Behold Your God, Counterfeit Knowledge of God
Counterfeit knowledge of God. This topic has always struck a cord with me over the years. I've thought, "How can we as Christians have so many beliefs of God, of what our relationship with Him should be and our interpretation of scriptures when the Holy Spirit is One, is true, and should tell us all the same things?" It all boils down to our motivation and our heart, whether we're seeking God for our own selfish needs and desires or seeking Him with a humble and contrite heart.
There is only One God and one way to God. God isn't all things to all people. He is not one way to one person and another way to the next. He is who He is. He cannot change. He cannot contradict Himself. All of His attributes are in perfect harmony with one another.
Counterfeits might be described in many ways, but various authors have mentioned these three: Knowledge by Hearsay, Textualism and True Truths.
Knowledge of hearsay comes from years of listening to sermons, tapes or reading books, or even visiting with friends at the coffee shop. These are beneficial, but they become a substitute for personally walking with God. We end up only knowing about Him from outside sources.
Textualism assume that because a person reads the Bible and believes it is true, he or she automatically operates in Biblical truth. For instance, if someone reads the definition of faith in Hebrews 11 and thinks that it is automatically theirs, they are presuming that "claiming" truths gives them full access to the possession and benefits when their lives do not prove it out. The textualiest lives as if giving mental ascent to the words of the Bible is equivalent to having their reality shape his own life. Granted, there is a thin line between head knowledge and heart knowledge--one may find himself living just on the wrong side of this line for many years before realizing it.
The True Truths category is a kin to textualism but more deadly. An example would be the truth that most Christians believe is true without question, the omnipresence of God. We believe God exists everywhere all at times, but we don't live our lives as if He really does. We may even take these truths and give them the same veracity as bold-faced lies, like the Easter bunny. We long ago dismissed the belief of the Easter bunny as being real and filed it as a lie, but we file truths about God in the same place, and those truths then have as little equivalent impact on our lives.
Paul spoke to this in Ephesians. Chapters 1-3 deals with doctrine, and the foundation of ethical commands of the Christian life are found in chapters 4-6. These commands aren't a collection of dry, dead sayings but are living, breathing commands of God that we are to follow. At the end of chapters 1 and 3, Paul prays that God will enable Christians to grasp all doctrinal truths, internalize them, and live on them. It is this application of doctrine to our hearts that forms the bridge between right thinking about God and right living with God.
Paul asks God to: (Ephesians 1:15-22)
- Give the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him (to the believer).
- Give us eyes of understanding, enlightenment.
- Give us understanding that we would know the hope of His calling.
- Give us understanding -- what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance.
- Give us understanding -- what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us.
Paul asks God to: (Ephesians 3:14-21)
- Strengthen us with might through His spirit in the inner man according to His riches and glory.
- That Christ dwell in our hearts through faith.
- Ground us in love.
- Let us comprehend the depth of His love that passes all knowledge.
- Fill us with the fullness of God.