“I didn’t know that.”
I’ve been in trouble before for not knowing something I should’ve known. Years ago at one of my early places of employment, I neglected to make note of the workplace dress code. The next day, when I arrived for work not following the dress code, I was sent home to change and was docked pay for the time I was not at my shift.
Some may think that I deserved a bit of grace. It was my first day at work, after all, shouldn’t I have had a simple warning instead? Not taking the time to learn the dress code was my fault, not my employer’s. I had been told where to find the rules for the dress code but I neglected to take the time to read them – and I had to face the consequences of my own ignorance.
Everyone wants grace; few want to own their mistakes. In fact, people cry “Unfair!” when grace isn’t extended to them and they are required to own their self-imposed ignorance. Many relationships have been destroyed because people refuse to own what they have neglected to learn. Life isn’t fair as it’s impossible to be fair in every situation. Everyone has his own set of circumstances and what is “fair” isn’t necessarily right.
God has expectations of us as well but we fall into the same pattern of willful, yes willful, ignorance. He has given us a book that is clear in its instruction to us: the Bible is where not only are God’s instructions found, but also in entering it, our relationship with Him grows. There we learn how to function in this crazy world we live in. We may think that the world has evolved beyond the Bible’s relevance but there’s nothing new happening in today’s world that hasn’t already been happening since time began.
We like to make ourselves look the part of being part of God’s family: we are at church on occasion (every week is too radical), we have Bibles scattered on tables and shelves throughout the house, and we make sure to pray over our meals and before we go to bed. In this way we wear the “robes” of the religious but our lack of knowledge of Who He is astounding.
Mark 12:24 TLB “Jesus replied, ‘Your trouble is that you don’t know the Scriptures and don’t know the power of God.’”
Jesus said this in response to religious leaders of His day – people who were supposed to lead others didn’t know the Scriptures and what was the result? God’s power wasn’t a part of their lives. They were more interested in looking the part instead of living it.
This wonderful relationship we profess to have with Jesus is designed to be much more than what we are satisfied with. We wonder why our lives are lacking in power while we spend little to no time understanding the Instruction Manual. We rarely see the power of God evident – unless there is a crisis. Then, we cry out to God, beg Him for mercy, and wait for our miracle. Because He is merciful, He bails us out time and again; He provides the new job, healing in a relationship, whatever we are asking of Him – but these occasional bailouts aren’t enough to sustain anyone for any length of time.
Hosea 4:6a NLT “My people are being destroyed because they don’t know me…”
Take time to really know God today. Reading the Bible may seem a daunting task when looking at that dusty Bible or unused Bible app on your smartphone or tablet. What we need to understand is that the Bible is more than a book we read. It has power in it to change our lives on a daily basis as we spend more time in it learning about Who God is and how wonderful His plans are for our lives.
For further study on how to enter into a relationship with God’s Word, and not just read it, I highly recommend reading “The Divine Mentor” by Wayne Cordeiro.