Friday, October 4, 2013

Beneath Surface Faith is an Ocean of Grace

The majesty of Jesus Christ, when fully realized, changes a person.  It changes them from superficial belief into being sold-out for God.  And I'm not talking about bouncing off the walls for Christ or covering your car with bumper stickers of Jesus fish.  That's got a touch of vanity in it as well.  You're into God because of the "high" you get from spirituality.  But take that high away, replace it with trials, and then what do you have?  Blame.  Distrust.  Disbelief that God even exists, let alone knows what He's doing.

No, I'm talking about a devoted, serious, studious, prayerful, deep, abiding love for God Almighty.  A love that trusts Him so completely, so thoroughly, that one would be willing to lay down their lives for the integrity of His name.  They'd be willing to lose their family, their homes, their livelihood for the Gospel of Christ.

How many Christians actually have this kind of love for their Savior?  I'd be willing to bet most Christians would nod, pound their chest, and yell, "Amen!"  But I'd also be willing to bet that's not the case at all.

Not everyone in the Body of Christ sees Yeshua as absolutely magnificent.  He's great, the Son of God, our Redeemer, He's worthy to be praised.   They sing songs, they read their Bible, they might even pray.  Everything's great!  And yet...

...and yet the Church isn't overflowing with Spirit-filled people.  Some are ashamed of Yeshua.  Some are wrapped up in worldly activities.  Others just don't care, or perhaps, don't know any better.  Some have horrible theology.  Others have been led astray by pastors who had no clue how to rightly divide the Word of Truth, or peppered their Grace with Law.

Too many Christians are content with believing in Christ but not allowing Him to interfere with their lives.  He's the icing on the cake, but not the cake itself.  And that's where we go wrong.  We come to God for what He can give us, not because we simply want...Him.

How does this "shift" in the knowledge Christ's majesty happen in a Christian?  I truly believe it is a grace of God bestowed through our conscious decision to know Him.  In fact, it's quite an easy decision to make.  One must decide to seek God simply because they want to get to know God, and no other reason.  Who is He?  What is He like?  Why does He love me?  Why did He send His Son?

We find the answers to these questions in two places -- in Scripture and our prayer closets.  However, merely reading Scripture for the sake of reading Scripture won't cut it.  Praying coldly and infrequently won't cut it either.  Reading the Bible in a year won't make you any closer to God.  But studying the Scripture will -- through prayer.  As we read, we ask the Holy Spirit to reveal, unfold, and illuminate.  Themes, prophecies, history, and doctrine begin to unfurl like the petals of a flower when you come to realize there is no idle word in Scripture as the inspired Word of God.  The flat, bland, and boring suddenly has depth, flavor, and character.  Less dust and more fingerprints now cover your Bible's binding.  The verses within seem to speak of your own life, your own circumstances.  And suddenly, you realize this is how God is speaking with you.

When that realization is made, there is no force in the universe that can keep us from reading our Bibles.  Who doesn't want to encounter the Living God?  Prayer becomes less formal, less duty, and more of a pleasure, more of an excitement at chatting with an old Friend.

The more you know someone, the more you trust them.  The more friendly you are.  The more talkative you become.  You open up, you share your dreams, and reveal the secrets of your heart.  Knowing God starts with seeking Him, being earnest in our seeking, and encountering Him within the pages of His Word.  The written Word is the path to the Living Word, as page upon page is all about Yeshua Messiah.

It is there we learn of His history, His plan, and our future with Him.  It is there God reveals Himself, but only as hidden Treasure to the ones who truly seek Him.  To all others, He will not be found.  Humility and earnestness are keys that unlock His mysteries.  God can see our heart, and it is only with our heart that we can see God.

Praise the Lord.



  1. Great post! The best one yet, I think. I"m often guilty of seeking God to get something from him, but interestingly enough while praying with a friend today, I was reminded by her humble entreaties to the Lord, that we first and foremost, are to seek him in order to serve him....and then, all that we need will be added on to us. After receiving so many blessings from God, then having him flip the script and ask me to seek him more earnestly these past couple of years, I have yet to embrace blessing the Lord just for the sake of bringing him joy. No, I feel too "hurt", too disappointed, too entitled when I don't feel his presence or when he hasn't given me something I've been prayed for for awhile. It is not always this way but it happens too often to be good. I am in season of waiting and a season of drought; I"m often bored by spiritual life, feel as if I plateaued. I don't want to stay where I've been, I want to know God more but I feel as if I am grasping at wisps of smoke, as if God is there, yet just out of my reach. Its hard to explain but I do think he is testing me and wants me to seek him more deeply than ever before. I have trouble seeking because I get impatient and disappointed at the slow process.

    But I've been getting such a lovely lesson today. I woke up with this morning with this song on my heart to sing.

    "I love you, Lord
    And I lift my voice
    To worship You
    Oh, my soul, rejoice!

    Take joy my King
    In what You hear
    Let it be a sweet, sweet sound
    In Your ear"

    I love the lyrics because its is a perfect example of someone offering a gift to the Lord, simple worship, and asking nothing in return; he sings adoringly to God, his heart's desire to bring the Lord pleasure. It is a new prayer of mine.

    1. A suggestion for you - perhaps try praying for God to lead you to seek Him. Ask Him to lead you to books, to songs, to teachings, to sermons. Ask Him to teach you Who He is. If you've prayed this once, pray it again. "The violent take Heaven by force" (paraphrase). Don't give up on this area of your life. The indifference is definitely a spiritual attack, albeit covert. You should never try to seek God on your own strength - you will fail every time. Therefore ask Him to be the strength of your heart when your heart fails, and lead you down the paths of righteousness for His name's sake. :)