I was at home preparing for a bible study that met on a weekly basis when I realised I didn’t remember anything spoken at church on Sunday. I wanted to pass it off as being busy and having a lot of different things in my life leading to forgetfulness. However, there was a deeper underlying problem. A hint was that this happened regularly, almost every week. Was I not spiritual enough? Did I not care about God’s word? Why was I not focused at church? These kinds of questions floated around in my mind.
Here’s what I didn’t realise: I had more knowledge of God than a relationship with him. A hint of this was how I thought about him – I thought of him as God. I didn’t talk to my Father, Jesus or Holy Spirit. They were a distant God in my mind. If you asked me, I would have told you that of course God was close to me, but in reality he was not. Did I pray throughout the day? Did I talk with the Father? Did I listen carefully? Did I ask him questions? No. I did not.
I knew what God liked and disliked, but not because he was telling me directly. I knew everything I knew because of the Bible or church preaching. The Bible is incredibly powerful, but reading it without a relationship with the Father held back its power. When I read it, I assumed I was always in the right and every promise belonged to me. In the same way, every curse or rebuke was for ‘bad’ people… or something…
How wrong I was!
I was blind to the sin and idols in my heart because I didn’t have a relationship with Jesus. Knowledge of him doesn’t give room for him to touch my heart and bring up the things I need to deal with. If only I had talked with him, asking him to reveal sin to be dealt with, I would have saved myself so much pain!
So, when did the change from knowledge to relationship happen? Well, it’s hard to give a date or time because it was more of a journey, but I can say for certain the process accelerated during a recent part of my life. When I was at the end of myself I forced, yes, forced myself into prayer like never before. I changed from praying 5 minutes per day (on a good day) to many hours each day.
Through my prayer times, my Father in heaven showed me many things about my heart and the mess that was inside. He also gently showed me what other people were feeling because of my actions. Wow. That wrecked me. I had no idea of just how much pain I had caused, especially to those closest to me. It still hits me as I write this, months later!
There is so much more to God than you can ever understand through teaching. The only way to truly understand God is to have a close relationship with Him and experience Him for yourself. His power and love are so life-changing, that if everyone were to experience them, the whole world would be changed in a single day.
I want to encourage you to press into prayer and worship. Spend time meditating on the Bible and switch off other voices such as video and text media. Your hearing will clear up significantly and you will draw closer and closer to your Father and experience greater measures of His love and favour in your life.