Summary: Take aim on the things that make us stagnant and experience the freshness of God.
Blow Up the Dams
Woodlawn Baptist Church
August 27, 2006
This morning as we have celebrated the promotion of some of our young people up to their next classes I think it would be worth our time together to consider the subject of knowing God. I love the Lord’s churches and find it helpful from time to time to reaffirm God’s love for and plan to work in and through these local bodies we know of as churches. I say that because when you boil it all down this church and every other church exists for the one simple purpose of helping people know God and to help people know and experience God as they never have before.
In Proverbs 1, Solomon wrote that one of the greatest priorities of our lives ought to be the pursuit of wisdom and instruction. Listen to what he wrote. I’ll be reading from the New King James.
“The proverbs of Solomon, the son of David, king of Israel: to know wisdom and instruction, to perceive the words of understanding, to receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, judgment, and equity; to give prudence to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion. A wise man will hear and increase learning, and a man of understanding will attain wise counsel, to understand a proverb and an enigma, the words of the wise and their riddles. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”
It’s been rightly said that when we quit learning we die. Some people commit themselves to a lifelong habit of learning new things right up to the time they die. But there are many who quit learning long before they draw their last breath, and yet a different sort of death takes place. It is the death of vitality, imagination, passion, zeal and of dreams. People that quit learning are filled with memories rather than goals. They look back and long for days gone by instead of looking at the opportunities that still lie ahead.
While there are a lot of great things out there to learn, nothing could be more important than learning the things of God. There is nothing so beneficial to a believer than to have the mind renewed and transformed by the living Word of God: to have our thoughts and actions and attitudes to be at their core immersed in the heart and mind of God. In short, there is nothing more important in your life than knowing God.
As I speak, I realize that a great part of you are not involved in one of the Bible studies provided by your church family, whether that be a Sunday morning Bible study, a Wednesday evening Bible study or one of the others currently being offered in homes. I also realize that while others of you do attend or used to attend, what you’ve heard hasn’t really resulted in what you were looking for. You’d think that after attending church all the time God would help you out more, but hopefully what you’re discovering is that more church doesn’t get you closer to God. Attending more classes won’t do it. Praying more prayers and reading more verses hasn’t done it and hopefully it has all been very frustrating.
For me to say that I hope it has all been very frustrating may sound odd to you. But I want you to understand today that more than you know God wants to manifest Himself to you, but it won’t come from church attendance and Bible studies per se. God’s not going to reward you with more blessings or love just because you were faithful to attend. But here’s what He will do: if you will make your first priority and life’s pursuit to know Him, then He’ll make sure that you do.
Attending worship and the Bible studies offered to you will provide an outlet for that to happen, and that’s what I hope and pray will happen, so my appeal to you today is to do three things. Number one, make it your life’s greatest pursuit to know God. I mean really know the God we read about in the Bible. Second, make the renewing of your mind a real priority in your life by allowing the Holy Spirit the opportunity to transform your thinking, and thirdly, give one of your church’s study groups an honest try in that pursuit.
Some of you think I’m just talking to the people that don’t attend Sunday School, but I’m not. The Lord’s churches are filled with people who attend Sunday School and other studies for no other purpose than to earn God’s favor. Some of you are doing that. You come because you want God to stay happy with you. But I want to say to you that unless you come with an earnest desire to know God and exalt His Son Jesus Christ in heartfelt worship you’re coming for the wrong reasons.