05 November, 2016

Knowing God: Head vs Heart

There are those that think they have such a higher, intellectual knowledge and that somehow makes them better because of their "superior knowledge" and intellect.
I and others have been criticized for not unraveling the Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic of the scripture and not breaking apart the Word of God verse by verse to show an intellectual understanding of the written Word. I could do that, but the fact is, that I've found it to be far more beneficial and effective to use my time in preaching the Word to do so in a topical manner which the average person can apply to their lives in a way they relate to and it makes a lasting impact on their life, rather than them feel so grand about their intellectual pursuits. What good does it do if I display my studies in a way that exalt my knowledge? I could use words that are only understandable to those who have a masters degree and they could boast on my knowledge and oratory skill... and the result would be an inflated ego on my part and a sense of pride on the part of those hearers that they were so much more knowledgeable than most others. But to the everyday person who is struggling to hold their marriage together, fighting the temptation to drink or cheat on their spouse or whatever issue they may be struggling with, they have come to church looking for hope and left even emptier than when they came! If that happens, I, as a minister of the Gospel have failed miserably. Paul said to the church in Corinth (where there was a battle raging even then with those who sought a head knowledge of God but did not know him in their hearts):
And my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom (using clever rhetoric) but they were delivered in demonstration of the Holy Spirit operating through me and of His power stirring the minds of the listeners and persuading them, so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom and rhetoric of men, but on the power of God. " 1 Corinthians 2:4-5 AMP

Paul spoke to this very same issue several times in the New Testament. Once, in writing to Timothy, he said:
20 Timothy, guard what God has placed in your care! Don’t pay any attention to that godless and stupid talk that sounds smart but really isn’t. 21 Some people have even lost their faith by believing this talk. I pray that the Lord will be kind to all of you! 1 Timothy 6:20-21 (CEV)

And in Romans Chapter 1 Paul writes:
16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ,[a] for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.” 18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, 21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. 24 Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, 25 who exchanged the truth of God for the lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
In the time that Jesus walked the earth, the disciples argued over who was the most important, who would hold the higher position in the kingdom of God, to which Jesus openly rebuked them and said that unless we come to him in the simplistic faith and obedience as a child, we would not even see the Kingdom of God.
Don't get me wrong, education and knowledge can be a very good thing and I highly recommend it... however, when your head knowledge supersedes your heart knowledge of God, you are in danger of losing your eternal soul.

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