Vizions - Introduction to Being Led by the Spirit

Greetings friends,

It has long been in my heart, to share enlightenment that God’s mercy and grace has allowed me to experience, I do find that elucidating His truth is not as easy as putting keyboard to email (ahh the days of pen to paper, how simple life was back then! :slight_smile: ).

I find that as God’s truth is revealed, my tongue cleaves to the roof of my mouth and I cannot utter words that are suitable - albeit, the Spirit chooses for me to savor the experience with days, weeks even months of prayer and meditation, both in natural and systematical theology - before I have any semblance of relating God’s truth. Now I do understand why A.W.Tozer said, “listen to no man who first does not listen to God.”

There is a joy unspeakable that comes with God’s revelations. I often wondered is this what C.S. Lewis experienced with his senschuct, his deep longing for joy.

I trust many of you have experienced this, experiences that augment your spiritual development, whereby you are being led by the Holy Spirit and not by your carnal understanding (1 Cor 2:14). I have wrestled this in conjunction with society’s standards of having credentials by attaining degrees (2 Tim 2:15), but does the world really need me to have a sharper mind?

First, I do advocate getting as much education as possible, I myself am finishing a master’s degree in Theology, yet, I am well aware that my goal is not in attaining a sharper mind/degree but in having the heart of Christ since it is the heart where our actions should flow, not our mind.

There is an intrinsic problem here however, and after decades of study, prayer, mediation, falling on my face, going in the wrong direction I find: What lies in the heart must first pass through the mind, but what lies in the mind, rarely passes to the heart.

For example, it is very easy to emulate Christianity from the outside - our actions - especially with much knowledge, where we act look like Christ without the heart of Christ and in so doing we are not being led by The Holy Spirit.

A few thoughts: I believe the mind is the starting place, not the finishing place. I teach a bible study course to the senior men of my church and the philosophy of the courses rest on the following premise: There are basically 4 stages of Christian Maturity :

  1. Little or no knowledge of bible/scripture

  2. Knowledge

  3. Wisdom

  4. Spirit Led (Compassion[love]) - this is where we should be Rom 8:14

If I teach a course and all you get out of it is knowledge without wisdom, and if you have wisdom but not love, then I am failing to comprehend the depths of God’s riches for you!

We are all familiar with the basic problem: we need a new heart Ezk 11:19, and without it, we can do nothing (John 15:5)

So, here is the secondary problem: How to be led by the Holy Spirit, moving from knowledge to wisdom, wisdom to Compassion[love] by The Holy Spirit. Note: I use the word Compassion as ultimately it is Agape Love, but our society conjures up so many wrong thoughts when you read the word love, but compassion aptly conveys our deep care and concern especially for others.

I look forward to hearing your insights, feedback and perspectives as well as adding Part I - Renewing Your Mind.

Keeping all of you on this site in my prayers for peace, mercy and grace that all should know the joy of The Lord, even in the midst of extreme stressful situations.

God bless my friends,
Jae

2 Likes

Hi Jae! Thanks for sharing with us what you’re encouraged about having learned lately. Are there any specific questions you had for us? Is there anything you think others here might be able to help you with regarding what you’ve shared here?

1 Like

Greetings Brian, thanks for reaching out! After a long sabbatical of studies, designing software systems and writing a book it indeed is a joy to be back participating on the forum, I enjoyed my studies here and interacting with the brethren.

I hope to share any insights that The Lord has given me to those who might be hurting, seeking questions, or just wanting to share their knowledge as well.

The sites looks wonderful, much better than when I was on here before, ha ha, hats off to you all as you continue to do a wonderful job helping Christians think and helping thinkers believe. I guess an initial question is, do you find you have more academia (thinkers) on here or more believers? Also, what about atheists, agnostics, etc.

Have a blessed day,
Jae

1 Like

I’m encouraged to hear you’ve returned to a site that you think looks better than before. Thanks for letting us know your thoughts there. That’s meaningful and helpful to learn.

Good questions! We’re honored and grateful that there are some who are here in Connect who are considering the truth claims of Christ and Christianity.

And with respect to your question on whether there are more thinkers or more believers on here, I’m interested, do you find these two groups exclusive from one another?

1 Like

Brian, due to the fact that in America, our politics have become quite polemic and the very nature of believing in God often elicits vehement dialogue so sadly, I would say yes, believers and thinkers generally are mutually exclusive, but not necessarily always - I like to take exception where I can.

For instance, David Berlinski is quite the brilliant thinker and though he does not believe, he is at least, pragmatic and practical to a point that there are valid questions that science cannot answer. The problem in America is that Christians are dwindling and those who state they are Christians are not strong in their faith and are also, weak in their theology and it seems quite set in their ways.

I should highly recommend that many, many churches out there encourage their members to join this site and participate and broaden their worldview. I for one champion RZIM and often point to my students to participate in all RZIM offerings. You guys/gals are doing a great job and I am on the sidelines cheering for you! :slight_smile:

Hi, @Jae_Charles_Call-
I’m curious in what your definition of ‘thinker’ and ‘believer’ is. :slight_smile: All humans both think and believe, so I find it interesting that you polarise the two.

Greetings Kathleen, aha! (Not the musical group, lol ) I perceive as an RZIM moderator, that this is a test to see why I am polarizing thinkers and believers as both think and believe! I shall supply an initial answer but first, as one of my professor’s taught me early on in my studies, he responds to a question with a question (I love the Socratic approach): I should like to ask you, Did you ask Ravi the same thing? ha ha for you see, I am merely restating what RZIM Mission and Vision states: (https://ca.rzim.org/about/mission-and-vision/). :slight_smile: which I must admit, I quite agree with.

To elaborate, I myself am in an intellectual profession (Software Architect) and it is more the rule than the exception that my colleagues (in many cases are foreigners) are either Atheist, Agnostic or believe in other religions besides Christianity. They are quite intellectual and ask some very pertinent, interesting questions and they honestly want insight. I bring up the story of Gandhi who visited a church and the disastrous results he experienced. I thank God thank I have an opportunity to talk with them from an Apologetic point of view but always aware that it is ultimately his heart that I hope to connect with.

Now on the other side, in my local church, many folks are not well educated, sometimes not even finishing high school. These folks do not understand what a worldview is, nor do they know much beyond what they learned from a child. Yet, at the same time, the retired folks and older folks, although some of them have college, they too have a very limited worldview if any.

My hope and goal, when I teach my bible classes, is to instill in them a sense of wonder, awe and inquisitiveness, to challenge what they know and why. To get at the deeper issues of both the mind and heart. Ultimately, the heart is the key, for I am an avid believer in that it is wonderful to have an amazing mind but if there is no heart of compassion, then what value am I truly? (1 Cor 13) - is much louder as if I do not have love I am nothing.

So that it my 10,000 ft view, hope I did not ostracize anyone on the way, in my heart I esteem others far better than myself for God has allowed me to know my own weaknesses and it is not a pretty picture, I should prefer to remain here at the end of the line where I belong. :slight_smile:

Peace and grace

Jae, I’m encouraged by and thankful for your confidence in this ministry. And I join you in gratitude that God continues to be pleased to use RZIM for the sake of the gospel.

With respect to thinkers versus believers, I’m interested to learn, would you consider Ravi a thinker?

1 Like

Now Brian, surely there is a question for the ages!

Beyond a doubt, I am so thankful, that there is a man, whom I know God has appointed for this day and age, that like the prophets of old, with resounding vigor, truth, understanding, compassion and resolve, a giant, not unlike David, who stands firm against the most brilliant minds of our time and time and again, and reaffirms God’s truths intellectually as well as compassionately.

So how could I answer without a resounding “YES!”, but to state there are not enough words to describe my joy, appreciation, admiration for a brilliant thinker like Ravi and I am so proud that he has defended Christianity time and again.

Surely God continues to bless Ravi, his ministry, his staff and I for one, shall continue to pray for all of you for the mighty work you are doing!

Just Amazing! :slight_smile:

1 Like