I spent a few days with a gentleman and I left the encounter with a deep sense of sadness, and yet a vision for Life as I know it. As I spoke with this man, I felt condemnation, correction, and law. Nothing was overtly antagonistic but still these things were tangible. He bases his life on doctrine and firm biblical fact. The odd thing is probably most of what he ascribes to I could say that I believe as well, but the spirit behind every word that spills from his lips is imprisoning and superior.
Where’s the Voice of God in What You Say?
So I asked God, why? I needed to know and I felt like a secret rested in the encounter . . . a half-full moment. What I’ve learned in 50 years of walking this earth is that we humans are mostly relationally based. We were created as such since the garden. Our communities are set up this way, heck, our human forms are made to engage things relationally. So why did this encounter feel like the anti-social event of the year? I believe it is SOURCE.
Now I can only go on what God shows me, as I don’t know the heart of any man. But God impressed on me that the focus of this gentleman was knowledge and not knowing the One in whom the knowledge was based. If you remove me from what I say, you no longer have me but only empty words.
. . . for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
2 Corinthians 3:6
Tons of words can bog me down as I don’t have the skill or desire to maneuver through them quickly. I am a very slow and deliberate reader and while comprehension is no issue, speed is not my strong suit. So the Word of God is not a tome I comb to master but a Letter I seek through for the Voice. It is above all a place of meeting for me, where I hear Him and He speaks to me. I’m not looking for places I can plant my flag of mastery; I am seeking a voice, The Voice of the Author.
The Voice: Religion of Relationship
Religion is not about relationship, but this is the purpose of our faith in God. So searching scriptures to validate and defend your miniscule understanding is folly. God is so GINORMOUS and my minute comprehension is a work of grace, and limited at that. Now I am not ascribing heresy or giving license to falsehood. I am speaking again about Source and motive. Is gathered knowledge for knowing, or for getting to know?
Philippians 3:10-11 Amplified
[For my determined purpose is] that I may know Him
[that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly], and that I may in that same way come to know the power outflowing from His resurrection [which it exerts over believers], and that I may so share His sufferings as to be continually transformed [in spirit into His likeness even] to His death, [in the hope]That if possible I may attain to the [spiritual and moral] resurrection [that lifts me] out from among the dead [even while in the body].
Truth and knowledge without HIM is like seeing a mirage in a desert. In your thirst you run to it. But, once there, you find only an empty void that has no life in it.
I love that==seeking the Word for His Voice. So many don’t understand that He actually speaks through His Word. I love it when it comes alive to me. I love hearing His Voice. Thank you again, John.
It is truly sad to miss the personal Voice of God isn’t it! He so wants to be known and heard. Bless you Wanda! Big love!
Our Lord knew just what I needed to “hear” today! To hear His voice speaking out of His Word into my heart rather than my reading into His Word “my” opinions (beliefs, doctrine). Appreciate your spiritual insights!
I can’t tell you how pleased it makes me that this spoke to you, exactly where you were. Bless you and love you Wynona!
Awesome word John,
It is concise and to the point.
I especially like, “Is gathered knowledge for knowing, or for getting to know?”
I hope you don’t mind, I would like to share this word with others.
Of course not Bruce. So pleased you liked it! Bless you Bruce!
[…] this morning that I came across Ezra 7:19. A rather obscure scripture, but while listening to the Voice, I had an explosion of seeing. God takes from within […]