Tag Archives: Faith

Getting Real

Meditation Journey Day 22

Hi Friend,

Getting RealWhat a privilege we have tofind the knowledge of God.” (Proverbs 2:5) Our Father in Heaven invites us to know Him and through that knowledge we begin to truly know ourselves. Finding the knowledge of God is finding knowledge that is His. We must remember He says in Isaiah 55,For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD.”

His knowledge contains the facts, truths and realities that embrace the spiritual world and the natural world. His knowledge is about Himself and also about us; how He thinks of us, knows us and loves us. I am sure He finds delight in revealing the mysteries and the beauty of the universe to us. I am also sure there is much He cannot reveal to our limited minds, yet He delights in instructing us and being known by us. The proof that He delights in being known by us is that He has made Himself known to us! Moses wrote in Deuteronomy 29, “The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things that are revealed (about God) belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.” Deuteronomy 29:29

Old BuildingFinding the knowledge of God was never meant to be simply a walk through a theological museum. It is a very personal journey into the heart and mind of God as He draws us close to Him to instruct us in whom He is and who we are.

God is revealed in the Bible as being: A Trinity of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit that is Self-existent, omnipotent (all-powerful), omnipresent (all-present), omniscience (all-knowing), holy, just, full of goodness and love. These are just some of the theological attributes that describe God.

Knowing He is all-knowing is impressive, yet it becomes life changing when I experience the awareness that He knows me! Learning He is a unity of fellowship of the Father, Son and Spirit, called the Trinity, is inspiring; yet my joy becomes full when I begin to experience that fellowship personally.

We can mentally ascend to these great attributes of God, but we will never know them in their transforming power until we allow the Holy Spirit to reveal them to us. This is why Father God instructs us to receive … store/hide … incline/turn… apply … call out … cry aloud … seek/look for … search His Word.

Friend, please keep in mind, our lack of faith and obedience never diminishes the reality of the knowledge of God. Nor does our faith and obedience make Him real. He is real. Our humble broken faithfulness to obediently “find the knowledge of God” makes us real.

Observation: The Knowledge of God is God’s secrets. We will never understand ALL he knows, but we can know what He reveals to us.

Interpretation: The knowledge of God is part of the reward for seeking Him. It is more than just the great theological truths about Him. It is experiencing the great truths about Father God that impact my life personally. My faith and belief does not make God real, it makes me real. My unbelief and faithlessness does not diminish the reality of God; it diminishes my reality!

Application Prayer: Father thank you for the mindboggling privilege to know You. The invitation to seek You through Your Word is precious to me. The more I know You as You are, the more I know who I am. Thank You… in Jesus Name, Amen.

What is your take away?

I hope you will pray for me and all the others that are on this journey. You may also want to send me comments, suggestions or questions. I promise I will respond to each inquiry.

Advertisement

Are you seeking the knowledge of God?

Meditation Journey Day 21            

…and find the knowledge of God.

Hi Friend,

Proverbs 2:5 also promises us that we will find the knowledge of God. The knowledge of God Prov 2is more than data, facts and information about God. The knowledge of God is a Biblical term loaded with spiritual life. Paul cries out in Romans 11, “Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!”  He prays that the Church “may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that (they) may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God Col.1 In Peter’s second letter he greets the churches with this salutation: “Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord…” Paul also teaches us our new man “is renewed in knowledge (of God) according to the image of Him who created Him. Col.3

In summary these verses tell us the knowledge of God is deep and that we are expected to increase in our knowledge of Him. It says grace and peace will grow in our knowledge of Him. In Colossians 3 we begin to understand why the knowledge of God is so important to us personally. We learn through it the Holy Spirit renews us and transforms us into the image of His Dear Son. Romans 8:29

To have this impact the knowledge of God has to be more than just theological points Surrenderknowing about God that changes anything. We must know Him in the spiritual equivalent to Adam knowing Eve. We grow in the knowledge of God as we yield our minds and hearts to Him. It is only when we surrender our whole being as a living sacrifice (Romans 12) that we truly begin to know Him.

This reward, of actually knowing Him, is the final gift of seeking God as instructed in Proverbs 2:1-4. It does not come quickly or easily. That is why we must be diligent in daily seeking God through His word. Yet the reward is great. The more we know Him the more we are able to experience the heights on His love and have grace as we transverse through the valleys of life.

Observation: The knowledge of God is the reward at the end of diligently seeking God through His word. There are many great benefits in knowing God. As we know Him more His grace and peace grow in us and we are transformed into the image of Christ.

Interpretation: Gaining the knowledge of God is more than knowing about God, it is personally and intimately yielding your whole being to Him.

Application Prayer: Father God, I so desire to know you. Thank you for revealing yourself through your Word and in the person of Jesus Christ. Help me, Lord, to be diligent in seeking your face to reach your heart.  In Jesus Name, Amen.

What is your take away?

I hope you will pray for me and all the others that are on this journey. You may also want to send me comments, suggestions or questions. I promise I will respond to each inquiry.

Got Direction?

Got Direction?

January first 2016, Ken and I sat in a cold gray morning on a rise in the wilderness of Rocksprings waiting for dawn to come in hopes of shooting my first deer. In the light of a filtered sunrise through damp gray clouds the shapes of several deer dimly appeared before us. Ken, my guide and mentor, motioned me to prepare to shoot. From one hundred yards or more the Texas White Tail deer looked small in the scope of his 30-06 rifle. Through the cross-hairs of the scope the moving mature doe was a challenging target, yet with even breathing, I slowly pulled the trigger.

When the bullet shattered the quiet of the morning, the targeted doe seemed to fly as she bolted away from the area. It violently jumped and twisted in midair to run as far as possible from the awful sound and fear of the powerful rifle. From the distance of our blind, it was unclear if I had hit the deer or merely shocked it with a missed bullet. Had I wasted a shot and my chance to kill my first deer, or was it severely wounded? Yet as we approached the place where the deer had stood, it was obvious the bullet had inflicted a mortal wound. The deer’s blood was sprayed on the ground, but she was nowhere to be found. All she left was a faint trail of blood.

Now the tracking began. The cold and rainless morning was not only good for hunting, it was ideal for tracking a wounded animal. Without rain the blood trail would still be visible and the cold would help preserve a dead animal. Ken the experienced hunter, began to quickly look for traces of blood on rocks, grass, twigs and brush. His keen eyes picked up on the smallest of detail. I on the other hand, inexperienced and ignorant of the process, concluded the deer could not have run far with THAT much blood loss! I quickly and foolishly ignored Ken’s methodical detailed experienced tracking for a quick solution and walked in circles! He graciously cautioned me to look for the blood as it was the only sure sign we had, and also not to trample on any possible evidence as we could easily lose the fallen animal. Yet I, the novice, scanned the whole field smugly thinking surely a bleeding deer could not have gone far. I continued to walk in circles as Ken systematically called my attention to yet another drop of the deer’s red life on a blade of grass or rock.

Finally I began to listen. Ken had me wisely mark the last sure proof we had found of the deer’s path. I placed a “duck” in the location of the bloodRock marker2 spot before we moved on. This gave us assurance we were on the deer’s final run. [A trail “duck” is three rocks pile up in an obvious man-made pyramid with the largest rock on the bottom and smallest on top.] The deer had run beneath cedar trees, through brush and yuccas giving us a challenging path in its attempt to elude its inevitable death. Her hundred plus yard scramble took her about a minute, yet it took us thirty to forty minutes to find her final resting place in a yucca patch.

IMG_0735Ken skillfully field dressed the deer, and I now have fresh venison in my freezer. Yet as I reflect on the hunt and specifically the tracking of this beautiful animal, my lack of skill was in sharp contrast to Ken’s experience and knowledge. In searching for the direction of the deer’s path, Ken knew what he was doing, and I was ignorantly lost. Without his guidance, I would have never found the animal. Through this experience, I was reminded about the way God leads us … or tries to lead us!

If you want direction from God you must understand it is a process. Just as I needed Ken’s expertise in tracking the wounded doe, we all need God’s guidance to receive spiritual direction! In my lack of knowledge, I walked in circles trying to find the deer until I started listening to Ken.

Ken, like the Spirit of God, was patient to show me what to look for and then to mark it with a “duck” so we could establish the last point of truth. Each time a new spot of blood was located we looked for more in the same direction, but if the trail ran “cold” then we marked that spot to regain our confidence until we found the next bit of evidence. This was an accurate albeit a tedious and detailed process. In the end, it proved the desired results. Slowly with Ken’s guidance I became a tracker helping to find the way instead of someone circling about with good intentions wasting time lost in my own ideas.

God wants us to be a good “tracker” of His Spirit, learning to follow His thoughts and ways. If we want the best direction for our lives we need God’s direction for us. 

In Galatians 5:25 Paul wrote, “Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.” We who are believers in the Living Christ need to understand the discerning of His direction and stay in step with His Spirit. We need to learn to listen to our Guide and to mark the last sure word God has given us. Then, when we have our “ducks in a row” we will be able to move with Him and in the power of His Spirit.

Are you lost walking in circles? Are you seeking God for direction? If you are willing to follow His guidance He will lead you to the Word of Truth and reveal His path for you. You must learn how to mark the truth with a spiritual “duck”. For you, just as the “duck” had three stones piled up, there are three parts to marking God’s trail.

First we must receive God’s word as a WORD from God! If you want the Word to lead and guide you, you must receive it as personally from Him. 1 Thessalonians 2:13 makes it clear that when we receive the Bible as God speaking to us personally, He is able to work His will into our lives.  It reads, “And we also thank God continually (for you) because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is at work in you who believe.”  Too many people read the Bible like any other book. The Bible is God’s book and is alive and active in us when we trust the God who wrote it.

Second, Psalm 199:11 tells us that we must “hide it (God’s word) in our hearts”. Memorizing God’s word is not an option if you want to know His will. If Ken had not insisted on marking the trail we might still be seeking a downed deer. But by now it would be lost to me as a consumable food. How often do we lose the nourishing Bread of Life because we do not “hide it in our hearts”? Only as we memorize and reflect on His thoughts repeatedly do we begin to comprehend what God is saying to the deep places of our hearts.

Third, we need to act by waiting. No, that is not double-speak. Isaiah 40:31 tells us to “wait on the Lord”. When we feel our way is hidden, then we need to wait on God’s grace to give us direction before we act.

“Why do you say, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel, “My way is hidden from the LORD, and my right is disregarded by my God”? Have you not known? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”

If we trust our Guide by receiving His Word and marking it with a spiritual “duck” meditating it into our minds and hearts, God’s direction for our lives will flow in and through us.

KenIMG_0739

Me

IMG_0740

Got Faith?

Got Faith?

FaithFaith is an elusive attribute in our lives. We wish we had more faith, yet it seems obscure as to how we receive and increase our faith. Jesus said if you have faith the size of a small seed you can move mountains!  Therefore, understanding how to grow our faith becomes a very worthy task.

First, we must distinguish between natural faith and spiritual faith. Natural faith is the confidence we have when we sit down in a chair. We expect and know the chair will hold us because we have sat down many times before or watched others sit and believe that a chair will hold our weight. Natural faith is a learned trust that comes from believing others or experiencing a consistent behavior of a circumstance (like the sun rising each day). I trust all of us have “faith” to believe the sun will rise in the eastern sky every morning!

Spiritual faith is different. It is a gift from God. Ephesians 2:8-9 makes this very clear.  “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.”

As opposed to natural faith, spiritual faith is a gift from God. You cannot give it to someone, nor can you muster it up in your own heart. You can, like the father whose son was dying, look into the face of Jesus and cry “Lord, please help my unbelief!”Sun rise

If we have unbelief towards God and His promises, then we need to appeal to Him for direct spiritual intervention. We need to “fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2

After we appeal to God, then we must trust His promises. The Bible says that “Faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” (Romans 10:17) Faith comes as we receive, accept and apply the word or message of Christ. It also says in 2 Corinthians 2 that, “For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through Him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.”  “Amen,” or agreeing it is true, is the first step in receiving, accepting and applying God’s word to our lives.

Spiritual faith is a force of good in our lives. It is the bridge through which God’s Spirit is released into and through our lives. Therefore it always produces something! First it releases grace for us to believe the Gospel and to enter into eternal life, but it also stimulates us to do good works. James says, “So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” This means, if we are not producing acts of grace toward others, then our faith is without the life giving power of God.

So here is the bottom-line on our faith issues. If we want supernatural faith to believe the unseen, then we go directly to God in humble trust and ask for help. After asking, with indifference to your feelings, act on your faith by reading God’s word, and seek His face to allow the Holy Spirit to grow faith in your heart toward His promises. Then as we obey the truth revealed to us, faith will increase. As you continue to say “Amen” to God and His word, you will be amazed by God’s wondrous grace given to you through Jesus Christ!