|Posted on May 5, 2020 at 11:35 AM|
In this time of national uncertainty and confusion due to the threat of a pandemic it is absolutely necessary for us to develop and exercise the personal skill of spiritual enlightenment. I define this skill as the ability to recognize our need for and reliance upon God to cope with the everyday issues of our life. Paul prayed for it in Ephesians 1: 17-19, “That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of his calling;, and what the riches of his inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his mighty power”.
I call this spiritual enlightenment a skill because it is developed with practice. Most baby believers (new to the faith) are not skilled at receiving the wisdom and revelation from God and become reliant upon others to direct them in their lives. While sound teaching and good advice from others is helpful, it can never replace the personal and unique enlightenment that comes directly from the Father. To be skilled at spiritual enlightenment means we become used to hearing and recognizing the voice of Jesus in our everyday lives. In fact, at such times as this we count on it. That skill comes only from practice.
The initial step in practicing spiritual enlightenment is to believe that God is communicating with you. Paul assures us in Romans 8: 14 that if you are a child of God he is leading you by his Spirit who not only created you but also lives in you to direct your life. Many believers have trouble hearing the voice of Jesus simply because they do not know or believe he is talking to them. The first step of faith we take is simply to believe the fact that he is talking to us through his Spirit all the time. This is what Jesus promised his disciples when he left them here to continue his work in the world.
While this fact may be comforting to some it tends to make many people nervous because they are afraid of what God might have to say to them. An image of God as an impartial judge who will punish us for our sins and shortcomings naturally causes us to cringe at the thought of him talking to us. So Paul goes on to assure us in Romans 8: 15, “For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again unto fear, but the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba Father”. God does not threaten us or try to scare us into obedience. He is our Father who loves us far more than we can imagine and wants a loving relationship with us as his adopted children. What he wants to communicate to us is described by Paul in the next verse, “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God”. He wants you to know who he has made you to be.
The first step in practicing spiritual enlightenment is to hear God speak to you about who you really are as his child. From his written word, the Bible, we learn that we are no longer the same person we have always thought we were, but brand-new persons who are joined to Christ. Just giving intellectual assent to this fact is not enough to truly satisfy or change us. We need the personal assurance that comes from the Father telling us every day, “You are my beloved child in whom I am well pleased”. With that personal assurance you can discover how he is leading you throughout you daily life.