‘You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.’ John 5:39-40 (NIV)
Could there be a better text which sums up our religions today? Are there any words that are harder to swallow than the painful truth? Are we living in an age of information where we float on a sea of knowledge? Do we build our faith off of countless hours of diligent study from countless hoards of well-educated scholars? Have we had centuries to compile good and deep examination of all areas of spiritual thought? Should we be the most privileged of all people living anywhere throughout our race´s entire history? With the wealth of knowledge readily available at all our fingertips, should we be the best equipped people that ever lived in honestly coming to God? But are we demonstrating the fruits of our favor? Are we actually closer to the Lord? Has all our studying and book-smarts paid off?
Jesus comes to us. He begins performing mighty miracles in the lives of many. He begins talking of the Father and of Heaven in a Way that people are just not used to. He speaks with authority. He speaks out of experience. Not like we who speak of our experience here on earth, He tells us of His experience in higher realms where His Father lives! But men just don´t get it! They struggle to see how tightly connected Jesus is with God. They fail to see how Jesus could be sent from the Father. They fail to see the Wonder that Is our Saviour!
So these men do what we usually do. They go to their books. They go to their studies. But have they substituted their accumulated knowledge for what that knowledge should have brought them? Do they stand short of God? Do they prefer the power and pride that comes from all their deciphering? Have they forgotten that all this study is meant to bring them somewhere? Should they have seen that it should have brought them to a Presence? Should they be closer in Spirit? Should they be brought before God? Should they be hearing His voice? Should they be seeing His mighty arm at work? Should they be reflecting His love and His intentions for His lost children? Should their enhanced closeness mirror the Living God in all areas of their lives? Should personal agendas, personal gain and personal recognition have been traded long ago for seeking closeness to God? Should they have come to know Him in deep and intimate experience?
We could notice who has learned of the Lord and used it to gain more access to Him. We could see if others have used their knowledge to grow closer to Him. But should we examine ourselves first? What have we learned? Have we accepted only the study? Have we taken a greater sea of knowledge as our prize? Or have we taken the little we have heard and used it to break our hearts? Does it make us yearn for more of God? Do we take whatever knowledge we can, and use it to approach the Lord in honesty? Do we actually hear the voice of Jesus? Do we hear Him beckoning to us now? Is He asking us to look beyond even our studies? Is He calling for us to break through into personal experience? Is He inviting us into the very Presence of God? Is He inviting us to come to Him today?
Dear Jesus, some people have been satisfied with what they have learned of God. But we want more! We want You! We want to use whatever knowledge or study we have to gain more access to You personally! We want to experience You daily and in a thousand ways all the time! Theory may bring us to consider God, but assure us that it actually brings us to a walk with You! We want to hear Your voice! We want to see Your glory! We want to come to You today! Help us to come to You now!