In John 17:3 Jesus says; ‘Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent’ and in Matthew 11:25-26 and Luke 10:21; ‘I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do’. Paul, in 1 Corinthians 1:26-27 remarks for you see your calling; ‘Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong’ and in Isaiah 33:6, Isaiah prophesies’; ‘Wisdom and knowledge will be the stability of your times, and the strength of salvation; (but) the fear of the Lord is His treasure’. Jesus (quoting Isaiah) in Mark 4:11-12 said to the disciples: ‘The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those on the outside everything is said in parables so that, they may be ever seeing but never perceiving and ever hearing but never understanding; otherwise they might turn and be forgiven!’
So, what are we to make of this? It seems from these scriptures that God has determined that people will never find Him by knowledge and cleverness. In these scriptures this determination blocks men from finding Him or understanding warnings, prophesy, direction, salvation or the forgiveness of sins through their own intelligence, wisdom or knowledge. This determination is an active one – Matthew records clearly that the reason that Jesus spoke in parables was so that people would not understand (not even the disciples – but He explained everything later to them when they were on their own). Jesus even spoke directly to the Jews saying that they, through their searching of scripture thought that they would arrive at a knowledge of God – and clearly, they knew something – but it was not enough – in fact as so often is the case, when we feel we have attained some knowledge it turns out to be nothing at all that God is interested in. About six years ago we left our home church and thought that our searching for a new one was to do with us finding a new spiritual home. In fact, it was to do with God taking us back to basics and redirecting much of our thinking. I found out that many of the things that I thought were important were of no significance to the Lord whatsoever but that returning to a state of vulnerability, dependence and obedience to Him were really high on His agenda.
|Source: We Heart It|
The first step of obedience that we take towards God always leads us to give our lives away – we are not our own but bought with a price – but many stumble at this and as in the parable of the sower the seed, is taken or choked or parched and doesn’t lead to eternal life. So often it seems that rather than go the hard way where the Lord breaks us to get rid of the things that will rob us of His true liberty, people prefer an easier way which can lead to dead religion and religious service (no matter what church background we are from).
Returning to our first scripture about Jesus weeping over Jerusalem and applying it to us – not hearing the Lord and not understanding what He is saying leads to us not being prepared and not obeying as we should. The dangers of not being prepared include missing God’s opportunities and falling into danger. The people in Jerusalem had the wrong motive. They did not treasure being God’s special people and they did not eagerly seek Him to find out what to do. They wanted to take control of their lives back; Luke 19:14 ‘We will not have this man to reign over us’ and they saw knowledge of God’s Word, not as the way of life but as the way to power and control the lives of others within their culture. Contrast this with the people in Jerusalem in Jehoshaphat’s time who, when threatened with an army worshipped and prayed. They prayed in 2 Chronicles 20:12 ‘we don’t know what to do but our eyes are on you’. They were fully dependent upon the Lord for their salvation and wellbeing.
It is possible that part of our problem is that we don’t know how precarious our position is without the Lord or how soon His return could be – Like Jesus said, ‘everything just carries on the same, so we are not careful or watchful’. Jehoshaphat knew because he could see the enemy and also knew that God was His only hope. This message is for us today, for us right now. Are we hearing from the Lord? Do we know what things will give us peace? Or is the Lord crying over our lives saying; ‘if only you had known… but you have ignored the message for so long that now it is hidden from your eyes’. Jesus is coming soon and all of the implications for the world are already happening or at the doors. If we don’t know Jesus we need to turn our hearts (not heads) to know Him and obey Him, and if we do we need to ensure that we heed messages about being awake and with oil (and some to spare) – and warning others.
Author: Chris Pearson
May God bless and enrich your life
Please feel free to share this article and other articles on this site with friends, family and other