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As the deer pants...
- Jacob Ninan
Look at these facts. We don't know everything. Some of the things we think we know are wrong. One of the pivotal moments of my spiritual life was when I heard how God had answered the prayer of a nominal Christian who had cried out to Him in helplessness. To me it was somewhat similar to what Peter felt when the Holy Spirit fell upon Cornelius and the others. It opened my eyes to see something about the largeness of God's heart (Ac.10:34). Another time was when I was with some believers from other Christian groups some of whose doctrines I did not agree with. It humbled me to recognise that some of these people loved God much more than I did! I got another glimpse of what God values most. Incidents like these taught me that I need to know God much more, and also that many times it will be through other people that God reveals Himself to me (Ep.3:18). We need God, and we also need other people.
Just as high school students imagine that they know everything, some of us may think that once we have received Jesus as our Saviour and get involved in some Christian activities we know all that is there to know. (Of course I am exaggerating it to make a point.) But the truth is that we know so very little. Everyone who pursues after the knowledge of God comes to this conclusion. It is not just that we don't have all the answers to give to the world, but we also don't know enough to manage our own life well.
How many mistakes we make each day, and how much we add to the misery that is already too much for the world! Doesn't this prod us to seek after God more earnestly? On top of this, we find that when we seek to help others in need around us we do not always know what to do or say. Even when we know the right thing we many times lack the power to convince or motivate them.
We need more of God! But are we desperate enough to seek after Him? Casual prayers or occasional retreats cannot take the place of a heart's cry. Keep on seeking, and we shall find (Mt.7:7). Seek for the knowledge of God as if for hidden treasures (Pr.2:4,5). Recognise our need and cry out to God. Listen to God, and listen to Him through His people as they speak and write. Seek God for wisdom to pass on to those who come to us in need, as in the story of the man asking for bread for his visitors (Lk.11:5,6). One of the things that should challenge us is this call from Jesus, "Who then is the faithful and sensible slave whom his master put in charge of his household to give them their food at the proper time?" (Mt.24:45).
Is this only applicable to pastors and such others who are involved in a public ministry? What about when we need wisdom and understanding to deal with the issues that come up in our daily lives? What about it when we come across friends, relatives, colleagues, or strangers who need the salt and light that only we can provide? Don't we 'ordinary' people need something more than what we have now in order to represent our extraordinary God?