Knowing God Without Knowing God
Few disclaimers for this post. First sorry for the delay. Life is life and therefore sometimes it is difficult to post as often as I’d like. Luckily for you (the reader) this does not stop my mind from thinking and considering new ideas (if there is such a thing). That being said my second disclaimer is this. I really hope I don’t offend anyone. You’ve been warned.
We have a problem in our Christian culture here in the states. That is nothing new, and I can already here the people saying in their head “oh Tim what else is new with you. You’re always picking apart the church, give it a rest.” Let me address this thought briefly. I love the church, Christ died for it, we are His bride. I believe in the church, the church has done endless amounts of good, many people I know love Jesus and walk with Him daily in the church. This is not church bashing, this is simply being realistic about some of the issues we need to address in the church. Here we go.
As I was saying earlier we have a problem in the church. In fact I would call it an epidemic. We know God, but we don’t know God. Let me explain. We in Christianity have this mindset that the more moral we are, the closer we get to God. Of course no one will say this, but it’s an under-current of the Christian faith. We are told to read our Bible all the time, we are told to do good all the time, we are told to serve as much as possible. These are all good things, but they’ve replaced knowing Jesus in our life. The Bible is not God, serving is not God, doing good is not God. But yet we treat them like God. We automatically assume that if we are doing these things, we are automatically walking with Jesus. I submit however, that you can do all these things and completely miss Jesus.
Let me address probably the biggest part of this problem The Bible. Uh oh, I’ve gone off the deep end you say. Fear not, I have not. The Bible is great. God inspired it, men wrote it down, God’s truths are in the Bible, and it is incredibly deep and full of life. The Bible however is NOT God and sometimes it seems that we’ve made the Bible the 4th part of trinity. We have taken the Bible and put it on such a high level that we equate spending time with God by reading the Bible. It’s true that we can spend time with God by reading the Bible, but that is not the only way. In fact if God speaks to us and says to spend time with Him by going for a walk and we instead read our Bible, that is sin! We are disobeying what God told us to do, even if it seems more “spiritual” to God you still missed the mark (sin) for what he wanted you to do. Reading the Bible does not always equate spending time with Jesus. Spending time with JESUS equates spending time with JESUS. We must understand this. We must get this truth. This is EXACTLY what the pharisees did. They had the law down, they were the greatest minds and teachers of the Law. And they completely missed Jesus. They had the first five books of the Old Testament (the Torah) memorized. They knew it in the original language, they understood the context, they were great teachers, and they missed Jesus, they missed the whole point. I’m afraid many times we do the same thing in Christianity, only we do it even on a more ignorant level than the pharisees did. Most of us don’t understand the context, we don’t understand the original language, and most of us don’t have a chapter let a lone a whole book of the Bible memorized. We have taken the Bible, claim to know it, and then follow it as a law book and miss what it is pointing to. The Bible does not point to itself. It points to Jesus. We must see this. We must put the Bible in it’s proper place. The Bible is not the 4th part of the trinity. The Bible was not beamed down from heaven in English, it was not written in one period in history, and it was not written by the literal hand of God. The Bible was written over a huge span of time, by men under the inspiration of God, in Hebrew and Greek. The Bible was put together by men who decided (under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit) that these 66 books were the words of God. Let me repeat that, the Bible was NOT written in a year, even the order of the books are not in chronological order. The Bible was pieced together, written in all different contexts, by different authors, all with their own perspectives. This is not to say that the Bible is false, or inaccurate. I’m simply attempting to articulate that sometimes we (with good intentions) use the Bible as a supplement for spending time with Jesus.
Spending time with Jesus, is what it is ALL about. When He died on the cross Jesus literally restored our relationship with God back to the way it was meant to be. The focus is not the rules, or the morality, it is simply God, and out of that everything else flows. The closer we get to God the closer we get to ultimate reality. The closer we get to ultimate reality the more we realize how we were originally designed to live. Sin is not wrong just because it”s wrong. Sin is simply another way of saying that we were never designed to live that way. We were ORIGNALLY created good. Sin distorts that. Our bodies were never designed for sin, we were never designed to live outside of relationship with God. That is what EVERYTHING points to. Christianity is literally all about being restored to Jesus, it’s not about reading your Bible more, it’s not about serving more. It’s about living everyday with Jesus and re-learning how we were meant to live originally. If we start first with Jesus, things like the Bible all fall in to place. The most important commandment Jesus gives is not read the Scriptures everyday, serve relentlessly, or be a really good moral person. The most important Commandment Jesus says is to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength”. Everything must flow of out of this.
If we miss Jesus then we miss it all. If we don’t know what the voice of Jesus sounds like the we’ve missed it If we are not being lead by the Holy Spirit consistently then we miss it. The point of Jesus is not morality or any action, it is simply being restored back to the way we were created to live, out of that everything else will fall in to place. If we put the cart before the horse on this, then we are no longer in relationship with Jesus and we are instead in a relationship with something other than Jesus, and that is idolatry. First and foremost Jesus must be the starting point. From there it flows like a river.
So what’s this mean? It means get out of the box you grew up in. Meet Jesus on a walk in the park, meet him during a movie you’re watching, discuss with Him the GOP candidates. God wants to be in our life, He wants us to know Him and He wants to know us. He wants us to discuss our life with Him like we would discuss it with a husband or wife. God does not need, but instead desires to be an intricate part of our life. For us to limit him to “devotional” or other “spiritual” times, makes God a formula that we think we figured out, instead of the relational being that He is.