Saturday, January 22, 2011

Traveling through the Bible (Philippians 1) Part 2...

2. Love will abound IN KNOWLEDGE...
God: "Miranda, I want you to get to know me better."
Miranda: "How?"

This question is a little more obvious in how it is answered. There are PLENTY of ways to get to know God... His word, His creation, His spirit inside me, His leading in my life so far...
As I said, I have known God for most of my life... or at least known about Him. Since high school I have realized the different between knowing about God and knowing God. But I still fall short of the mark on actually getting to know God. I spent a lot of time thinking if I just talked to God and listened to what He spoke to my heart I would know my God...
Which is part of it...
But not nearly as big a part as actually KNOWING God! Because quite frankly, often times, I cannot tell the difference between God's voice and my own. I think I hear God speaking to my heart, but in fact it is just my own desires speaking louder than God and therefore, I hear what I want to hear. What God is actually asking me is to really grow in my knowledge of him in my mind as well as my heart.
"Be transformed by the renewing of your mind." Romans 12:2
"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind." Luke 10:27
 I need to study his word. God breathed an entire book into existence for my benefit. He wrote it for me, that I might know Him better. I have relied so long on my own intuition and on the Holy Spirit speaking to my heart and have forgotten that God speaks to me most clearly through His word. He wrote it to me! It is a love letter and an epic adventure laid out before me so that my creator and the God of the Universe could be known and understood by His creation.
If am I supposed to truly know Him, how can I begin to imagine leaving out the most powerful and enduring explanation of who He is?

This week at BSF, the speaker was explaining the first chapter of Philippians and explaining the text as she went. I found myself distracted and letting my mind wander to different parts of the text instead of listening the whole time. I guess that's ok since I was getting truth either way...
She reached Philippians 1:9:
"And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment..."
To this verse she explained that we need to love God more because when we love God more we obey Him more. True statement...
But not what I got out of the verse.
I have read that verse several times and each time I stop at "that your love may abound more and more..." and then I zone out on the rest of the sentence. But as we learned previously, truth can be found in the rest of the sentence.
Paul writes, "I pray that your love may abound still more and more IN KNOWLEDGE AND DISCERNMENT" If I were to diagram this sentence and find out the subject, verb, noun, direct subject, etc... I would discover that another way of writing it would be, "I pray that in knowledge and discernment your love may abound still more and more."

Previous interpretation - we need to love God more
What Paul is saying is - we need to KNOW God more and DISCERN His truth more and OUT OF THAT we will love Him... and therefore our obedience will be involuntary and an act of love!

Telling someone to love God more is like saying, "Love your spouse more." It is a very noble call, but you can't just snap your fingers and love someone. It takes intention and it DEFINITELY takes a process of learning about that person in order to understand HOW to love them. This is the same with God!
God calls us to love Him - Absolutely! But he doesn't expect us to do it blindly. He continually reveals Himself to us so that we might see His love for us and then our love for Him is a REACTION. God woos our hearts to His and therefore we know His character, learn that He is trustworthy, see His power and majesty, experience His grace, are drenched in His mercy and lovingkindness, and it is THEN that we fall deeply in love with Him.
Paul understood this and it is why he prayed that our love would abound IN KNOWLEDGE.
It is why God asks us to love the Him with our heart, soul, strength, and MIND. It is not just about emotion and feeling... it is about knowledge of who He is.

God calling me to know Him more... to read His word, experience His truth written on my heart, to witness the glory of His creation around me... is actually a call to fall more deeply and deeply in love with Him.


Abi said...

I love getting to read what goes on in your beautiful mind!
And thank you so much for this! I needed to hear this truth. Getting to know God better through His Word is such a "duh" answer, but I forget it sooooooo often!

Angie in AZ said...

Amen! Girl, when did you get SO SMART! You need to be behind the pulpit to share this! Yes, we have heard it a million times but we need it a million and one. And the way you explained it is amazing! Thank you!

Hey, I miss you on FB.