Come up hither

What we know of God isn’t all there is to know of God. God being infinite means we cannot exhaust all there is to know of Him. Nevertheless, we’re to desire to know Him more and seek His presence because to know God and His Son is the precise definition of eternal life [John 17:3]. Yet, it seems that many of us are satisfied with what we know of God. For a long time, I was content with what I knew of God. I figured that digging deeper was for the professionals called into ministry (spoiler alert: we’re all in ministry; how’s yours going?). Therefore, it was their job to find out the rest and tell me about it.

That approach is unwise. I often think of the Christian life as a school. However, in this school, you decide when you start, when you graduate from each class and how far you want to take your education. You can drop out whenever you want too. However, at some point, you’ll get a test. The test won’t be based on your current class. You can’t say: “I only got to kindergarten, so adjust my test accordingly”. There are also no exemption criteria. Neither wealth, power, fame, nobility, qualifications, accomplishments or any other attainment exempts you from this examination. Even those who dropped out must take the test. Life will test all of us, and how well we perform when the test comes is determined by a single factor: what we know of God [Proverbs 11:9].

Sadly, many Christians fail to dig deeper into their faith because of other priorities. Jesus touched on this in the parable of the sower [Matthew 13:1-23]. So often, the cares of this world choke out time with God. Nevertheless, God is so gentle that He doesn’t compel us to spend time with Him. But He makes us a promise; if we seek Him first, He will give us all the other things we need [Matthew 6:33]. This is one of the more popular promises in Scripture, yet I wonder how many of us truly believe it? Has our familiarity with this promise blurred its practical significance? It’s C. S. Lewis who once said: “Aim at heaven and you will get earth thrown in. Aim at earth and you get neither.” Unfortunately, many don’t grasp this reality until it’s too late.

We lose our souls when we neglect God and pursue other things. The tragedy is that the soul is what really matters [Mark 8:36], and God’s desire is for us to prosper as our souls prosper [3 John 1:2]. He’s not indifferent to how we perform in the tests we face. He’s delighted when we excel and saddened when we fail because He’s a good Father who wants our best. Consequently, He has given us His principles so that we can be prosperous and victorious in life without losing our souls in the process. The devil is not indifferent to our tests either. He’s committed to ensuring we lose our souls. He deceives us into thinking that there’s no consequence to obtaining things and solving our problems without God. We’ll need wisdom and understanding if we’re to triumph in life without falling prey to the traps of the devil. Therefore, we’re implored to obtain both at all cost [Proverbs 4:7].

The beginning of wisdom is to fear God and the knowledge of God is understanding [Proverbs 9:10]. When we fear God, we’ll stand in awe of Him and revere His words. Furthermore, we won’t fear man, nor will we desire to please others or ourselves over God. Wisdom will lead us to align our lives with God’s word and reap the promised rewards [Proverbs 9:12]. Consequently, it’s incredibly important to continually pray to be filled with the knowledge of God’s will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Holy Spirit gives [Colossians 1:9]. Knowing and ordering our lives in alignment with God’s will is the key to making it in life without losing our souls. It guarantees that we’ll live in a way that pleases God, and equally important, achieves results that please Him [Colossians 1:10-12].

Having said this, it’s reasonable to ask how we can determine God’s will in the tests and trials of life. The answer to this question is to renew our minds. Paul tells us that we’re transformed as we renew our minds, making us able to discern God’s will which is good, perfect and pleasing to Him [Romans 12:2]. This process of renewal requires our commitment to growth in our relationship with God. Our growth is reflected in how much we know God i.e., understanding and, how Christlike we are in our everyday life i.e., maturity [Ephesians 4:13]. How would you score yourself out of 10 in both maturity and understanding? More importantly, how committed are you to improve your score? How committed are you to the pursuit of wisdom and understanding? Are you a diligent student of God’s word?

In the book of Revelation, after John’s encounter with Jesus – an experience so frightful John fainted [Revelation 1:9-18], he is told to “come up hither” for more revelation [Revelation 4:1]. I’m struck by the fact that John, in a vision in heaven, having already met Jesus, is told, there’s more to see. If there was more to see for John who also walked with Jesus on earth, we certainly need more revelation. This blog is an exhortation to dig deeper into understanding God and His ways. Don’t be satisfied with what you already know. Seek further revelation and remain hungry for God’s word. Prioritise getting to know God because there’s a great reward in doing so [Hebrews 11:6]. Not only will God give you what others strive for, but He will also equip you to excel in life while your soul prospers. So, come up hither, there’s more.

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