As I woke up this morning two Scriptures came to my mind and were tied together. The first is:
“But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ.
Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ.”
The second was:
“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds,
casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, ”
(2 Corinthians 10:4,5)
From these Scriptures I draw the following conclusions.
1. The supreme value for the Christian is to actually KNOW Jesus Christ.
2. There is something FIGHTING against us knowing the Lord.
3. The thing FIGHTING against us knowing the Lord are described variously as:
b. High Things
c. Certain Thoughts.
4. Therefore we are not going to REALLY “know the Lord” if we do not seriously apply ourselves to the issue. A casual, lazy or passive approach will not cut it.
Now to Expand on these Thoughts
Paul said that knowing Christ is better than perfect religious observance. It is better than pedigree (i.e. value derived from who your ancestors are). I would like to add something for the modern age. Knowing Christ is better than having lots of money. It is also better than sexual pleasure, and human friendship. It is better than comfort or a full belly of food. When you know Christ, you have GREAT TREASURE in your heart, and the heart is the only place we can really enjoy things anyway. The love, the peace, the joy, the power, the fellowship with God, the revelation of what God is actually saying – these are the things we should want to have. They are worth fighting for. They are not going to come cheaply or without effort. It is not that our effort makes us worthy of knowing Christ. It is just that without making the effort to focus on the prize and do the spiritual warfare of dealing with thoughts and arguments as they come, we simply are NOT going to know Christ as He really is.
So the first thing to be sure of is that we really understand the value of knowing Christ, and therefore have made THIS our goal.
Some of us have as a goal to “make Christ known”, or “to win souls”. If you have that goal, I congratulate you. I congratulate you because few other Christians will do so, and you need encouragement. Certainly no one in the world is going to congratulate you for wanting to be an effective evangelist, soul-winner or proclaimer of truth to the world. It almost seems that in many places the one thing that both the church and the world agree on in spiritual matters is that there should be no forthright evangelism going on in the public sphere.
But please let me say this. God will NOT ALLOW YOU to make Him known all that much if you are not that interested in KNOWING HIM YOURSELF. We need to “KNOW GOD” in order to make Him known. If we just want to get on with the job without actually doing things WITH God we are going to run into some major frustrations in life. This is true for many reasons. I leave it as an exercise for you to think about why this might be so, and perhaps to comment at the bottom of this post your reasons for this.
So we come back again to the importance of KNOWING GOD or KNOWING CHRIST JESUS.
Satan is working through demons, which have the power to suggest thoughts and arguments to our minds. All of these thoughts are designed to discourage us, disorientate us, divert us, confuse us, fascinate us and lead us to spiritual death, if possible.
Thoughts can start off as small insignificant movements in our neural chemistry and end up controlling our whole lives’ direction. So we have to be VIGILANT.
Its possible to pray in tongues and have anti-God thoughts running around in your head at the same time. We have to learn to squash these things like we would squash a deadly spider.