Following on from this Sunday’s talk where we looked at Paul and his Spirit-led life, I wanted to put some thoughts down that hopefully will be helpful.
The first point is that Paul had knowledge of God. He got this because he studied and applied himself to gaining that understanding. Recently we have been at home because of further government restrictions so, during this time, I have spent more time with my children. My youngest, Ellie, has been doing her schoolwork and making use of the time in between to do constructive things. I have been amazed at how quickly she learns when she applies herself to do something. When she is practicing her guitar, I join in. She can learn a whole section very quickly and remember it. She has also set herself the challenge to learn sign language and again I am amazed at how quickly she gets her head around it. When we are motivated and focussed, we will achieve far more than we realise. It is worth pursuing gaining knowledge of God.
The second point was that knowledge itself does not account for everything. Paul did not sit around theologizing, rather he lived out his theology in his day-to-day life through the experiences he encountered. He was led by the Spirit, often through his conscience, to reveal the truth. Ellie can spend all day learning words to sign but until she puts it into sentences and practices in ever-increasing real situations, she will only progress so far. It is as the rubber hits the road that we find out if what we have learnt makes any difference.
I think this is important in our current situation! We must face difficulties and be able to put into practice what we stand for. This doesn’t mean we deny what we feel but rather, we can be led to do something better with it.
Paul gives us a good example. The combination of his knowledge, faith in God and obedience to the Spirit meant that Paul was able to reveal to the world what it means to live as a Christian. I want my knowledge of God to increase and my experiences of Him to ever deepen as I continue to learn and live out my theology.