I’ve always loved learning something new, but it wasn’t until Bible College that I realized that the occasional accidental epiphany was not good enough for someone wanting to grow closer and closer to Jesus. I’ve tried to explain why learning is important for faith, but it is a hard sell.
“God is love, I’ll love Him and my neighbor. Isn’t that enough?” is a common response. And, “Yes” is the honest reply, but then “No” is the honest revision. To have faith in Jesus Christ is all you’ll ever need to “live” as a Christian. But I don’t want to merely “live” as a Christian, I want to “thrive” as a Christian.
“But I get closer to God at worship,” is another common response. Yes, worship is a wonderful way of stoking and fueling the fires of faith. But, worship isn’t just singing and eating the bread of the Word when you go to church. Worship is an attitude by which one lives life.
I’ve often said that true worship comes when we realize just how great Almighty God is, and just how pathetically small we are – yet He loves us. This realization is not solely a product of music and preaching – it can come from a vast array of sources and practices – like reading the Bible, participating in community with people, reading a book.
The point is, why limit your fuel source to one or two things when there is a buffet before us?
9 And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, 10 so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, (Philippians 1:9-10)
Paul’s prayer for these people, who he absolutely adored, is this: May your love flourish*, increasingly, by** learning and reflection. Love flourishes by learning and reflection. Those are Paul’s words. The deep things of God are only surface scratches without digging deeper. As we dig deeper, we get closer to the heart of God, and our love flourishes.
Why does he desire that love flourish? So that they may have discernment of what is good and pure (and consequently what is not), and so they will be blameless.
I’ve chosen not to be a lazy believer, content with baby’s milk to fuel my faith. I want that solid, challenging food that comes from maturing in faith. I want to dig deep.
(*Grk. “perisseuh” means “overflow/abound/flourish” & **Grk. “en” means “in/with/by”)