Curiosity has touched me. I tried to hide among the bushes, but he found me out none the less. I thought I could rely on understanding. But understanding is like a loosely built fence, which through the cracks between, I can receive a glimpse of heaven. And it is while I stand along that fence, in the shadow of obscurity, that curiosity comes to greet me.
I know the answer to the question, but that there should even be a question marvels me. The question covers three topics. By necessity, I can’t figure out how to make it short. But the answer is supported by the legs of the three topics. At the top of the “Table of answer”, I lay my conclusion.
Leg 1. Why is constant and enduring self-discipline necessary for the things of God?
Leg 2. Why must man be encouraged, and even sometimes forced, to pray?
Leg 3. To where do the words of the Bible disappear after we have read them?
Human beings are so amazingly capable of learning, doing and retaining. The volume of technology is proof of this. There are those who have mastered virtually the complete volume of Technology ( Make no mistake, the word volume is misleading. How many books are written on various subjects by various masters of their own trade?). And the list of those who aspire to join them in this accomplishment is very long.
Self discipline, zeal, and retention, do not lack among men. What I find mysterious is the lack of understanding of those three “legs” in the things of God.
I know there is a distinction between what is flesh and what is Spirit. But even a man who contains the Holy Spirit of God finds himself being dragged back to the flesh from time to time. Today he remembers and does. Tomorrow he forgets and stumbles.
Obviously, dedication to God’s things is not accomplished by a momentary decision; as if one flips the switch in the room and the light comes on. Now he can go about the room and do as he pleases, forgetting the switch. No, it is more like the man must rise from his chair to switch it on again. For the switch tends to move down to the off position, as if it were a being in itself. (Please don’t become paranoid, and find yourself watching the switch. It’s just an analogy.)
The answer to this mystery, is that God has made these things so that he may test the fullness of a man’s heart. Laziness in the things of God is not an option. It requires a constant straining toward the things of heaven. Relax, and you will surely suffer loss.
A man may study technology, then take a vacation without loss. But the man of God who does this, will find himself horribly lacking. The information of God does not arrive without direct connection to the Spirit of God. And it cannot be reliably retained by the flesh. And dissipates rather quickly with non-use. But where does it go?
I have found the Lord Jesus to be incredibly humble. He does not force himself on anyone. Neither does he help us unless we ask. Agreed, there are circumstances beyond our knowledge in which he must help us. Rest assured, he does and is. But the volume of what is Holy belongs to him. If by derilection, we push him away, the things that are Holy go with him. That my friend, is where the words of the Bible go.
I am warned afresh. Yet in this I also find a great promise. The Lord has promised us, “I will never leave you nor forsake you”. And he has taught us, “Without me you can do nothing”. But I am struck by the reality of his promises as they play out in our daily life.
This is not hidden knowledge. It is not only available in the Bible, but all his people testify of these things everyday. Perhaps what is more amazing, is that there are still Church going folk who do not know these things. For I perceive how often the Pastor must encourage the flock to read the Bible, to pray, and to do the things of Christ.
Indeed, the mystery of godliness is great!
By His Grace