DAY 36 - Understanding Both Sides of God

Am I worshipping God through vain religious practices or in the truth of who He really is?
23  Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.  24  God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth."

INSIGHT: Many people say, “My God is a god of fill in the blank”, yet they have a distorted or incomplete view of Him.  We cannot buy dinner with a one sided twenty dollar bill, and we cannot enter life to the full or heaven with a one sided view of God.  God saves, and uses people who see Him according to who He really is (1 Sam 2:35, Ps 95:10).  How we view God determines our beliefs, which determine our actions, which determine our destinies now and for all of eternity.

“What a person thinks about when they think about God is the most important thing about them.”                                 – A.W. Tozer

A favorite scheme of the devil is to get people to heavily emphasize one attribute of God’s over another.  Distorting the image of God is heresy.  If I only recognize and talk about God’s love and grace, and I ignore or dismiss His justice and wrath, I am defaming the person of God and should not expect Him to be close to me or keep me.  Our easily deceived human nature wants so badly to see the good and remain in denial about the bad. I think of the video of the lady at the zoo, who is being bashed against the bars of the cage over and over, screaming hysterically because the polar bear has her entire upper thigh in his mouth, and he is trying to pull her in the cage and devour her.  She approached the polar bear only seeing his gentle and calm side; she failed to acknowledge his other nature. Guess what?  God has a very destructive nature like that polar bear and if we don’t acknowledge it now, it will certainly be too late when we approach Him. (Ps 9:5, 37:38, 145:20, Pro 16:4, Mat 10:28, Jn 3:36, Rom 11:22, Heb 10:27-31, Rev 20:15)

We must allow God to define Himself and His attributes fully through His word, not our favorite teacher or own ideal image of God.  Many of us worship God in vain religious tradition or in error of who He really is.  For 19 years, I would have been so confident about who I thought God was, but I was wrong in so many ways.  I was largely ignorant of who God really is, and it was reflected in my heart.  Today, I hear many believers say something about God or describe Him, and I instantly know they don’t really know the truth about Him.  As I became intentional about obeying Him, motivated by my love for Him, He began revealing Himself to me in His word and through spiritual experience.  And yet, I know that I still know so very little.

We can never know everything there is to know about God, but we can have much greater understanding than most of us have now.  It takes years of seeking Him, but God rewards us with more of His presence as we come into agreement with who He really is.   A proper view of God is critical and can only be attained by obeying Him and depending upon His grace to make Himself known. 

DAY 35 - Good Spiritual Understanding

Am I continuing to study and obey God’s words so I will have good understanding of His ways and discernment of good and evil (spiritual eyes)?

34 Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eyes are good, your whole body also is full of light. But when they are bad, your body also is full of darkness. 35 See to it, then, that the light within you is not darkness. 36 Therefore, if your whole body is full of light, and no part of it dark, it will be completely lighted, as when the light of a lamp shines on you."

INSIGHT:  We desperately need the light of God’s truth in countless life scenarios, each week. The more of God’s Word we have in our hearts, and the more of it we practice, the more light we will have in us for addressing these matters.  The more light we have in us, the more we will see and experience God, and the more we will be useful to Him for good works (2 Timothy 2:21). Good understanding of God’s truth is absolutely critical.  When I have opinions or beliefs that conflict with God’s truth, I am out of step with God in that area, and I am walking vulnerable in spiritual darkness.

So many Christians are confused, worried, deceived, and fruitless because they lack good understanding and discernment.  (Ex. Christians who allow science and men, who don’t even believe in God, to shape their views about creation—perverting God’s word.)  You cannot doubt God’s Word and expect His blessings in your life.  God is only near to those who call upon Him in truth (Ps 145:18).  When we interpret a doctrine differently than God, we are not calling upon Him in truth.  There is only one way to have good understanding—obeying His words motivated by the fear of the Lord.  (Job 28:12-13, Psalm 111:10, 119:104, 119:130, Hebrews 5:14)

The difference between knowing something in your head, and knowing something in your heart, is the difference between hearing something, and actually understanding something. Understanding brings with it the ability to act on the truth.

DAY 34 - A Key to Understanding the Bible

Am I being careful to apply what I learn from Christ’s teachings, so that my understanding of God’s ways increases, and is not taken away?

23  If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear."   24  "Consider carefully what you hear," he continued. "With the measure you use, it will be measured to you—and even more 25  Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him."

INSIGHT:  Jesus is basically saying, “Pay attention…if you understand what I’m saying to you, be very careful to obey it.”  He is admonishing and warning us not to be hearers only, but doers.  When we put His teachings into practice, we are doing God’s will and God rewards us with even better understanding of His ways.  If we are negligent in application, we will lose what little we had. In the verses just previous to this, Jesus is telling them to proclaim His words and not to hide His truth.  It has been my personal experience, over several years, that as I have served others by sharing God’s words (rather than my own man-made pep talk), that He has increased my understanding of His word, which enables me to help even more people.  I am often shocked by the level of understanding and insight He has given me into certain situations, whereas before I would have only surface level understanding.  I find that the Holy Spirit will even sometimes give me hidden insight into a person’s life or situation.   One time, I was praying for an old friend I hadn’t seen in over two years.  While I was praying, the peace drained out of me and I sensed the Holy Spirit telling me he had allowed something sinful in his life and it was blocking God’s favor.  It took some courage, but I contacted him with the warning.  He was very thankful and confessed he had recently stumbled on some bad news in the family, and had fallen back into pornography.  That is the power of the Holy Spirit.

Ask God to give you ears to hear, and to increase your depth of insight into His words, His ways and His truth.

If you will remain true to God, God will lead you directly through every barrier and right into the inner chamber of the knowledge of himself. But you must always be willing to come to the point of giving up your own convictions and traditional beliefs.
— Oswald Chambers