- First, Know the Word of God
“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Ps.119:105).
“Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God (Matt. 4:4).
“My people are destroyed [perish] for lack of knowledge;” (Hos. 4:6).
Of course, there are many verses I could point to which exhort us to “know” the truth. And Jesus specifically prayed this for us, “sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth” (Jn 17:17). I want to begin here because it is urgent especially in this “late hour” that we, as the children of God, return to the “whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:27). Simply because we are in the condition we are in currently, in this Nation, and in the greater Church Body, because we have either, neglected, or rejected the truth found in God’s Word. In truth, this is the issue in the Body-of-Christ which is bringing division between believers, and hostility, biblical compromise, and blindness to what is going on all around us every single day. However, the discerning Christian will be careful to “heed” the Word of God so as to not, ever so slowly “drift,” from the truth without even noticing it. And that is why I have included this right here: “for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil” (Heb. 5:13-14, emphasis mine). This passage of scripture was a rebuke to those who had “neglected” the wisdom of God. And today we have MANY within the Church and behind the pulpit who have “closed their ears” to heeding the whole counsel of God because they are picking and choosing what they will accept from God’s Word as authoritative. And so, discernment is what we need! And how does one acquire discernment? By constant practice through fellowship with the Spirit and the knowledge of the Word of God.
- Next, practice daily intimacy with your Father through prayer
For one to know their Father they must spend quality time in fellowship. This requires time, intention, and focus. (Side note: If you do not have time, something must be removed). Because without the personal application of the Word of God from the Spirit of God within you through prayer, you will be a “dead tree without fruit.” And because the Word and the Spirit cannot be separated, this is a must!
Jesus said, “this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent (Jn 17:3). That word “know” is not an intellectual know, but a deep, personal know. So, if someone is to “experience” eternal life, they must be in fellowship with the Father, and the Son, by the Spirit.
Here is just one of the things we gain when we pray: Perspective. We gain perspective and insight into things which we could not know otherwise. Take this Psalm for instance. This individual was tormented by the things around him which he could not reconcile with the ways of God…until he went to prayer. He says, “Behold, these are the wicked; always at ease, they increase in riches. All in vain have I kept my heart clean and washed my hands in innocence. For all the day long I have been stricken and rebuked every morning…But when I thought how to understand this, it seemed to me a wearisome task, until I went into the sanctuary of God; then I discerned their end. Truly you set them in slippery places; you make them fall to ruin. How they are destroyed in a moment, swept away utterly by terrors! Like a dream when one awakes,” (Ps. 73:12-20, emphasis mine). He realized that though the wicked “seem” to prosper in this life, it is only temporary. But the Christian’s hope is eternal. If you begin here, with the Word and prayer, you will end up viewing (discerning) all things correctly. Next is one of my favorite verses because it reminds me every time I read it that it is vanity and foolishness to put any trust either in the power of mankind or in the wisdom of mankind. For it is, “not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the LORD of hosts” (Zech. 4:6) by which our victory is found! Our power and wisdom come from heaven, not from man!
So, the Word of God is essential wisdom for us in these last days so that we are neither deceived nor led astray by the “enemy” being, Satan or the World. Therefore, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect” (Rom. 12:2). And when we know the Word and walk by the Spirit, we will remain in the will of God.
Here is a quote from a book my father-in-law gave me. I think it fits well here. For solitude and listening are important keys if we are to “hear” from the Lord. Since “anyone who must have superficial sounds to survive lacks depth. If you can’t stand to be alone with yourself, you have deep, unresolved conflicts in your inner life. Solitude has a way of helping us address those issues”(Swindoll, David: A Man of Passion and Destiny, 1997, p. 9). And I have experienced exactly that during some of my times with God. He has brought to my attention those deep things which needed to be addressed which hindered my intimacy with Him or with another, but which could have only been addressed once I stopped to listen.
And finally, pay close attention to David’s words here in Psalm 27. And understand where his perspective, which leads to his confidence in God, derives from: “Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war arise against me, yet I will be confident… [Where does his confidence come from?] …One thing have I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to inquire in his temple… [Because he seeks the LORD continually, he is intimately in touch with the ways of his LORD] …For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will lift me high upon a rock” (Ps. 27:3-5, emphasis mine). Did you notice the “will’s“? He had fixed his mind toward ONE objective. He had set his trajectory toward intimacy with the LORD. And because this was the desire of his heart … he knew he was walking under the covering and blessing, and favor of God. If I could only communicate ONE thing, being the urgent thing, in this “late hour” in history, it would be that! The one necessary thing is to “seek the Lord with all that you are” because that is the place of “rest, safety, security, knowledge, wisdom, understanding, revelation, perspective, peace, hope, and love” Be reminded today, and be encouraged. And pass it on.
(Note: all scriptural emphasis is mine throughout)