My problem isn’t that I don’t know enough about Jesus.
Weekly Sermons. A plethora of Bible studies. Multiple conferences.
Four years of classes. Yearly reading plans. Shelves of books.
That truth is that I’ve heard and sat under more teaching than I know what to do with. Knowing isn’t the problem at this point in my life. There is something deeper.
It’s too easy for us to point to a lack of knowledge as the root cause of the majority of our messes and just throw more information out. It’s almost automatic.
Oh - you are having problems with your marriage? Read this book.
Oh - you struggle with pornography? Read this blog.
Oh - you aren’t able to grow your church? Attend this conference.
I shouldn’t even have to write this but will to avoid misinterpretation and unnecessary comments. This isn’t anything against learning. I read multiple books at a time, graduated Bible college, still attend conferences, read blogs, etc. This isn’t a post about how knowledge and learning are evil or bad. It’s about something deeper, something that I have had a front row seat to personally.
I have noticed in my own life that the times I have seen true, ground-level heart transformation hasn’t been when I learned something new. Nope. Of course I know learning about Jesus has played a role in changing my heart - but it wasn't the main thrust. The knowing didn’t just do it for me - there was something else. I know there is something underlying that has connected the knowing to the being and doing, to the change.
My problems haven’t stemmed from not knowing enough about Jesus.
My problems have stemmed from not being captivated by what I’ve already known.
Being enthralled to the point of being shocked at the true beauty of the truth.
Being so captivated by a facet of Jesus and the Gospel that it seems as if what you are gazing at is something you’ve never seen or learned before. It's lands on your heart FRESH.
I know this because as I see my heart slowly change - it hasn’t been from new revelation or truth but rather, having eyes that can more clearly see and treasure the truth I’ve known for what it truly is!
It is what we were created and saved for (Ephesians 1:4-6).
The songs I’ve sung week in and week out are now causing me to sit back in wonder. The words I’ve spent the last 10 years hearing are now causing tears to flow down. My heart beats faster when I hear the Gospel. My soul flares up in joy when I am reminded of our future hope.
We know the stories of people in Jesus’ time that knew the Scriptures more than anyone. They missed it though. Their knowledge didn’t do the job. Truth to them was the END, instead of what God designed it to be, a MEANS to an end, the transformation of the heart that leads to the worship of Jesus!
I don’t have three neatly packaged steps to make this happen.
Frankly, I didn’t really have much control over this change myself.
Although I knew there are a thousand things that lead up to this happening - there really is only one main thing I can put my finger on that I would want to share with you.
A broken state of humility that sees your great need of Jesus and His grace and mercy. A posture of the heart that is vividly aware of how incapable you are on your own. A humility that knows you can do nothing, and I really mean NOTHING, a part form Jesus.
That's the only thing I can point back to. By God's grace I am being humbled more and more - and that is leading me to be more and more in awe of the things I've known all these years.
I PRAY, PRAY, PRAY more and more of us catch the beauty of the Gospel. That we never find it dull and mundane and basic but infinitely shocking and glorious!
I am not afraid of not knowing enough anymore. What I am now afraid of is not having the stuff I know cause me to worship Jesus. When that doesn't happen, there is a dangerous gap in our grasp of the Gospel (and the Gospel's grasp of us).
I want to leave you with a prayer Paul penned in his letter to the church in Ephesus.
May the eyes of your heart be enlightened!
“...that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe…”