God provided faith comes by hearing and accepting as we listen intently to the breathed utterance and loving narrative about Jesus (Rom 10:17 Lance Literal Translation).
I’ve always been a left brain person. I love to figure things out. It is exciting when I have a thought or think about a problem differently and out pops the answer. I am elated when I finally find where that “one-of-a-thousand puzzle pieces” fit. I am perplexed however in the search while I think and think and look and look and tilt my head a certain way and look at the cover again and arrange the pieces by shape again… maybe you can relate. But things are changing in my life. As I listen to the Holy Spirit and He teaches me about abiding He has shown me what that looks like when I am cooperating with Him and what it looks like when I am struggling in my own effort. One is surrender the other is control. One is dependence and the other is independence. One is life and the other is strife. One is rest and the other is restlessness. If the knowledge of the nature of God is like a puzzle (not saying it is) then abiding is He reveals the pieces and where they go. If I try to figure it out based on my wisdom, it will be wrong or at least a cheap imitation of a shadowy perspective. Let me say it different and I hope you aren’t offended. In my effort, based on my wisdom it is only ink on paper.
I believe when our human wisdom dominates we become unaware or disregard or become hardened to the rhema breath of the Holy Spirit. Look again at Peter. When he was hearing, believing, agreeing and confessing what the Holy Spirit had revealed it becomes the very foundation of the church of which even hell can’t shake. But when Peter was operating from his own wisdom it was met with rebuke (get behind me satan).
1 Cor 8:1 says knowledge puffs up but love edifies. The phrase “puff up” has the idea of being filled with pride, self effort which continues to grow and take root. The word “edifies” is to be a builder like in construction, building a foundation. Later in the same passage Paul talks about the difference between perception (eido) and to know intimately (ginosko). 2 If anyone imagines that he knows (eido) something, he does not yet know (ginosko) as he ought to know (ginosko). Paul ends with this truth: 3 to love God is to be known (ginosko) by God. Paul is saying that knowledge from self is only perception. The love of God actually builds us up in the Spirit, rock foundations (Mat 7:24). Loving God as He has already loved us (1 John 4:7-12) is to be known, be a beloved of God. 3 But if one loves God truly [[a]with affectionate reverence, prompt obedience, and grateful recognition of His blessing], he is known by God [[b]recognized as worthy of His intimacy and love, and he is owned by Him] AMP.
Ok that is the backdrop. Now go look at Peter again. He gets a glimpse of the love of God in Jesus the messiah. He denies Jesus and is crushed under the weight of the truth that he just can’t do it on his own. The tough, bold “wise” Peter falls under the weight of self effort, pride. He comes to the end of himself as he weeps bitterly. Then Jesus does what He does best. He restores Peter (John 21). His question “do you love Me” is what 1 Cor 8:3 is all about.
That is a lot of background to say this: If you are operating from human wisdom (even your favorite commentator) and aren’t seeking revelation, I believe you are actually restricting the Holy Spirit from fanning the fire of the love of God – Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit loves to brag about God’s Son. He loves to reveal God’s love for His Son and how proud He is for what He did. He does that by declaring what the finished work accomplished. Then Rom 10:17 is a continuous dialog of the loving nature of God as revealed in Jesus. Can you see it? From there we can believe in what God says about us. When the Holy Spirit brags about how much He loves His son He is talking about us too. We are the beloved. We are His children. All because of what Jesus did. Now that is a rhema selah!
2 thoughts on “Puffed up or edified?”
First off, where do I buy an LLT… That was AWESOME!
The Lord has been showing me for months that I need to “Relax” in His word. That, more often than not, what I read or hear is pretty bloomin simple. It says what it says and I shouldn’t dig any deeper than that. Does that mean I shouldn’t study? Of course not!
Love Him, Love me, Love you… How tough is that!!!