Why understanding the fall is so important.
Imagine a world without death and all things associated with it; broken relationships, pain, depression, hatred, apathy, fear and anxiety. This is what Adam and Eve had in the garden. They enjoyed eternal life. They knew and walked with God and His life filled them. It was all they knew. When Adam and Eve sinned death came upon the earth for the first time. Adam and Eve quickly felt the pain of broken relationship and fear; they hid themselves from the presence of God. Let’s briefly cover three things that are vital to understand about the fall of man.
1. Understanding the fall helps you to understand the purpose of Jesus Christ. One of the major travesties of the modern church is the preaching that Jesus came simply to bring people to heaven. At best this waters down the truth and at worst creates an atmosphere for believers to be apathetic to those suffering around them allowing them to do and be exactly opposite of what Christ wants them to be. Jesus came to bring life, period. He tells us exactly what eternal life is. It is the very life of God. He came to put in us a spring, a fountain of life. Grumpy, cold believers are a complete oxymoron to the the truth. The kingdom of God is righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. His life was never meant to be understood as something to be enjoyed in the sweet by and by, only, but He came to give us life now. The very life of God that Adam and Eve enjoyed in the garden, He came to restore in us. Plain and simply Jesus came to restore what was lost in the garden. This is a process that began 2,000 years ago and will culminate with His return, but we have a deposit of His life here and now. He tells us that in this world we will have tribulations but He has overcome the world. He is alive and we can partake of His life now.
2. Insecurity and inferiority are results of the fall. When Eve was tempted in the garden the first thing the serpent tempted her with was testing her security. Her security was based in what her Father had said of her. When the serpent said to her, you shall surely not die, he was planting doubt in her about what God had said. This temptation is still very strong today. Did God really say? Or truly even better yet, how can you believe in something so archaic as in a god? Billions and billions of people are insecure today because they do not know what the Father has said about them. He loves you. You are a treasure to Him. He has a purpose and plan for your life. You are precious to Him simply because of who you are not because of what you can do. You can do everything that He puts in your heart to do. You are more than a conqueror! After the serpent tempted her to doubt what the Father said about her, he then tempts her to feel less than what she is. You shall be like God… what she had already forgot was that she was created in His image and was already like God! How many people are caught up in destructive patterns because they don’t know what the Father has said about them and because they want to be more than what they are because they truly do not know how awesome they already are. Eve was a princess of God; royalty and yet she began to see herself as less. Eve didn’t know evil. The serpent was right, but that didn’t make her less of God’s daughter. It simply meant she had not experienced what evil was. She had not known what pain and death was. God knew because before the foundations of the earth were laid, Jesus was already chosen to suffer death for us. God even said that Adam and Eve were now like Him knowing good and evil but this didn’t mean that Adam was any less like God earlier; it simply meant that Adam had not had the horrible privilege of knowing what death felt like. In Jesus our inferiority and insecurity is healed. He makes us royalty and restores our relationship. When you know what God says about you, purpose and security flood your life.
3. Dominion was lost. Man was created to rule. We were made in the God class. We do not belong to the animal class. We were created in the image of God. What is man that you would give him the works of Your hands? Men have always tried to control, manipulate and dominate others. This was never the domination that God had planned for us. Rather He created us to have dominion in love. He told them in the garden to be fruitful, to multiply and to have dominion. Adam and Eve fell from that place but in Jesus and through God’s kingdom it is restored. Nope, I am not talking about holy war and using natural weapons to force people into a feigned obedience. I am talking about the kingdom of love ruling our lives. Jesus told us to pray, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. What does this look like? Jesus’ second command to us is to love our neighbor. This is what it is to look like. Instead of the church being a bastion of judgment, it is to be a fountain of life and love. The world has truly yet to see the power of Christ’s love flowing to the nations through His church. I can preach on this for three days straight. I will spare you. It suffices to say that I have a holy anger toward those things that keep the church from being the dominant kingdom of love Jesus created it to be. After resurrecting from the grave He told His followers to go into all the world and make disciples. Disciples with only two laws written on their heart, love the Lord your God with all your heart and love one another as you would love yourself. I pray He helps the church to be what He has called it to be. In Jesus everything lost in the garden is restored. This is worth believing in; this is worth living for.
Why understanding the fall is so important.
Power of God
Ephesians 1:15-20; 3:16-20
(1:17)These two prayers made by Paul for the church in Ephesus still read true today! Let us look at them in some detail. He prayed for us to have the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him. Why? No one, I mean no one can understand God without the Holy Spirit. I don’t care how much scripture knowledge you possess, it won’t make any sense without the Spirit bringing revelation. In other words people can only understand God to the point that He reveals Himself to them. You can only walk in what has been revealed to you. So Paul is praying that everyone in the Ephesus church would have a deeper in depth knowledge of God through the Holy Spirit. This knowledge in the Greek is as in knowing someone intimately. He is praying that the church would grow even deeper in its intimate knowledge of Him.
(1:18,19) That our eyes would be enlightened to know… The eyes of our understanding, that is. He prays that we would understand in our minds three things.
1st) That we would understand the calling of God in our lives. To understand this is to understand the overall calling of Jesus and how we relate to it. (2 Corinthians 5:17-20)
2nd) That we would understand the inheritance of Jesus. His inheritance is our inheritance; we are joint-heirs with God (Romans 8:17). Basically, everything Jesus has He shares with us, His body. His joy is our joy, His Peace is our peace. His anointing is our anointing. As He was sent, He in turn sends us. There is so much to this, maybe the Lord will have me do a devotion on it sometime.
3rd) That we would know what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us. The same power that He worked in the resurrection works toward us!
In order to walk in the power of God, you have to have the revelation that that power is made available to you. Not every Christian knows this. That is why they are stuck where they are stuck. May God open your understanding to know the power of God that works toward you in Jesus.
(3:16) He then prays that we would be strengthened in our inner man with might by His Spirit. God wants to impart strength in your inner man. When the storms of life come against you, there is a strength to be had that will raise you above the storms. Where does this strength come from?
(3:17) It comes from Christ dwelling in your heart. As He IS, so are we in this world. (1 John 4:17) It is incorrect to say of Jesus that He was the greatest example of how to live godly. Because He is alive! He IS the greatest example. He showed who God was to people and is still showing God to people (of course He is God, but I don’t have time to get into the trinity that is a whole other subject for a whole other time.) The Christ that conquered death resides in your heart. Think about it! The Christ that overcame everything that the world threw at Him including death itself, He overcame! When you put your eyes on Him, the One who has overcome, that is when the victory comes. That is when the power of God gets released. You have to have a mental picture of the risen Christ as victor over whatever is coming against you. You have to focus on Jesus and worship Him.
(3:17-19) That we being rooted and grounded in the love of God would comprehend with all the saints what is the width, height, length and depth of that love toward us. He loves us!!! He gave everything to have relationship with you. He wants you to know Him, intimately. This is not about going to church and being a good little Christian (I do go to church and believe that the church is vitally important for your growth as a follower of Jesus and as a place of nurturing and maturing for you) this whole thing is about knowing Jesus; intimately having a relationship with Jesus. The revelation that you have of the love of God is parallel to the fullness of God in your life. Meaning that you can’t exceed the measure of God’s fullness in your life above understanding how much you are loved by God. He loves you! He loves you not because of what you can do for Him, not because of all that you do for Him, He simply loves you because of Himself. He loves you and found worth in you that He was willing to give everything to know you! How awesome! Bask in His love. Worship Him and enjoy His love that is poured out in you. For more on the love of God watch my video devotion on the baptism of love.
(3:20) God is able to do so much more than you can even imagine through the power that is at work in your life! It is amazing. Once we get our eyes off of ourselves and get our eyes on Him, He is able to do so much!
1 Peter 5:6,7
“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”
Did you know that all the stress you are going through you can cast on God. Actually we are commanded to do it! Did you also know that it takes humility to do that? If we are proud, we will try to handle everything ourselves. Friends trying to handle everything ourselves will get us major trouble. We are not meant to handle the stress of this world. That is why stress causes so many physical problems in our lives. We have to cast our cares upon Him.
Remember fear brings torment and neither are from God (1 John 4:18) You will not make good decisions from a place of fear! Good decisions come from a place of peace in His presence and that only can come from casting your cares on Him. This is the difference between reacting and responding. When you wake up in the morning, your cares will start to speak to you. You will have fear and anxiety because of them. You have to speak to your cares and tell them, “I brought those cares to God and He said He will lift me up above these in due time! I trust Him!”
“Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.”
God wants to be your refuge! God wants you to come to Him and pour out your heart to Him. This means that God wants you to be transparent before Him. King David (the writer of most of the Psalms) knew a lot about being transparent before God. I tell God everything. If I am hurting, I tell Him. If I am mad, I tell Him. If I am scared, I tell Him. But… I don’t stay there! I come to Him from a place of victory and faith. I remind Him what He promised in the Word. He told us that in this world we would have tribulations but He overcame the world (John 16:33). His victory is ours! (2 Corinthians 2:14, Romans 8:17) He gave us His inheritance, part of that inheritance is victory in life. So when I come to God, I leave my pain there, I leave my stress and worries there, I leave my fear there and I take with me His presence and His peace. I take with me faith! Faith that all that I give to Him, He will take care of. When you come to God and offer your prayers to Him, peace will come! When the peace comes you know you are in faith (Philippians 4:6,7).
“Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.”
God will sustain you. He will sustain you because you have faith in Him. By your faith, you are allowing God to work on your behalf. His peace is what sustains us! We must be humble enough to give our cares to Him!
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
By knowing that God loves you and that you are His, you can walk without fear. This doesn’t mean we don’t need to obey Him and listen for His Spirit. But by casting your cares on God, you are aligning yourself to receive wisdom as to how to handle the circumstance that you are under. You can live life without fear! You can live life without worry! But the only way is to come to God. As you come to God on a daily basis you will start to see God move in your life. You will start to see His change in you. It is a daily walk. God wants you to know Him as intimately as you are known by Him. Cast your cares upon Him for He cares for you!!
This is based on the foundation that God is good and His loving kindness endures or lasts forever. (Exodus 34:6) However you view God is going to be how you view life. If you view God as being over bearing and looking for you to mess up, you will never be able to have faith to receive from Him. You have to view God the way He revealed Himself to us in the Word. We have to faith that God is good.
The next level of our faith has to be in His love! We have to believe that He loves us.
“For the king trusts in the LORD; through the unfailing love of the Most High he will not be shaken.” (NIV)
Listen to the words of David, through the “unfailing love of the Most High!” You have to know that you know that God loves you. He doesn’t love you because you are perfect but simply because you are a child of His. (John 1:12) You have received His Son Jesus, you have faith in what Jesus has done, then you are a child of God. If you are a child, then you are also an heir. Meaning that you are an heir to receive everything the Father has for you. (Romans8:15-17)
Matthew 6:31, 32
“So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.” (NIV)
Your Father knows what you need. Have faith in His love.
1 John 4:16-18
“And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” (NIV)
We need to rely on the love of God. Fear brings punishment, but His love drives out fear. We need to have faith in His love. When fear comes against us, we need to remind ourselves that the Father loves us. Fear has to go. It cannot stand in the love of God. Have faith in His love!
Romans 8: 31-39
“What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: ‘For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.’ No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (NIV)
Let us look at the strong language used here. If God is for us, who can stand against us? If He didn’t spare in giving us His Son, Jesus, the most precious thing He had, how much more will He not freely give us all things? What in the world will He withhold from us? God is the One that justifies; Jesus is the One that was executed and bled for our forgiveness, would He or God now condemn us or beat us up about sin? God is not out to condemn you! Whatever burden you are under of feeling inadequate to receive and have the love of God, banish it; release it! He is not holding it against you. Keep your eyes on Him and seek Him, I promise you, it will work out! What will separate us from His love trouble, tribulation? Nothing, whatever you face in His love you are more than a conqueror over it. Get this in your heart! No, you don’t deserve it. No, you are not perfect, but neither are my kids and I still love them! None of us deserve it. We all fall way short! That is what grace is for. Get your eyes off yourself and onto Jesus. If you are a Christian and think that because of your actions that you deserve this love, you above all are to be pitied. Self-righteousness doesn’t go very far with God. He is opposed to the proud but gives grace to the humble! (James4:6) Nothing can separate you from the love of God!! Get that deep in your heart!
“I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” (NIV)
We can see from this scripture verse how important it is to know the love of God. The love of God is so deep. It is unfathomable except that God reveals it to us. Knowing the love that God has for you is in direct correlation to you dwelling in the fullness of God. In other words the deeper you understand the love of God the more acquainted with Him you will be. Knowing the love of God is not something to learn as much as it is something to experience. Once the Holy Spirit begins to shed His love abroad in your heart, you get to grasp the love that He has for you. (Romans 5:5) Make this your prayer, that you may know the greatness of His love!
“The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD, And He delights in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; For the LORD upholds him with His hand.” (NKJV)
Get this psalm deep in your heart. Your steps are ordered of Him and He delights in your way! If you fail and you get knocked down, put your faith in His love! Look toward Him and He will pull you through!
God is Good
Exodus 34: 4-7
“So Moses chiseled out two stone tablets like the first ones and went up Mount Sinai early in the morning, as the LORD had commanded him; and he carried the two stone tablets in his hands. Then the LORD came down in the cloud and stood there with him and proclaimed his name, the LORD. And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation.” (NIV)
This is the first revelation that God gave of His character. He had already proved it to Abraham but here He reveals to Moses, I am compassionate, I am slow to anger, and I am abounding in love and faithfulness forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. We hear this theme made throughout the rest of the Bible, God is good; God is faithful. David wrote it, the prophets wrote it and Jesus proclaimed it!
Your perception of God will determine how you view life. People that view God as being hard and judgmental will be critical and hard themselves. If you view God as being opposite of what His Word says about Him, you will find your life filled with anxiety and depression. If you view Him as an old man with a big paddle ready to knock you out for every mistake, you will not rejoice in Him or welcome Him in your life. Instead you will live a life of condemnation because you will never match up to the standard. How you view God determines your outlook in life. If you view Him the way He revealed Himself through the Word, you will see things the way He wants you to see them. God is good! He is also just, but merciful! He is not looking to judge but to embrace. He is not looking to withhold but to give and to give freely. If you view Him as not having a plan for your life, you will flounder trying to make your own way; but if you believe that He has a plan for your life, joy and peace come. You will seek Him and He will reveal!
1 Chronicles 16: 34, 37-42
“34Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever. 37 David left Asaph and his associates before the ark of the covenant of the LORD to minister there regularly, according to each day’s requirements. He also left Obed-Edom and his sixty-eight associates to minister with them. Obed-Edom son of Jeduthun, and also Hosah, were gatekeepers. David left Zadok the priest and his fellow priests before the tabernacle of the LORD at the high place in Gibeon to present burnt offerings to the LORD on the altar of burnt offering regularly, morning and evening, in accordance with everything written in the Law of the LORD, which he had given Israel. With them were Heman and Jeduthun and the rest of those chosen and designated by name to give thanks to the LORD, “for his love endures forever.” Heman and Jeduthun were responsible for the sounding of the trumpets and cymbals and for the playing of the other instruments for sacred song. The sons of Jeduthun were stationed at the gate.” (NIV)
When David set up a tabernacle to minister to God before the Ark of the Covenant, the songs were based on this revelation: the Lord is good and His love endures. This really is the basis of our faith. If you believe that God is not good, there really would not be anything to believe Him for. To walk by faith the first requirement is to know that God is good! God is faithful and His love endures forever.
Psalm 23: 1-4, 6
“The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. 6Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.”
Hear how good God is. He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths. This scripture overflows with peace. Look at the faith of David, the author of this psalm, surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life! Your view of God will determine your path in life. Do you see Him as good?!
The Baptism of Love
“Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. But John tried to deter him, saying, ‘I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?’ Jesus replied, ‘Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.’ Then John consented. As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, ‘This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.’” (NIV)
Jesus lived His life for thirty years before entering the waters of baptism that day. He was just as much God before and after, but this baptism was the beginning of His ministry. Why was it important that the Holy Spirit came upon Jesus being that Jesus was God? Jesus didn’t minister as God. He ministered as a man anointed with the Holy Spirit. According to Philippians 2, He emptied Himself and became a servant. If the Holy Spirit landing upon Him was not for ministry, why did this event take place? In conjunction with the Holy Spirit landing upon Jesus to empower Him to complete the purpose of His life, we see the Father speaking and letting everyone know that this was His son. How awesome. This is the first appearance of the trinity in the New Testament.
This is what happens to a believer’s life when the Holy Spirit comes upon them, the Holy Spirit speaks the affirmation of adoption, of sonship.
John 1:12, 13
“Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.” (NIV)
As we receive Jesus we are accepted into the family. We are not accepted because of what we can do. To believe you are accepted by some works of your own would be idolatrous and pride. You are a child of God because of what Jesus has done and you receiving it.
Romans 8: 14-17
“For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, ‘Abba, Father.’ The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.” (NIV)
It is so important to know that you are an heir of God. We are heirs of heaven! And guess what? We don’t have to wait until we get to heaven to enjoy what is promised to us. We can have heaven’s joy here. We can have heaven’s power here. We can have heaven’s provision here. What do you think Jesus meant when He told us to pray, “Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven!” (Matthew 6:10)
God knows how to take care of His children. The sixth chapter of Matthew delves into that beautifully. God is constantly trying to get our attention to the fact that we are His children. We have to believe it and walk in it. There is a connection to knowing you are a child of God and overcoming fear. Fear is very real! Fear is a punisher; it is merciless. Fear is a prison and will consume your thoughts. For His children it is important to remember that God has not given us fear! (2Timothy 1:7)
1 John 4:18
“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” (NIV)
Love drives out fear!!! I have discovered that there is a direct correlation between the fear I allow in my life to the amount of faith I have in my life that God can protect me and provide for me better than I can. There is a place for the believer where he or she will never allow fear to dominate them again and that place is in the perfect love of God.
“And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” (NIV)
The Holy Spirit pours His love into our lives and drives the fear away! How? By reminding us through His presence that we are His children. As His child, He will provide for me. He will protect me. He has a plan for my life. I can trust His love. No fear can stand when the Holy Spirit pours the love of God into your heart. In order for Jesus to truly be our example to follow, He had to empty Himself and be human. He needed the confirmation of the Father and He needed the Holy Spirit upon Him to fulfill what the Father sent Him to do. Otherwise if He conquered all of that simply as God, then there would be no hope for us, because we aren’t God. But if He did it as a man empowered by the Holy Spirit and trusting in the Father completely, then we can do it as well with the same provision. Except we have even one more awesome thing that Jesus did not have. We have Him as our forerunner. (Hebrews 12:1-3)
When the presence of God comes upon your life, that is the Holy Spirit reminding you that you are a child of God. You are His child and He will take care of you. You have nothing to fear. The only thing you have to do is seek His face and get to know Him more!
Hunger for God
What is your passion?
“Blessed are those that hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” (NIV)
Do you know who God fills? He fills those who are hungry for Him. If you don’t a hunger for God, don’t worry He won’t fill you. If you have come to the place in your life where you feel you have had your fill of God and want no more, don’t worry He won’t give you more. He fills only those that are hungry for Him.
“Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me.” (NIV)
The well of God is deep my friend. Think about it, He will never run out and is always overflowing. You can tap into the ever flowing river. Jesus declared that if anyone was thirsty they could partake of the fountain and drink in deep and out of their inner most beings would flow that same river for others to see and experience (John 7:38). Are you thirsty for it? For what? A relationship with the King. A life of fulfillment and destiny. Don’t believe that you have seen it all and experienced it all. Don’t believe that your life has no meaning and that God is through with you. There is so much to accomplish in this life still!
“Then Moses said, “Now show me Your glory.”(NIV)
This is the Moses that God spoke to through a burning bush. This is the Moses that gave up living life as a prince because he saw His people being mistreated as slaves, though he was adopted by the Egyptian royal family, he wanted something more from God. This Moses was leading sheep in the mountains of Horeb, when he has an experience with God. Remember the Bible was not written at this time. God chose to reveal Himself to Moses in this way. God caused a tree to burn without being consumed. Moses was in awe of the sight and that is when God spoke to him. Moses would lead the Israelites out of slavery. Moses would see miracle after miracle performed by God through his prayers. Do you think Moses knew God? I do. And yet after all of this, he still cries out for more of God. Let me tell you who cries out for more of God. The ones that cry out for more of God have had a taste of how awesome He is and want more. Satisfied believers become a stagnant pool but those that hunger for more of Him become fulfilled and flowing over with fresh water.
“But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death.”(NIV)
This was written by a man named Paul. Paul would go onto write two-thirds of what is now called the New Testament. The apostle Paul had an encounter with Jesus Christ and he was on his way to Damascus to arrest Christians. Jesus literally knocks him off his horse and reveals Himself to Paul. Paul became a leader in the church and planted many churches in Europe and Asia Minor. God raised the dead through his prayers and he saw God perform many awesome miracles. He saw angels and was taken up into heaven and here this man of God cries out, “I want to know Christ!” Do you think you know Christ better than Paul? Do you think that you have come to the end of your walk with God and no longer need a hunger for more of Him? I am glad the apostle Paul didn’t feel that way.
Luke 18: 35-43
“As Jesus approached Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging. When he heard the crowd going by, he asked what was happening. They told him, ‘Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.’ He called out, ‘Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!’ Those who led the way rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, ‘Son of David, have mercy on me!’ Jesus stopped and ordered the man to be brought to him. When he came near, Jesus asked him, ‘What do you want me to do for you?’ ‘Lord, I want to see,’ he replied. Jesus said to him, ‘Receive your sight; your faith has healed you.’ Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus, praising God. When all the people saw it, they also praised God.”(NIV)
This blind man was hungry for Jesus. He cried out to Jesus when he heard that Jesus was nearby. There were people there that were offended at his shouting. Have you met anyone like this? It is almost a certainty that if you get hungry for God, you will meet people that are offended at your hunger. They want to quiet you up and keep you controlled. But notice what it says about Jesus! He stopped! Your cries of faith and your hunger for God causes Jesus to stop and look your way. Then Jesus asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?” I am not a genius but I believe the blind man wanted to see. I believe Jesus knew that as well. Why did He ask? God meets you at your faith. If you allow self-pity and unbelief and are slow to believe the promises then you will not have all that God wants for you. Jesus asked him, so the man could release his faith. After the man received his sight, Jesus says, your faith has healed you! How awesome is that?
Never be satisfied but always be hungry. God desires you to be hungry. He gave the children of Israel fresh bread every day in the wilderness. He didn’t want them living on the bread of yesterday. You today have fresh bread from God, go after Him!