It is easy to become a Christian and then get acclimated within "church life." Don't get me wrong, fellowship with the saints in both enjoyable and necessary. However, sometimes we get in the mode of knowing so much about church life, that we fail to know more about the "God life." What I mean is that there are many things about the spiritual life we might not know spiritually or intellectually. Even Paul addressed this when he addressed the Corinth church. In the KJV Bible, the word ignorant is translated uninformed or unaware in the Greek. Paul was saying that he did not what the believers to be in a position of not knowing.
1 Corinthians 12:1 ESV Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be uninformed.
Sometimes, we just don't know what we don't know. Sometimes we are so uninformed in an area that we not only don't know the answers, but we are not smart enough to even ask the right questions. Here are some other Bible verses with the idea of people not knowing what they didn't know, and therefore needed to be informed.
Romans 10:2-3 ESV For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. (3) For, being ignorant of the righteousness of God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God's righteousness.
2 Corinthians 2:11 ESV so that we would not be outwitted by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his designs.
1 Thessalonians 4:13 ESV (13) But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope.
1 Timothy 1:13 ESV though formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief,
I was born and raised in the middle of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia in a small town of less than 250 people and I did not see indoor plumbing until I was 13 years old. We don't know what we don't know. I was not aware of indoor plumbing.
We heated the house with a wood stove in the living room and cooked on a wood stove in the kitchen. At the age of eight, I was going to the mountains with my dad and grandfather every Saturday to cut firewood. We don't know what we don't know. I was not aware of central air and heat. I was unaware of oil furnaces. I bathed in a small foot tub where water was heated on the wood stove and poured into the tub. We don't know what we don't know. I was not aware of bathtubs or showers.
The outhouse was about 100 yards away from the house. We don't know what we don't know. I was not aware of the concept of a water closet, bathroom, john, toilet, and commode. I was 18 before I ordered a meal and ate down to eat in a restaurant. We don't know what we don't know. I was not even educated on how to go into a restaurant and place a order.
Why do I share this? I was unaware and unknowing of indoor plumbing, toilets, bathtubs, showers, central heat and air conditioning. Because I didn't know about these items doesn't mean that they didn't exist. They did not exist in my mind because I didn’t know what I didn’t know.
At age 13 my family moved to a larger town of 2,000 people, and we had indoor plumbing and central heating. I remember my family standing in the bathroom flushing the toilet and running the water in the tub totally fascinated. I wondered, “Where did the water come from and where did it go?”
I didn't understand anything about these new luxuries in my life but I adapted to them quickly. I enjoyed my Saturdays being free because I no longer needed to work in the mountain cutting fire wood. These new things were only new to me and my siblings. They were not new to most people.
So it is with the things of God. If we lock ourselves within the walls of what we only currently know, we might miss the things of God that others have known about all along and are enjoying in the fullness. Don't build a fence around your four and no more assuming you have received it all. You just don't know what you don't know.
There is a lot of preaching about what we are to "GO AFTER" and get in the Christian life.
Some groups would say that we need to get healing over everything.
Some groups would say that we need to get riches and prosperity over everything.
Some groups would say that we need to get Bible knowledge over everything.
Some groups would say that we need to get Christian disciplines over everything.
Some groups would say that we need to get Church attendance over everything.
All of these have a place in the Christian life but they are not the key things that we are to seek after. In fact, many are a result or by-product of seeking the right things.
We need to seek the KNOWLEDGE of God and His ways:
Hosea 4:6 ESV My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because you have rejected knowledge, I reject you from being a priest to me. And since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children.
We need to seek the WISDOM of God and His ways:
Proverbs 4:5-7 ESV Get wisdom; get insight; do not forget, and do not turn away from the words of my mouth. (6) Do not forsake her, and she will keep you; love her, and she will guard you. (7) The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom, and whatever you get, get insight.
We need to seek the FEAR of God and His ways:
Psalms 111:10 ESV The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding. His praise endures forever!
WARNING: We can become so well-adjusted to our culture that we just FIT into it without realizing that we have become worldly. We are to fix or set our attention on God. Doing this will cause us to be changed from the inside out.
We will then readily recognize what HE wants from us, and we will be in a position to quickly respond to it. If we are fixed on the culture and society around us we will need to get its permission to do God's will because it will always be dragging us down to its level of immorality and darkness. Only a life committed to the will and ways of God will bring the best out of us and develop well-formed true maturity in us.
Definition of "The Fear of God" (See Parts 1-2)
Reward #1 is "Riches, Honor, and Life" (See Part 3)
Reward #2 is "Turning from evil" (See Part 4)
REWARD #3 Wisdom and Knowledge
Proverbs 1:7 ESV The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.
Proverbs 9:10 ESV The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.
Charles Morris. Founder and Senior Pastor of RSIM USA.