Jesus told His disciples that a day would come in which they would know the truth and that it would make them free (John 8:32). The word translated “know” is knowledge based on experience. This tells us that it is not enough for us to just memorize a bunch of verses.
Memorization of Scripture is an important part of our spiritual growth but it is not enough to set us free. We must take the knowledge gained from God’s Word and make it ours by applying it in our daily lives.
But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
Experiencing the Word is a result of doing what God has instructed us to do through it. There are a lot of people who say that they believe the Bible but never read it. They faithfully show up to the church at each service. Even though they appear to be a great Christian, their experience and investment in the Word of God end when service ends.
14 And when they were come to the multitude, there came to him a certain man, kneeling down to him, and saying,
15 Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is lunatick, and sore vexed: for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water.
16 And I brought him to thy disciples, and they could not cure him.
17 Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to me.
18 And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour.
We can’t build a solid foundation or unlock the plan of God without first having an experience with His Word. This occurs through the process of renewing our minds that we’ve discussed previously.
The disciples had been with Jesus and had heard His messages. They had heard the messages but had not personally “experienced” the truths being delivered in them. This is similar to what has happened to most Christians throughout Church history. They hear sermon after sermon but have no “experience” with the underlying truths.
A man had brought his child to Jesus’ disciples seeking deliverance for him. They had been in every meeting but still were unable to free the boy from the demon holding him in bondage.
Notice that Jesus did not hold back after hearing of His disciple’s ministry failure. He did not “coddle” but instead called the “faithless” “perverse”! We can only imagine their reaction to being rebuked like this in front of the man and his son.
I believe that the majority of ministers today would pat the disciples on their backs and congratulate them for at least trying. This is because we’ve become much more focused on making people feel good about themselves.
Jesus approached things much differently than we do. Some talk of His message as being love and acceptance but they are wrong. He preached repentance and did not hold back from even His staff.
Very few had access to the written Word in Jesus’ time. This has changed. We can access every available version in almost any language at any time via the Internet. The disciples were not trained in Scripture and did not have access to the written Word. If he called them “faithless” and “perverse”, what do you think He would call us today?
We can easily access tens of thousands of messages on the Internet at any moment in time. Even with this access, the power of God seems to be missing. I believe the reason is that the increased access has not resulted in an equal increase in the manifestation of power is that we have become lukewarm.
Our church services often resemble positive thinking seminars rather than confrontations with the truth. Jesus did not seem to care if the people in His meetings were comfortable so much as He did about them experiencing the miraculous.
The majority in modern Christianity have allowed their minds to be squeezed into the mold of the world’s system. So many are talking about a hunger for an Awakening but few seem willing to pay the price to experience one!
7 For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.
Our lives move in the direction of the thoughts that dominate. Thoughts are the result of things we have fed into our spirits. Every moment of every day we are making choices of what to allow, or not to allow, into our lives.
Coworkers or family members may speak lies over us but we do not have to receive them. We can instead choose to take those thoughts captive with the Word of God. The Holy Spirit will help us if we will acknowledge Him and receive His help.
20 He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.
God sent His Word with healing power but will not force us to receive it. The doctor sat looking at me from the other side of his desk. He delivered what could have devastating news and I had to choose whether to meditate on his report or God’s report. Thankfully, I chose God’s report and can write these words almost twenty years later!
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