By The Rev. Bob Holland
When it comes to being knowledgeable, it’s not how much we know but how much we understand. It’s one thing to have bags of information seeds stacked up in the barns of our minds, but more importantly, how many seeds of truth have been planted and nurtured to take root within our conscience? Even the devil himself has more knowledge about God than the average person but he does not allow it to change who he is. It’s called selective thinking where facts are learned and accumulated but not acted upon. This is where we see a critical difference between knowledge and wisdom. Just because we read about how to live a victorious Christian life does not mean we will automatically be converted into a victorious overcomer. We must absorb His Word through our perception and into our spirit all the while learning how to surrender our will and discipline our carnality.
Beware of powder-puff messages that only talk about strolling through life and enjoying the overflowing storehouses of blessings. They do nothing to awaken our desperate need to be a living sacrifice for God. The Christian life is a constant challenge, in fact, the more serious we become about taking up our cross the more difficult it will be. If we are genuinely born again, our spirit is connected with God’s Spirit and we have a wonderful opportunity to channel His energy into us. If we can prevent our old corrupt nature from talking us out of it, we can be saved from ourselves but it’s going to take a burning passion and a total commitment to live God’s way. Being a follower of Jesus means we are accepting a golden opportunity to transform the way we think which will literally change who we are.
Persistence and even stubbornness can be good if we incorporate them into following Christ more intensely. Yes, being stubborn for God can be considered faith, however, being stubborn against God is an attitude of rebellion. He appreciates us for being determined but when He tells us no and we still keep pushing forward, we fall into the dangers of disobedience. There have been times in my life when I did not know if I should stop believing or if I should keep pushing. I’ve had doors slammed in my face and my share of disappointments, but I kept knocking even to the point of trying to force them open with a crowbar. Maybe God never intended for them to open and my demolition attitude just made things worse. Or maybe He wanted to see if I knew the difference between a vision and a whim. Whatever the case, the key to avoiding resentment and confusion and knowing if the dark side is working against us or if the Lord is directing us, is spiritual discernment. Wisdom and understanding comes from seeking God’s still small voice with all of our heart and mind.
Pray and research thoroughly before you move forward. If you are standing in a crossroad and not sure where to go, do something positive while you are waiting for His confirmation. If you’ve been seeking His direction and have not heard anything, I once heard someone say, “while waiting for a door to open, keep praising Him in the hallway.” You might sense the need to begin a personal fast in order to become more sensitive to His voice. Fasting is not always just about food but can be the denial of other activities as you dedicate quiet time alone with Him. Just how desperate are you? By the way, this is personal and there is no need to broadcast it on social media. When you list all the requirements associated with your goals, you may realize you are simply not ready to proceed at this time, or maybe not at all. Yes, God can move mountains, but since He is the one who created our destiny, our ideas may not be the same as His. He can influence others, give us favor, and create divine appointments, but it’s our spiritual awareness that brings us into the position to receive. He is preparing a path for you behind the scenes that can utilize your strengths and will be a perfect fit for you, however, your obedience and patience are critical factors as you follow HIS plans and not your own.
Dr. Holland is a Christian minister, community chaplain, and author. Read more about the Christian life at billyhollandministries.com.