I love to see those who don’t know the Lord Jesus get to know Him!!! I love seeing them experience the joy of realizing what He has done for them!
But, I also love seeing those who have come to know Him continue to grow in their knowledge of the love of God. The joy of knowing Jesus does not “plateau” after being with Him awhile. The joy of those who know Him continues to live on as they encounter God on a daily basis. Jesus is not a thing that you look at for awhile and after studying it, you realize you know all about Him there is to know. The more you look at Jesus the deeper you fall into His love and the deeper you fall – the more joy you experience and the greater your faith grows!
For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height — to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Ephesians 3:14-19
We need to know the love of God, but we never truly get to the end of our knowledge of it — we continue to experience it in new ways throughout our walk with Jesus.
Christ dwells in our hearts through faith. Once He dwells, He then roots us and grounds us in love. Faith does not come from your pastor or your parents or your friends: faith comes by hearing the Word of the Lord.
Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ. Romans 10:17
If we want more faith, then we must actively be in the Word of the Lord. That means we must be reading the Bible for ourselves – to ourselves. Chasing faith and transformation through experiences is a folly that can lead to belief based upon what experiences teach rather than on truth.
You can learn from what you’ve gone through but often, experiences “teach” us things that really cause us more pain and isolation. If you learn through a bad experience that you can never trust anyone, what does that “truth” lead you to? If you learn through experience that you are a person that is unworthy of love, where does that lead you?
Do you see?
Experiential truth must be balanced by God’s truth or it can lead to pain, self hatred, and isolation.
Learning through experience only is like being a potted plant. Your growth potential is limited by the size of your pot. Potted plants are not as hardy as plants planted outdoors because they are protected from the environment and they are not truly grounded. You have to protect a potted plant. Lot’s of time is spent trying to keep them alive.
If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. Matthew 16:25
I have this verse close to me at all times. There was a period of my life in which I spent a lot of effort trying to protect myself due to pain I had once experienced. My experiential truth told me I must do so.
I didn’t experience true peace and love until I gave up control and allowed Jesus to move in. I gave up on growth through experience and moved into growth through discipleship with Christ.
Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, not sits in the seat of the scornful; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper. Psalm 1:1-3
Plants that are rooted in the ground don’t move. They are subject to the weather and its fickle nature. But, the winds and storms that they endure make them sturdy and strong. The base of their trunk is thick – strengthened by what they have been through. And, their roots are not limited by a pot – they go down deep into natural springs not affected by stuff above ground!
A great transformation takes place when you move from being a potted plant to being one rooted in Jesus’ love!
It is scary to be rooted – you give up on trying to protect yourself and controlling events around you. But, through faith in God’s providence and love, you can tap into deeper waters and grow stronger than you ever dreamed possible!!! You can grow through enduring and enjoying the seasons rather than running from them.
Dear Jesus, help my friend to have faith in You; to put down roots in You; to find the place of stability in You; to give up on trying to protect themselves and controlling everything. Reveal Your True Self to them! If they call, You will answer. Teach them that they must be planted in You to experience what You have for them in its fullness.
And Lord, give them the joy of Your deliverance!