Intellectually or Relationally?

Connecting Points

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Today’s Topic: Press On To Know

Today’s Text:  Hosea 6:3 (ESV)  Let us know; let us press on to know the LORD; his going out is sure as the dawn; he will come to us as the showers, as the spring rains that water the earth.”

Let’s do a little mental exercise. Finish this sentence – I have an insatiable need to _____________.

I can only imagine some of the answers that are coming from all of you. Finish first. Make money. Be successful. Find love. Be known. That last one is the one I spend the most energy trying to resist. The answer that best describes me is know. For as long as I can remember I have had an insatiable need to know everything I can about everything that is relevant to my life.

As a child, I took things apart to see how they worked and to challenge myself to make them work again. I investigated everything I was told to seek to understand the truth of it. I took classes in high school specifically to learn everything I could about electronics and how radios and televisions worked. (Yes, they were color by then, but we owned a black & white.)  I tore lawn mower and car engines apart to learn how they worked. Don’t leave anything broken lying around, because if I have time, I will attempt to fix it. I read instruction manuals. I read rules for games before playing them. I have an insatiable need to know.

However, that need to know is my biggest flaw in my spiritual life. Why? Because the need to know seems to get stuck in the intellectual mode most of the time rather than in the relational mode. That’s not healthy.

It is one thing to seek to know about God and the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but it is quite another thing to press on to know Him personally. Those of us who get stuck in the intellectual mode have a serious problem, because that’s the Devil’s territory. The Apostle Paul reminded us of this in his letter to the church at Corinth when he said, “We know that ‘all of us possess knowledge.’ This ‘knowledge’ puffs up, but love builds up.” (1 Corinthians 8:1) Herein lays the contrast between pride and love – the intellectual versus the relational. People who know a lot about God tend to become judgmental and critical of others who don’t “measure up”. People who know God are filled with the nature of Christ – compassion, love, joy, and peace.

Last night at 2:00 AM I woke up from an intense dream. I cannot tell you what it was about, but my whole body was on the verge of quivering with tension. It took me a long time to go back to sleep. During the first period of time I was awake I thought about how to get back to sleep. I searched my memory for tricks I had used in the past. Then I started trying to figure out how to solve many of the issues that were on my list of responsibilities. I figured that as long as I was awake I might as well put my mind to good use and fix some problems.

But oh how I wanted to sleep. Finally I realized that what was needed was some relational time with the Lord, so I started praying; not for solutions or answers but for intimacy with my Lord. I wanted to know His peace that passes all understanding. I wanted to know His love and His care for me. I pressed on to know Him, not to know what He could do for me or what I should do for Him. That’s the last thing I remember until I woke up at 5:30.

So as you try to figure out what your greatest need is, and what you will press on to achieve, think about this: an insatiable need to know the Lord relationally and personally will satisfy all of your other needs.

Press on to know the LORD!

Pastor John

One thought on “Intellectually or Relationally?

  1. PJ, your thoughts today are so spot on! I attended chruch almost since the day I was born. I “knew”about God and had asked Him into my life (several times) but it wasn’t until I spent an intense weekend with Him that all that head knowledge actually moved into my heart.It made a world of difference. Now there is a true relationship with Him and I have the growth, healing and love that He has produced to prove it. Thank You Lord!

    Like

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