"You shall know (ginosko) the truth, and the truth shall set you free" (John 8:32).
I have had several people tell me, "Well, I read your book and tried what you said, and it didn't work for me." To see if they know the truths in the book, I respond by asking what exactly they tried. If it was the four keys to hearing God's voice, they often only tried a couple of them, and when I ask them what the four keys are, they generally are not even able to state all four.
If they did try them all, they likely tried them only once or twice, before deciding they didn't work. Or perhaps they explain why they couldn't possibly carry out a particular command of Scripture, because of their situation. For example: "I can't get input from a group of counselors because I don't have access to good counselors around me." That brings to mind the saying, "Some people find excuses, and others find a way." Lord, let us be the people who find a way, as excuses sure don't get us to the Promised Land!
Knowing Begins With God Granting Revelation as He Shows Himself to Me
We are told to seek God with a whole heart and a willing mind, and then God would reveal Himself (1 Chron. 28:9). Jesus told His disciples if they kept His commandments and loved Him, He would disclose Himself to them. If God doesn't speak, then I don't know. I need God to disclose Himself to me if I am going to know truth.
So how about this? I read the verse, "honor all people" (1 Pet. 2:17a) and wrote about it in one of my early books, encouraging people (including myself) that this is the way we should live. So would you say, I knew this truth?
My answer is "No, because biblically speaking, to know is to do. It is not me saying, 'I should do this' or 'My goal is to do this.' It is saying. It is saying, "This is what I do!"
I did not know the truth to honor all people because there is no revelation or disclosure of the truth in my heart. It was just a mental concept of something I believed would be a good thing for me and others to do. It is not a truth I am living. It is not a truth I have seen with the eyes of my heart (Eph. 1:17).
Actually, my mind believed it was quite impossible to live the truth that I was to honor all people, because I spent my time judging everyone. Judging resulted in dishonor. So I was stuck. I couldn't keep God's command to honor everyone. I didn't honor politicians, Muslims, New Agers, to name just a few. It just was not workable for me. It was not a present-tense reality in my life. It was something I thought would be nice to do and hoped someday to grow into a place of actually doing it, but it was not something I was able to do today. I didn't have divine compassion toward others, so I lived in judgment rather than honor.
The verse which appears to make learning a cognitive reality is, "study to show yourself approved" (2 Tim. 2:15). This is a mistranslation of the Greek (as discussed in this blog) and the correct translation is to "be diligent" to present yourself to God.
God Speaks, Granting You Revelation
Finally one morning as I was doing two-way journaling, the Lord spoke to me to "honor all people." It was a flash of revelation that touched me deep within. "I am not asking you to judge all people or to disdain all people. I am asking you to honor and love all people." I could lay down judging, contempt and dishonor, and simply express love, compassion and honor toward those I met. It was revelation knowledge that touched my heart deeply and changed my attitudes and my thinking (see blog on moving from judgment to compassion).
I explain the process of receiving revelation knowledge in the blogs below.
- How to Meditate on Scripture and Receive Life-Transforming Revelation
- Revelation Knowledge vs. Reasoned Knowledge
- What is Revelation-Based Learning?
- A 7-Step Meditation Process
Truth Is Known by Me, Once I Am Living it
I said "Yes, Lord," to the revelation he gave me in the section above, and that day, my underlying attitude toward humanity changed. I no longer felt a need (or capacity) to judge people, but simply to love and accept them. Not that I perfectly carry this out in every single instance, but the preponderance of the time, I now leaned toward loving, honoring and respecting, especially ... unless I step back from walking and living by the Spirit (Gal. 5:25).
- Meditation involves imagination, which means that using my imagination, I can practice honoring those I will meet today, by picturing the various situations I will be in and how I will respond. This blog leads you in such practice exercises.
- Blockages can be removed through two-way journaling and by roaring at them.
- Coaches and spiritual advisors can speed up the process by helping you see what you need to see so your practice sessions can be perfect and speed you on your way. Star athletes have awesome coaches assisting them. Ask God to help you discover a good coach or personal spiritual trainer.
"Everyone who strives for the prize exercises self-control in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown, but we an incorruptible one. So, therefore, I run, not with uncertainty. So I fight, not as one who beats the air. But I bring and keep my body under subjection, lest when preaching to others I myself should be disqualified" 1 Cor. 9:25-27).
It is not true that "practice makes perfect." Instead, "perfect practice makes perfect." Here are 40 prayers that can provide perfect practice sessions for you. To win our races and enter our Promised Lands we need to apply ourselves like an athlete, so that we win.
Ramifications of the Above Truths
- I slow down: Learning one truth every three months or every 12 months is fine. I generally spend 12 months mastering a spiritual skill. Pastors seeking to bring a new lifestyle to their congregation should preach on the same theme for three months, from every possible angle, allowing their people time to "get it."
- I pursue revelation: Truth is disclosed as I seek God, maintain a humble attitude and have a pure heart (Matt. 5: 2-12).
- I practice: For example, I did 150 sessions on the emWave®2 device before I felt I had mastered it and could move on.
- I celebrate the process: Each step of the process is to be enjoyed and celebrated. I don't live for the goal. I live to enjoy Jesus with me throughout the entire process.
Thought: God's word for knowing is ginosko (Greek Strong's number is 1097). Ginosko is the word He uses for the intimate knowing between a man and his wife. Knowing is when I have intimately embraced a truth/lifestyle and am living it.
Mark Virkler, Ph.D., has authored more than 50 books in the areas of hearing God's voice and spiritual growth. He is the founder of Communion With God Ministries and Christian Leadership University (cluonline.com), where the voice of God is at the center of every learning experience. Mark has taught on developing intimacy with God and spiritual healing for 30-plus years on six continents. The message has been translated into over 40 languages, and he has helped to establish more than 250 church-centered Bible schools around the world.
This article originally appeared at cwgministries.org.
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