The pendulum is swinging

The pendulum is swinging

The pendulum is swinging - Shhh - Mums the word

The pendulum is swinging

I recently revisited a passage of Scripture from 2 Timothy 3
-– the context being the last days and perilous times. I know it has become
less than trendy to 'believe' that these are indeed the last days...
This unbelief is probably more to do with unwillingness to be identified
with the numerous 'time setters' who, time and time again have been
blatantly wrong and come close to discrediting the truth of the underlying
message. The Scriptures still sound clearly 'the signs of the times' -– and
our interpretation and ability to see beyond 'this year or next' may be the
issue.

Back to 2 Timothy 3:1-6...following a hefty list of 'signs'
verse 7 gives us a further indication of significance: "Ever
learning but never coming to the knowledge of the truth"... Hmmm. Are we not
living in the age of ultra consumerism -– where we have access to more resource
and educational opportunities than ever before?...more Christian resources and
study guides, more Churches, more sermons, more contact with Christian
fellowships, even a worldwide communication web -– providing E-Religiosity? I
can not be alone in thinking that we do not lack knowledge or opportunities to
get more knowledge... But for all of the knowledge we have surrounded
ourselves with, we struggle to determine simple truth...

We really need to come back to a simple understanding of our
relationship with Father God -– and having the faith to trust Him. You see when
we obey God's Word, our acting on Godly wisdom will very often precede our
understanding -– we act out of obedience not knowledge...this is faith!
In time, we begin to gain understanding (often via hindsight) - and because we
now have first hand experience, we gain knowledge, which can then be passed on
or taught. Paul said he would not dare to teach those things which Christ had
not wrought in him... I think this is smart! In today's world we have every
man and his dog teaching -– passing on knowledge. Every Sunday, thousands of
words are projected from pulpits...many good words, gems even. We are ever
learning!
I am not convinced however, that we are being 'improved' by
all the learning...or that we are gaining the knowledge of the truth. Quite
a bit of Jesus teaching is not so much for us to understand -– but for us to
live!
OBEDIENCE as opposed to knowledge! If we wait for knowledge
(more teaching) we will put off the simple things we have already been told to
do...many of which are not logical, and certainly not supported by our Western
world perspective's.

Not for a moment am I propagating the 'abandonment of
reason'!
I'm halfway through my life and have only just started
exercising common sense...I'm not going to give it up now! I am saying
however, that the 'Wisdom from above' will often be at odds with our 'common
sense or reason'. That's why we need to read God's Word and have our
thinking renewed...not just into knowledge -– but into actual lifestyle! You
were slapped on the face? Turn the other cheek -– You have some prayer
needs -– don't pray about your needs in public -– go into
your private prayer closet...don't forget to shut the door, this is between Me
and you
-– You feel to give a gift to someone or some ministry? Don't
let your left hand know what your right hand is giving, this is between Me and
you -–
You want to bless someone?...let me select the poor and needy for
you
, someone who cannot benefit you in return -– You say that
someone took your coat?...did you get their number because I want you to give
them your cloak as well (matching set)
-– You see people who are naked,
hungry, thirsty, with no friends, in hospital or prison...serve these loved
ones of mine, in so doing, you are actually serving me...By the way you have
begun to look like me...

You might have heard about the 'Humility Club' who
awarded one of their members a medal for good service? They later took it off
him after he was seen wearing it. I include the following story because it
illustrates the difference between knowledge and simple obedience: This week I
decided to go back to 'being a Christian' and to stop talking about being
one. On our street is a little old man named Colin. He hobbles past the gate at
regular intervals and I often say hi and chat with him. In eighty six years he
has developed a few things to talk about...and I have time to listen (even
though my Western world mind tells me I'm too busy). I took a chelsea loaf
over to Colin last Sunday, and I said to him "I'm really interested in your
life and experiences...I learn so much as I listen" He was moved to tears, as
was I...and in hind sight I see why Jesus made lots of friends. It really doesn't
take much. Encouraged by the experience, I thought I'd continue...my next
opportunity was more like a slap in the face...so I said to Jesus, this was unto
you Lord...

More teaching required?? No!! I don't think so. We just
need to be obedient to what we have been instructed to do. Christianity is not
knowledge based...it is choosing to live Godly lives (based in Godly wisdom -–
not our knowledge)....obedience! Do you realise that following this pattern, we
cannot fall to pride -– mainly because nobody will even know what we have done...except
those ministered to. God will know of course...and He likes this very much!

The pattern: Wisdom (from above) -– Understanding -–
Knowledge. This is diametrically opposite to the modus operandi of the Western
World...give me more teaching (knowledge) and I'll gain understanding and end
up being wise. God says our wisdom will always remain 'inferior' to His
wisdom. Our knowledge 'puffs up'.

My friends, "We ought to fear God and not men". The fear
of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.