I've been pretty open about my spiritual life. Within that sphere, I am concentrating on being prepared for whatever the near future brings to our nation, and to reach as many people as I can so they know who they are in the Lord. It is important to me that they, too, will be ready to persevere and endure. But it's more than having a "prepper mindset" and knowing how to survive under adverse conditions; although that is of utmost importance, practically speaking. After all, we are still in the world and this fleshly body needs taking care of. And it's more than having head knowledge of the Word. Yes, we should all read the Bible and know what the Word says. But, this is more about having a true and full knowledge of the Lord that comes from experiencing Him through the illumination and revelation of the Holy Spirit.
I write this post from a heart that has seen people seeking knowledge out of a sense of feeling lost in the world and not possessing the true knowledge of who they are in Christ. They are earnestly seeking contentment, identity, purpose, and security from which to successfully traverse the pitfalls that life has thrown at them. They are seeking that bit of knowledge that will help them put all the puzzle pieces of their life into a meaningful and recognizable picture. While I understand that "knowing" God is the component they're missing, and I truly want to see everyone seek Him, I'm aware that it is a free will choice to both, make the decision to want to seek after Him, as well as choosing to receive the invitation when He offers it. My primary focus, today, is on those who have made the decision to accept Him; who want more of Him, but have become dissatisfied with their progress, or lack thereof.
Because we, as a nation, have slowly drifted away from a God-centered society, people are floundering on their own, looking for something they can't even identify. They don't know how to walk in the way of the Lord, because the fundamentals of personal integrity, moral courage, and honorable character are no longer spoken of as desirable traits. Yet the human spirit hungers for meaning and purpose in our individual lives.
I have heard the testimony of an Army chaplain, telling me that new recruits would slip out of his Bible study classes to attend the Muslim lessons, or the classes led by Wiccans, because "they are more exciting than what the Bible teaches". And my husband and I have ministered to both young and old who express a curiosity for truth and wisdom, but don't know how to find it. They have not met the Holy Spirit in the Bible, so they have experimented with the occult, other religions, and sought knowledge from a variety of theological perspectives. They come close in their explanations of their belief systems; seeking a "oneness" with their perception of God, but oftentimes coming away disappointed with what they deem hypocrisy, and ending up with a convoluted self-created idea of what constitutes the true knowledge of God.
And I suspect that God has been pretty frustrated, Himself, ever since Adam and Eve didn't follow His instructions for receiving all the knowledge they would need to live beautiful and fulfilled lives. In the Garden, they were forbidden to eat of the tree whose fruit (if eaten) would have allowed them to experience Evil. They already had the knowledge of Good through their experiences with God. In the Garden, we get a pretty good picture of what true [and pure, unmitigated] knowledge is all about -- a life that is lived experiencing God as He reveals Himself through your journey on this earth.
And how does He reveal Himself? It is through His precepts and commandments as well as His promises. As we live and experience life with Him, we see His virtue and the lessons Jesus taught [in action]. We receive the fulfillment of His promises, and our heart and spirit recognize Him through the experience. But it takes a pure heart -- one that is clean and upright -- to properly discern that it comes from God, and no other. That is true knowledge of the Lord; a spiritual connection that recognizes the Source of the experience which results in an intimate, personal relationship.
But I want to give a word of caution ... I am also seeing a rise in the age-old religious idea of Gnosticism. This is a belief system that emphasizes the seeking of personal spiritual knowledge above the teachings and authority of the Bible or traditional religious organizations. It is also characterized by the belief that matter [man] is inherently evil and anything spiritual is good. Gnostics claim that "salvation is gained through the acquisition of divine knowledge which frees one from the illusions of darkness''. But nothing could be further from the truth. Jesus never claimed that salvation came through knowledge, but by faith in Him as our Savior and Deliverer from sin.
I think this nation opened the door to this corrupted view of the knowledge of God when we removed Him from our society. Every effort to remove God from the classroom, the courtroom, and the town square only served to diminish the true knowledge of Him. It has allowed the Enemy to substitute false and corrupted indoctrination in its place. And I fear that has led to a lack of trust in the One True God from which all divine wisdom and understanding flow. If our generations have been fed lies about what constitutes God's Truth, and they have no experience with God, it will be easy for them to create their own definition of what it means to "know the Lord". What you get is a human and emotional interpretation that calls the Bible's revelation into question and declares that a person has received special wisdom and revelation by his own efforts.
So, let me answer the implied question in my title of today's post. For those who have sought the Lord in order to truly know Him, we understand that it is the Lord who will give us wisdom to navigate the coming storm. He will speak through the Holy Spirit -- from Spirit to our spirit -- guiding and leading us each step of the way through the minefield of Evil that is seeking to destroy us. We don't know exactly what it will look like, but if history and Jesus's words in Matthew 24 are any indication, then war, famine, plagues and persecution may not be far away. As Adam and Eve learned, when man rebels against God's instruction, judgment will be the price we pay.
But we also have God's promises, and Proverbs 2 offers us the hope that our souls will so desperately need. Read and mediate upon the promise of God's grace that the true knowledge of Him can bring us...
My son, if you will receive my words and treasure my commandments within you, so that your ear is attentive to [skillful and godly] wisdom, And apply your heart to understanding it [seeking it conscientiously and striving for it eagerly];
Yes, if you cry out for insight, and lift up your voice for understanding; If you seek skillful and godly wisdom as you would silver and search for her as you would hidden treasures;
Then you will understand the [reverent] fear of the Lord [that is, worshiping Him and regarding Him as truly awesome] and discover the knowledge of God.
[Here is what is in store for us:]
For the Lord gives [skillful and godly] wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding. He stores away sound wisdom for the righteous [those who are in right standing with Him]; He is a shield to those who walk in integrity [those of honorable character and moral courage],
He guards the paths of justice; And He preserves the way of His saints (believers). Then you will understand righteousness and justice [in every circumstance] and integrity and every good path. For [skillful and godly] wisdom will enter your heart and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul.
Discretion will watch over you, Understanding and discernment will guard you, to keep you from the way of evil and the evil man, From the man who speaks perverse things; From those who leave the paths of uprightness to walk in the ways of darkness; Who find joy in doing evil and delight in the perversity of evil, Whose paths are crooked, and who are devious in their ways;
And here is the promise that we can cling to when we are tempted to despair:
So you will walk in the way of good men and keep to the paths of the righteous. For the upright [those who are in right standing with God] will live in the land and those [of integrity] who are blameless [in God’s sight] will remain in it;
But the wicked will be cut off from the land and the treacherous shall be [forcibly] uprooted and removed from it.
Have no fear of the future. Seek true knowledge of the Lord, born from experience and the counsel of the Holy Spirit. Do not lean on your own understanding, but learn of Him through experiencing Him in intimacy and trust. He will not let you down. There are no promises that it will be easy and without suffering. But the journey of experiencing and knowing our Lord is so worth it!
Proverbs 9:10 The [reverent] fear of the Lord [worshiping Him and regarding Him as truly awesome] is the beginning and the preeminent part of wisdom [its starting point and its essence], And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding and spiritual insight.