Monday, July 18, 2016
I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. Ephesians 3:16-19(NLT)
Almost nine years ago I went on a short-term mission trip to Zimbabwe, South Africa. Here is an entry from my journal:
“Before we left Raleigh for NY, the luggage inspectors confiscated my jar of peanut butter!
Dangerous stuff, that!
However there was a woman who spent the hour-long flight knitting. She had 4 knitting needles a foot-long each. Perhaps they’re less lethal than peanut butter.”
In light of the 9/11 attacks on American cities, and in light of the subsequent expected and understandable increase in security precautions everywhere, I still don’t quite understand how peanut butter is dangerous and knitting needles aren’t.
But, I don’t know everything.
The truth is they confiscated my peanut butter because a terrorist once brought explosive stuff onboard an airplane in a peanut butter jar. All that looks like peanut butter is not safe peanut butter!
A man once told me there are four kinds of people:
1) Those who don’t know, but know that they don’t know – they’re fairly harmless.
2) Those who know, and know that they know – they’re also harmless.
3) Those who know, and don’t know that they know – they’re just as harmless.
4) But, there are also those who don’t know, and they don’t know that they don’t know! These people are extremely dangerous…run from them like an angry lion!
Of course my friend was sharing how dangerous a little knowledge can be when the wisdom (and humility) that comes with understanding how to use wisdom is absent.
Paul’s prayer for his beloved church at Ephesus is that they would be endued not only with the knowledge of how much God loves them, but also the wisdom, or inner-strength of the power to do good with that knowledge.
Many people today understand the concept that God is Love but fail to see how dangerous that knowledge is when improperly applied. For instance, it is a wonderful thing to go about your days basking in the fact that God’s love means he forgives your sin. It is altogether a different experience to ignore that unconfessed sin is not forgiven.
Further, if you have asked forgiveness, been forgiven, and then go out and celebrate God’s loving forgiveness by going right back to that sin, because you know a God of love always forgives, you have missed the entire point of understanding that forgiveness requires a re-ordering of your actions. A prayer asking God for forgiveness must include a promise to change your ways and live like a child of God.
Otherwise you don’t belong to Him!
God truly is love, but it won’t seem that way until you align your ways with His Word. What HE says (not what WE THINK) is what we must obey.
There…now you know…and you know that you know; go and do likewise!
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