There are two approaches to a knowledge of God — both false — that men are naturally inclined to take. Both give ample ground for Satan to work to keep them under his power.
Paul, in I Cor. 1:22 said, “For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom.” In other words some people have to feel their religion and others have to understand it.
Both approaches are rooted in a spirit of unbelief that tries to sidestep faith, yet “... without faith it is impossible to please God ...” (Heb. 11:6).
Are you a “Greek” who has to understand everything intellectually? Are you a “Jew” who has to feel your religion in the realm of your senses?
We don’t need the IQ of a genius or a graduate degree to know about God; nor do we need electricity running up and down our spines as a sign of God’s presence and favor. We simply need Christ, and to have Him we need someone Christ Himself has equipped and sent to reveal Him.
Jesus, in John 20:21 said, “... as the Father hath sent me even so send I you.” The Father sent the Son by being both IN and WITH Him. Christ sends His servants the same way. The life Jesus expressed — for those who had eyes to see — was that of the Father. John 14:6-11. The life Christ’s servants express is likewise that of the one who is both IN and WITH them. Luke 24:49, II Cor. 4:5-12.
Don’t look for perfection in God’s servants or in the body of Christ. After all, Paul said, “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.” II Cor. 4:7.
Jesus said that His kingdom was like a “treasure hid in a field” (Matt. 13:44). Christ Himself is the treasure. The field represents the humanity He indwells. The world passes the field by unaware of the treasure, but God will reveal the treasure to those who seek Him from the heart.
Note that the one who finds the treasure buys the field. The truth is you can’t have one without the other. To be one in spirit with Christ is to be one with His body — and vice versa.
Multitudes today claim to be followers of Christ, yet have no real rest on the inside. Matt. 11:28-30. If they did they wouldn’t be such easy prey for every spiritual wind that blows.
Only through the living word that Christ gives by the anointing can we find salvation rest, where we are able with God-given faith to surrender and completely trust in the finished work of the cross for the salvation of our souls. Anything less will leave you in a state of unrest, uncertainty, fearing failure, striving to “measure up” to some standard as though your salvation rested on your effort.
Only by that same living word will we find the growing practical rest that comes from “learning of Him.” Learning of Dr. So-and-so or some religious tradition is a poor substitute.
Another poor substitute is trying to find spiritual rest through an experience. Experiences and feelings come and go. Satan loves people who seek and depend upon experiences. They are easy to deceive. When the feeling is gone, the unrest and need are still there. Many people crave religious feelings and experiences like the alcoholic craves the bottle. They are addicts with no spiritual anchor. Christ gives rest!
It is likely that someone I am writing to attaches much importance to some great experience you had perhaps years ago. Your spiritual life revolves around the memory of that. You spend a lot of time and effort trying to recapture what you felt back then. On the one hand you feel special because of what you experienced. On the other hand you live with the frustration and uncertainty caused by your inability to recapture and maintain it. You have no real inward rest.
This is a spiritual trap that holds many of God’s people in great bondage.
Paul didn’t live in the past. He learned to forget those things that were behind (Phil. 3:13).
Even if your experience was God-given, He never intended for you to walk by feeling but “by faith” (II Cor. 5:7).
There is, however, given the current state of affairs religiously speaking, the possibility that your experience was not God at all, but a device of the devil to hold you captive.
Can you surrender your past to God, trust Him with it, and seek Him that you might live in the present by faith?