacy in that. And they are actually afraid of You.
So many of us are afraid of God. Why?
Because we don’t know Him.
When we don’t know Him, we think He might punish us. We think He might be angry with us. We think He might abandon us. We think He might leave us all alone if we don’t do things “right.”
So is it possible we use the Bible and the love letter it is to us, as a shield? We hold it close, we memorize it…and perhaps use it as a barrier between us and the God we may not truly understand.
Without intimacy with God, when problems arise in our lives we try to work on our behavior rather than our heart connection to Him. It’s difficult to deepen a heart connection to Someone you fear on some level.
We may know He’s love from the Bible, but if we don’t experience that love, if we don’t understand His nature or His heart toward is in our sin, we hide from Him.
Knowing scripture doesn’t necessarily translate to intimacy with the One who inspired it.
It can create an illusion of security, but if we don’t know His heart, how can we read scripture through His eyes? How do we connect to Holy Spirit and receive the revelation that comes from intimacy with Him?
When we find more security in scripture rather than the One who wrote it, we’re missing everything.
I have read a lot about our president, but that doesn’t translate to knowing him. Scripture is an invitation to a deep relationship with God, but too many of us live from scripture and lack intimacy with Him.
Quantity of prayer or Bible reading does not necessarily translate to friendship with God.
We have to be still. Listen. Discover how to hear His voice. It’s in that place of rest that we find Him (Psalm 46:10).
Jesus, teach me how to be still and listen for Your voice. Teach me to recognize when You are speaking to me. Baptize me with Your Holy Spirit and fire (Luke 3:16). Teach me how to draw near to You and wait on Your Presence. I want to know and be known by You. I want Your living waters to flow from me and touch the lives of others. Let Your scriptures come alive for me so I can find You in deeper ways. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Bible pic via Pixabay
Psalm 46:10 by Church Iglesia via Flickr