A 30-year-old male executive sat in the office of his counselor despondent, depressed, trying to make sense of his life, said to his counselor, “I have reached the pinnacle of my career. I have a six-figure salary, a new sports car, a wife, three children, and a new home. I can buy anything I want whenever I want; so why do I feel so empty and lost inside, I am here to ask you, is this it?”
The Chief of Surgery in a prominent hospital in New York City makes life and death decisions every day, sat in a hotel room with an overdose of sleeping pills laying before her. She felt empty, lost, and unfulfilled, asked herself, “Is there more to life; is this it?”
A pastor of a mega-church with an international television and radio ministry reaching millions with the gospel of Jesus Christ, sat alone in his church office, overwhelmed, exhausted, and at his wits end, cried out to the Lord one night, “Lord, I can’t do this anymore, is this it?”
Do these stories sound familiar to anyone? It does to me. 25 years ago, I sat up in bed in the wee hours of the morning, as I soaked my pillow with tears, hungering to experience more of the life of God in my soul. I cried out to Him, “Lord, I am so hungry and thirsty for You! Please fill me! All these years I have learned so much about You by praying, fasting, reading the Bible, attending seminary, and ministering to others but I don’t feel I really know You at all… is this it?”
Have you ever experienced this or are you experiencing, is this it, right now? You are not alone. It doesn’t matter if you have never met the Lord or you have been saved all of your life. There comes a time in each of our lives our souls cries out to the Lord for intimacy. I don’t mean praying or reading the Bible more, I mean a deep connection and affection only the Lord within our souls and spirits can give. There will be these moments or seasons in our lives where our souls call out to God. It is during these times Christ is wooing the soul for deeper intimacy with Him. Rejoice, my brother and sister, it is our Lord who leads and guides us to this path. The experience may be a little different for each of us but the feelings are the same. It feels like you are hungering and thirsting for more. There is a discontentment, nagging, and uneasiness within that refuse to go away. It seems like no matter what you do, it just won’t go away. I want to share a scripture today that may shed some light on the place where you are walking.
In Philippians Chapter 3 verses 5-10 of the Amplified Classic Edition, our brother Paul had a very similar experience. As he looked over the course of his life and all the accomplishments he attained said:
7 But whatever former things I had that might have been gains to me, I have come to consider as [one combined] loss for Christ’s sake.
8 Yes, furthermore, I count everything as loss compared to the possession of the priceless privilege (the overwhelming preciousness, the surpassing worth, and supreme advantage) of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord and of progressively becoming more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him [of perceiving and recognizing and understanding Him more fully and clearly]. For His sake, I have lost everything and consider it all to be mere rubbish (refuse, dregs), in order that I may win (gain) Christ (the Anointed One).
9 And that I may [actually] be found and known as in Him, not having any [self-achieved] righteousness that can be called my own, based on my obedience to the Law’s demands (ritualistic uprightness and supposed right standing with God thus acquired), but possessing that [genuine righteousness] which comes through faith in Christ (the Anointed One), the [truly] right standing with God, which comes from God by [saving] faith.
10 [For my determined purpose is] that I may know Him [that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly], and that I may in that same way come to know the power outflowing from His resurrection [which it exerts over believers], and that I may so share His sufferings as to be continually transformed [in spirit into His likeness even] to His death, [in the hope].
In the above scriptures, Paul talked of a knowledge of Jesus Christ which meant more than just reading, learning, or talking about Him, he said: “That I may progressively become more DEEPLY AND INTIMATELY ACQUAINTED WITH HIM.”
MERE KNOWLEDGE OF CHRIST CAN NEVER SATISFY OUR SOULS
IT IS KNOWLEDGE SHARED WITH CHRIST SATISFIES THE SOUL
The word ‘Knowledge’ in the Bible has more than one meaning; let’s look at two of them:
Eido – to learn by using the senses, learn by observation, to interview, inspect, to study. Introduces us to, give knowledge of by reading.
Ginosko– become known of, intimate, to understand, to experience or have an encounter with. Like an intimate relationship between a husband and wife. Requires engaging with each other by both parties, sharing, receiving, and responding.
We all learn by listening, reading, and hearing with our senses. We take in information and process it. This kind of knowledge requires using the soul to ascertain and remember; this kind of learning is called Eido. Because our Lord Jesus, Father, and Holy Spirit are Spirits, we get to know them through Eido but we experience them with both soul and spirit by interacting with and engaging with them… Ginosko.
Here is an example: I want to introduce you to Dr. Miron who specializes in tumors and other malignant abnormalities. He is well-known around the world for his work and people travel thousands of miles to visit his office in Jacksonville, FL. He is married, has five children, and his children live in Dallas, Texas. One day you discover you have a tumor and so you read all of Dr. Miron’s newsletters and articles in medical magazines about the kind of tumor you have. While traveling to Dallas you check in a hotel and noticed the name Miron on the name tag of a man in the lobby. So, you ask him; “Are you related to Dr. Miron in Jacksonville?” He responds, “Yes I am.” You proceed to tell him about what you know of his father because you have read about him in journals and magazines. But then he looks at you puzzled because he has never read his articles or magazines, but then he smiles and says, “That’s wonderful you have read my father’s writings. Yes, he is specialized in his field. But did you know my father loves spending time with me and my siblings one on one? He is a very sensitive and caring father who loves traveling, fishing, and photography. Would you like to see some of his photos?”
Afterward, you make an appointment to meet with Dr. Miron. You visited with him several times. During one of your appointments, you mentioned to him about fishing (you learned about this from his son in Dallas). You and he talked about fishing during the course of your visits. Finally, one day Dr. Miron invites you to go fishing with him. You and he fish once a month together. He shares his heart and thoughts with you and you reciprocate. You and he become great friends. Do you think this is becoming intimately acquainted? Yes, it is!
It is unfortunate that sometimes our Lord uses difficulties in our lives to make Himself known to us, but He does. Because our propensity in the flesh is to be independent, c
In our next few blogs, I want to share with you how I became intimately acquainted with our Lord over the past 40 years as I opened my heart to Him and He opened His heart to me, revealing various facets of Himself. Please feel free to share with us your stories too. May our hearts be blessed by each other!