I found this in the "Draft" section of my email with this title in the subject.
It's from my Bible class last year.
[Jubilee Academy: Bible - Old Testament]

Maybe someone needs to see it.


With God we may have these varying levels of knowing.

There are many who have but a nodding acquaintance with Him, lasting only as long as the nod. There are many more — far more than we readily admit — whose only knowledge of God is about Him, second-hand; and who never arrive at the first-hand knowledge of Him that comes from first-hand experience with Him.

We all start our religious life by leaning upon the experience of others. The child's first knowledge of God is not direct, but rooted in the belief and practice of parent and teacher. It is possible to go through adult life without ever passing beyond this second-hand knowledge of God. There are also very many whose only religious knowledge is that of the externals of religion. Their interest and main concern is with the minutiae and mechanics of church life. This constitutes a deadly temptation for many of the clergy. Here the externals of religion, its churchiness, or devotion to legalism and ritual become the substitute for knowing God.

But it is also possible to have with God that deep and rich relationship, which is His friendship and love, and which the New Testament calls eternal life. It is only this kind of knowledge that can ever satisfy the heart of man and set him at rest and at peace. The life of praying seeks to prepare us for that kind of knowledge of God.

Ultimately we can draw near to God in but one of two moods: the mood of using God selfishly, or the mood of disinterested love — the mood of adoration.

In the life of Christian praying we heed and seek to obey these mysterious workings of God. We learn slowly that much depends upon our immediate and willing obedience to them. When we do not live by the light of prayer, we often seek to ignore them, to forget them, to resist them, to disobey them. We have thus a very decisive part to play in this work of God for, in, and upon us. We shall find that the universe of God will not budge before us, when we set our wills stubbornly against all the mighty powers of God's ordered world.

In the life of Christian praying we joyfully and peacefully give God the time and attention and consent which He asks from us. Thus does God works His redemptive action in us with every resistance broken down. But in this work we shall have to fight against long-established tendencies to forget God, to ignore Him, and to live for ourselves as if He did not exist. We shall have to fight against deep and hidden fears of the inevitable, worldly consequences of belonging wholly and first to God.

God has created us for Himself, for His glory, and for fellowship with Himself; not that He is seeking something for Himself, but that He is seeking us for our sakes.

To have friendship with God involves necessarily the transformation of our old self-centered being by God's own action in and upon us into the likeness of God.

To say that we must become like God in no way implies that we can escape or ignore the basic distinction between man and God. Even in heaven man will ever remain a being, utterly dependent for both the fact and the kind of his existence upon the Creator God.
We know that we have become so deeply attached to things and to persons and to ourselves that we have no longer power to detach ourselves. We gradually learn that not we ourselves, but God, is the main factor and agent in the long, progressive work of detachment.

"He that loses his life shall find it; he that keeps his life shall lose it."

But once we have heard and accepted this Christian purpose of life
— that we are made for God, for His glory, and for intimate friendship with Him — then the whole of life here on earth takes on a new and satisfying significance.

But however great may be our confusion or bewilderment concerning the purpose of our lives, God knows completely the purpose of our existence. He has brought us into existence for His purpose, and He sustains us in order that that purpose may be fulfilled. We know ourselves only in a very fragmentary and partial way. We know ourselves as spirit far less than we know ourselves as body. But God acts upon us with complete and perfect knowledge of every factor, whether we think it relevant or irrelevant to Him. He knows what we require: often we do not. His action is limited and conditioned only by His self-subjection to the ways of divine love.

God is a jealous God.
But we are not to interpret the divine jealousy in terms of our human jealousy, which is always self-seeking. God's jealousy is never for His sake, but for ours. He knows how much we are missing when we seek to live apart from Him. He is jealous because He wills to give us the high gifts of holy friendship, and He cannot tolerate our lives becoming so attached to earthly realities, good as they may be, that we have no time or concern for spiritual fellowship with Him. He knows that we can never be truly joyful until we place Him first in our lives, and thus enter into that holy friendship with Him which is the pearl of great price. Therefore God must be jealous — yes, even angry and wrathful — at the idols which absorb us in earthly life.


Prem-aka-Prince said...

Sublime every time.
I must admit, I have to read it slowly and repeat parts to properly digest it, lol.

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