What do you want to see happen for yourself in 2017? What do you long for?
What will you be gunning for in this New Year? What would you be dedicating yourself to achieve in 2017 and why?
Each one of us will most probably have a wish, a desire for something to happen in our lives, for our lives to move forward and progress at least on some front or in a particular sphere. This can of course range from anything like, for instance for those in academic institutions, to excel academically and achieve the grades that will get them acceptance at their dream university to discovering a life partner, to landing that job or getting that promotion they’ve been eyeing.
Not only are these goals noble and commendable but necessary for our lives to move forward. Setting goals is an important and wise exercise in life that should not be neglected. So by all means set those goals and pursue them.
But over and above every goal we can have we would be wise to have knowing God as the primary goal to pursue in our lives. This is the single most important knowledge that we’ll ever acquire in life. Not only is it in knowing God that we truly discover ourselves, others and understand the world we live in but it is in personally knowing Him we are given access to everything He has provided us for life and godliness. 2 Peter 1:3
His divine power has given us everything required for life and godliness THROUGH the knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness.
Everything required for life and godliness has, along with His own Son already been given to us (Romans 8:32). It is already all there for the taking – but only via the knowledge of the Holy One who called us by His own glory and goodness. It is through our personal knowledge of God we get to access all His provisions for our lives and godliness. Ergo, the pursuit of the knowledge of God is the pursuit of everything that God has for us.
This knowledge is acquired and grown through His self-revelation – as Scripture clearly tells us in John 6:44 and Ephesians 1:17 where the apostle Paul earnestly prays for the Ephesian Christians that they would be given a spirit of wisdom and revelation.
I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, would give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him.
It is through this spirit of wisdom and revelation that God gives we can grow and excel in His knowledge. It follows therefore that we too would be wise to pray and seek for this spirit of wisdom and revelation to be poured into our lives for only through God’s gracious revelation of Himself can we truly get to know Him.
But in order to receive this spirit of wisdom and revelation there are two things we need to understand. The first is the importance of rightly positioning ourselves to be able to receive this spirit while the second is the nature and mode of God’s revelation of Himself. We will look at the nature and mode of God’s revelation of Himself in the next blog but for now we will focus on the importance of correctly positioning ourselves to receive the “spirit of wisdom and revelation”.
For God to be able to pour this spirit into us He has to find us in the right places. These are our personal times of daily devotion and regular corporate gatherings of the saints like our cells/life groups and gathering on the Lord’s day. These are the places where, as we engage with God through His word and His spirit, He releases His “spirit of wisdom and revelation” in our lives to grow in our personal knowledge of Him.
This positioning is critical. It is why you would not be routinely bunking off school if you’re serious with your education or desire to succeed therein. You’ll most certainly avoid doing that and instead be regularly found in class devotedly taking in the teaching. If you’re a top student you’d be sitting in the first row. You would take every measure so that your attendance would not fall to a level that would compromise your achievements. In this country (UK) it has been shown that a reduction in attendance in year 11 of 10% reduces the chances of achieving the government benchmark GCSE results grades by 50% – just a 10% absence. Hence the reason why low levels of attendance are a legitimate cause for concern.
Similarly, we too should not be casual or laid back, erratic or indifferent about the maintenance and upkeep of our positions in relation to receiving the “spirit of wisdom and revelation” from God. Most of us would never do it with our academic pursuit, profession, career or work life. Why do it then in our walk with the Lord, in our relationship with Him, in our pursuit of His knowledge? We should ensure that we maintain our daily devotions and not casually miss any of the weekly gatherings of the saints.
Examine yourself and question what causes you to adopt such a laid back and carefree attitude in your quest to know God and access all He has given to you for life and godliness. Once you discover these eradicate and uproot them from your life ruthlessly – be it a sinful habit you need to shake off that is eating away at your passion for the Lord or a different passion in life that is threatening to become an idol in your heart and compromise your pursuit of the knowledge of God. Take action by seeking help and guidance from more mature Christian or leader you can confide in setting up accountability relationships.
We need to adopt a rigorous and disciplined approach to our acquisition of the personal knowledge of God. We need to establish it as a priority in our lives and pursue it with diligence.
May 2017 be a year where we drive to excel in our knowledge of God by taking up and holding our positions!