“Your mistake is that you don’t know the Scriptures, and you don’t know the power of God.”
What an insulting indictment Jesus handed to the religious leaders of His day. They may have been proud of their knowledge of the Scriptures and yet He was saying that these leaders really didn’t understand them. They did NOT have the experiential knowledge of the power of God.
When we are not really CONNECTING to the LIVING GOD, what we end up with is “religion.”
Religion is pretty easy for any of us to FALL into isn’t it?
Addressing the Pharisees another time, Jesus said,
“You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that TESTIFY about ME; and you are unwilling to COME TO ME so that you may have life.”
While the Pharisees were experts in the Scriptures, Jesus saw that they were studying for the WRONG reasons.
The Scriptures have been given to LEAD US TO GOD.
Yes, they are His words to us and carry His full authority, but He wants us to have a PERSONAL relationship with Him, not just a book or a religious system. While the Bible certainly is a ROAD MAP, God has given us the Holy Spirit as a GUIDE to INTERPRET the MAP.
Have you ever been told not to seek experiences? Sure. And there is good reason for that advice. However, God does want us to experience HIM.
What is wrong with a life-changing experience with God?
Dear God, I want to CONNECT with YOU when I read the Scriptures. And I desperately need life-changing experiences with You. Forgive me for slipping into religious mode at times. I really want an authentic relationship. I will practice Your presence while I go about my work. Let’s talk while we walk! Amen.
(shared by Barry Wissler, Ephrata Community Church, PA)