I have a friend who is a woman of prayer. She told me in a recent phone conversation that the current theme of her life and prayers is truth. When she’s talking with and ministering to people she prays that both she and they will discern truth. When she comes to the Scriptures she prays that God would help her see the truth he has revealed. In times of reflection, she prays that God would make her aware of the truth about her heart—where and how she needs to grow.
It is a simple thing—almost too simple.
My friend went to seminary. She knows about leadership and counseling. She knows about hermeneutics and exegesis. She knows about historical and literary criticism. But she also knows that God’s perspective is the absolute truth—and that he’s willing to share his perspective with those who desire it and seek after it. People disagree about what is true all the time, but God’s say is indisputable.
That is a challenge to me.
Matthew 11:25-27 (NASB)
25 At that time Jesus said, “I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants.
26 “Yes, Father, for this way was well-pleasing in Your sight.
27 “All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.
Loving God with all my mind means intentionally and diligently using every opportunity to engage my mind in the business of learning who he is and what blesses him. The process of developing a strong, Biblical theology unquestionably brings me closer to God’s heart. Jesus is not condemning wisdom and intelligence in the Matthew passage.
However, when intellectual pursuits become the ends instead of the means, my position becomes precarious.
Sometimes I put my trust so much in the knowledge that I forget my dependence on the Holy Spirit to be my teacher. No matter how much I learn, I still need him to show me what is important—and what is not. If I don’t allow God to participate in the growth of my understanding, I may know lots of stuff and miss his point altogether.
I also tend to get caught up in the details. My focus zeros in on some whispered minutia of Scripture and I lose sight of the things that God has shouted in his word. I forget that if I want to know God, I need search no farther than Jesus. A simple, honest, uncomplicated look at Jesus—what he taught and how he lived—will provide the most accurate picture of who God is and what he cares about.
Any intellectual gain that does not ultimately lead me to trust and love Jesus more is really no gain at all. In Jesus, God has revealed that he loves me and he wants me to know him.
Could it really be as simple as asking him to show me truth as I endeavor to know, love, and serve him?
Mark 10:15 (NASB)
15 “Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all.“