Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions, puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind, and not holding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God. (Colossians 2:18-19)
Asceticism: Self-discipline and personal efforts in understanding Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
Worship of Angels: Using their own understanding to focus on perceived messages
Don’t be misled by the confidence that people put into head knowledge and the elaborate stories they can weave together trying to interpret a God that considers the wise of this earth foolish. For the wisdom of this world is folly with God. For it is written, “He catches the wise in their craftiness,” and again, “The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile.” (1 Corinthians 3:19-20) Don’t let your own passions steer you into the counsel of such people. The deceiver disguises himself as wise counsel and twists the word of God to make crooked the path of those who lose focus on Christ who is the Truth. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. (2 Timothy 4:3-4)
We run a race focused on the finish while Jesus asks us to walk and enjoy the journey with Him. We seek head knowledge and artificial growth which separates us from the body where Christ is the head. Let God be the source of your growth, the way He wants, how He wants, in the time He wants. Find rest in the hands of the Father. His ways are higher than your ways. He sees and understands all. Let Him guide you through the fog where your own understanding will leave you wanting and incomplete. When you resist the urge to run ahead, it will hurt. That is the desire of your flesh screaming. The pain feels unbearable as your spirit grows to rule over your flesh. Hand that pain to God and know that the pain is proof of God working to grow the part of you that will live with Him forever. He is letting the flesh attached to this world die. Lean on Him. His yoke is light and His burden easy. Let Christ grow in you and your self-sufficiency pass away. Less of you and more of Him.
How many times have we met someone that knows there must be a God? How many people do you know who say they believe in Jesus, but their life doesn’t show signs of His presence? The bible says: You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder (James 2:19) There are times in the ministry of Jesus where the demons refer to Him as the “Son of God.” Even the demons know who He is which means that knowing is not enough. We are called to know Jesus through a mutual love. We are meant to know Christ with our hearts and not only our minds. Christ dwells in our hearts and the deceiver dwells in our heads to continue the battle between our spirit and our flesh. The closer we get to God, the more familiar His voice becomes and the less effective the deceptions in our minds become.
Many people seek God through knowledge. They read and study in an attempt to know Him and get closer to Him. They miss the opportunity to experience the true glory of God only found in love. It’s only possible to know God through what He reveals to you about His infinitude, through His love and grace. We are meant to grow in Christ through love and not knowledge. God’s Word says: we know that “all of us possess knowledge.” This “knowledge” puffs up, but love builds up. If anyone imagines that he knows something, he does not yet know as he ought to know. (1 Corinthians 8:1-2) God reveals to the humble believer everything they need to know. The Holy Spirit came to lead us to all truth. Let love lead you to communion with God and let God’s Spirit lead you to the knowledge given by God for you to accomplish your purpose.
We also influence those around us as we walk with God in the process of sanctification. Focusing on knowledge over love leaves us in a position to lead others in knowledge over love. We have to be careful to bring new believers along at a pace based on God’s timing. Don’t let your head hurt a believer where your heart can show them the Lord. And so by your knowledge this weak person is destroyed, the brother for whom Christ died. (1 Corinthians 8:11)
Let your spirit of love draw you closer to God as it also draws those around you to the truth of Jesus Christ. Let love be the basis for your testimony and what you call on to show Jesus to this dark world. Let your knowledge come from the Holy Spirit. It will be designed for you at each moment of your walk and it will always prove a trustworthy as the Source.
Throughout the Old Testament God uses His prophets to foretell the future. He uses these prophecies to warn people of His impending judgement and to prove His control over the universe. He also shows that He is not limited by the constraints of time. (Isaiah 46:9-10) I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done
God explains the end from the beginning (prophecy) and the beginning from the end (fulfillment). Not only does God have prophecy and fulfillment within the Old Testament, but He uses the Old Testament to prophecy the entire New Testament. If the Old Testament is one prophecy, The New Testament is its fulfillment. (Isaiah 42:9) Behold, the former things have come to pass, and new things I now declare; before they spring forth I tell you of them.”
Take a look at the visions in the Book of Daniel. His prophecy was so accurate that scholars argue that the book had to have been written at a date later than they originally agreed on. He describes the coming kingdoms with their rulers and how they would dissolve into parts. Historians can attach names to the people described in the prophecy without debate. I’m not surprised that Daniel was so accurate, he was the mouth piece of God. I’m amused that people with try to explain away the date of the books authorship than accept the word of God as truth when it stares them in the face. What a gift to see the actions of God defy explanation. What ridiculous faith it takes to believe God is not in control of His creation.
The other half of seeking God is knowledge that can lead to wisdom. God puts questions on our heart that spur us to deeper knowledge of Him, His Word, and His Will. We must always hunger to know what the Sustainer of the universe has for us. We must allow that curiosity to drive us to seek God. Our first action is allowing the questions of our heart to drive us to learn about, not to doubt, God. Seeking the answers of God drives us closer to Him as our Heavenly Father. We must spend time with God in prayer, time with God in His word (the Bible), and time with God living out our faith. We must always seek to go deeper and never be satisfied with what is around us. We will miss the unique relationship God desires with us and the plan He has for us. Knocking indicates repetition. We ask questions to determine God’s will, we seek to find His face and learn about Him, and we do this Daily. As His mercy is renewed daily, so should our hunger and thirst to stay close by His side. Close enough to hear His whisper to our hearts, close enough to receive His provision and light. A heart seeking God repels sin and temptation as it is filled with God’s Spirit and Love.
2 Peter 1:7-9
Knowledge of God involves more than just who He is but also His will for you and your life. As a believer we are each designated to serve a purpose for a kingdom we can’t fully imagine. We each make up one loop of a carpet of which we cannot fathom the greatness. True knowledge of God shows us that we can never fully know Him. God’s ways are far above man’s. (Isaiah 55:8-9) For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. Knowledge of God allows us to develop wisdom, which is seeing the world from His point of view. We see all people as His children, and all the world in His care and control. This knowledge replaces fear with joy and peace.