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Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Key to the Christian Walk: Knowing Him

We recently discussed trusting the Lord and walking in obedience to his revealed will in our home Bible study. We looked at the great love chapter (1 Cor 13) where we learn that love is greater than faith or hope (while all essential). We do and should apply faith and our hope to our Christian walk, but love is central to our success.

Love is the greatest motivator. If I love my neighbour, I will not steal his things, seek to harm him, lie against him in court, envy his good fortune or put a move on his wife. Similarly, if I love the Lord, I won't put other gods (material or spiritual) before Him, I won't mock Him with idols or words.

Sheep do not need a fence (the law), they hear and heed the voice of the Shepherd. I do not need a law to tell me not to harm those I love, I need only allow the Lord to increase my love for them and for others.

And a true love of God will be evident in a growing love for others (especially those of the household of faith).But how do we move in that direction?

Have you ever considered this verse in its context?

"When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me." -Paul

The context is the great love chapter, 1 Cor 13. If we are to truly love, our love must move towards perfection (maturity). If not nurtured it will head towards perdition (waste) and childish selfishness.

To understand how to do this, I quote a small excerpt from a tremendous work, "The Christian's Greatest Need" by E.W. Bullinger (DBG). We must not just be "willing" to trust the Lord, for we will never truly trust him until we truly love him, and we can only do so by understanding his infinite love for us.
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"Those who are in the still lower condition; not 'willing,' but 'willing to be made willing,' do not see that his condition arises from not knowing God; not knowing how infinite is His love, how vast is His wisdom, how blessed and how sweet is His will. If they did but know something of this, they would yearn for His will. It would be the one great earnest desire and longing of their hearts for Him to do exactly what is pleasing in His own sight, in us, and for us, and through us."
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We must KNOW God. If we understood his love and his wisdom, we would never doubt him.

In a recent post, we looked at the goal of attaining the "resurrection out from among the dead." Here is the context:

"I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him..."
Phil 3:8
 
"I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death."
Phil 3:10

To know him, we must put aside everything that hinders. We must put aside the works of the flesh (Gal 5) and the things which so easily weigh us down (Heb 12). We must also put aside ritual, superstition and mysticism (Col 2). But these cannot be attained in the flesh, we must learn to walk in the Spirit. That involves knowing scripture (the Spirit is our teacher) and rightly dividing it (not being careless with it).

And when the Spirit convicts us, we must rest in his wisdom and his leading.

Let us search our hearts. We know what occupies its wants and desires. We know what hinders our walk. God knows too. Confess your weaknesses and declare dependence on Him. He loves you. He wants to free you. He wants to fill you with his love, and when we do this, we trust him more, we worry less, we love others more, we love the world less.

As the hymn states:

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.

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"And what is the secret of our being able to glory in our Lord, and to enjoy His blessing in this day of our visitation? It is given in Jer. 9:23,24: 
`Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom
Neither let the mighty man glory in his might,
Let not the rich man glory in his riches:
But let him that glorieth, glory in this,
THAT HE UNDERSTANDETH AND KNOWETH ME.'

[Excerpt ibid]

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