In her excellent book, When Life and Beliefs Collide: How Knowing God Makes a Difference, author Carolyn Custis James tells a story of a woman who "couldn't get enough theology." According to James, much of the woman's time was given to theological studies and discussions with friends who shared her passion for knowledge.
At the same time, the woman was experiencing terrible depression over a recent, rather chaotic turn of events in her life. Multiple changes took place all at once, leaving her feeling disoriented, rejected and alone.
Ultimately, this woman came to understand that her studies constituted more than academic exercises. She was relieved to discover an invaluable connection between what she was experiencing in her life and what she believed about God.
I will admit I have had times when my thought patterns and behaviors didn't line up with what I knew to be God's truth. But more and more I've come to see those moments as indicators that something is lacking in my knowledge of who God is.
During these seasons, I've prayed, "Lord, this is how I'm feeling. But this is what Your Word says is true. Now, teach me what I don't know about You and align my heart with Your truth."
Once I asked God for more revelation of who He is. He told me He would indeed show me more, but not until I began walking in what I already knew. With one step in that direction, I've seen the Lord open the heavens to me and answer my cries for a deeper knowledge of Him.
Like the woman in James' story, "head" knowledge usually isn't my issue, nor is it likely to be yours. The problem we must confront is that we lack intimate, experiential "heart" knowledge of God that informs our souls—minds, wills and emotions.There are holes in our understanding of how to apply what we say we believe about God.
In an article written for SpiritLed Woman magazine in 2004, author Joyce Meyer tackled this subject. She stated that when we honor our emotions over the truth of God's Word, we consign ourselves to living in defeat and carnality.
But David wrote: "My soul clings hard to you; Your right hand upholds me" (Ps. 63:8, MEV). And herein is our help: living in constant pursuit of the knowledge of Him.
Knowing God makes a huge difference when the whole person is engaged in ongoing pursuit. When the soul follows hard after and clings to God, the mind holds tightly to His truth, the will is bent to His desires and the emotions are no longer allowed their destructive rule.
God seems to reveal Himself to us most clearly in the trenches of life's struggles. It's in the places in which it's hard to fully understand we are loved, chosen, preserved, protected, anointed, gifted and more that we grow in our knowledge of Him.
However, our willingness to walk by faith in what we already know will position us for greater revelation of God's glorious truth—about Him and about ourselves. If we are found faithfully clinging to what He's already shown us, He will be delighted to show us more.
Prayer Power for the Week of July 20, 2015
This week ask the Lord to teach you what you don't know about Him and to align your heart with His truth. Ask Him for grace to walk by faith in what you already know to be true. Ask Him to send more laborers into the ripe harvest fields of the world and that doors would open for the gospel throughout the nations. Pray for the next generation to be prepared to carry the fire of God's Spirit, salvation and miracle-working power throughout the world. Pray that God would initiate another great Great Awakening (I Thes. 5:17).