“Get a Jewish education and then you will see that it is impossible to believe in Jesus!” A Orthodox Jewish man yells at me as I film him interacting with a Jews for Jesus missionary. I couldn’t help myself I retort back “Tell that to Paul!” The orthodox man looks confused. I’m sure he has no idea who Paul is but oh well it made sense. Paul was a Jew of Jews, a persecutor of the early Church turned preacher. The coolest conversion story ever. Paul was a Rabbi who, soon after the death and resurrection of Jesus, took the initiative to imprison believers in Jesus, other Jews. At this time his name was Saul and everyone knew about him. He was the champion of the religious and according to his own righteousness he was able to judge those who were not religious, specifically Christians. Saul was as educated as any Rabbi could be, He knew the law and he knew how to keep the law according to his Rabbis. But something happened to Saul that rocked his world.
More than getting knocked of his horse, Saul was completely transformed instantly by God through the appearance of Jesus. What changes? Saul becomes Paul, he is no longer trusted by the Jewish community and for a while he is not trusted by Christians either. Paul has been completely humbled by Jesus. His world view has been shattered and replaced by God’s view. Paul becomes the property of God to bring the Gospel to the Gentiles (Nations.) This task seems so daunting especially when the Nations have no concept of God or Jesus or anything other than worshiping the tangible things around them. Looking at Paul reminds me that it is not our power that we can convince anyone about God, it is in fact God who bends down and reveals who He is through scripture. Paul never added his own two-cents to the Gospel. Paul knew scripture, he was educated in it. When he came to faith Scripture did not change neither did his education. What changed was that a spiritual veil had been removed and Paul was given a Godly perspective.
This finally brings me to my point!!!!! You can be educated until you die and read all the smartest books and learn from the wisest teachers, BUT until God removes the veil and gives you His perspective on things you know nothing. The key to knowing God is seeking His face through prayer, reading of scripture, and earnestly seeking Him. Here is how it starts, Jesus said “I am the Way the Truth and the Life, no one comes to the Father except through the Son” Believe that what Jesus is saying here is true. This is called Faith. Faith grows and as it grows it becomes more secure as you see prayers being answered and you see God revealing Himself through scripture.
So here is my challenge to you. Is your faith in Jesus? Or are you trying to reach God in your own power or through spirituality, religiosity, or how ever your community tells you? If you are living by faith how does this bear fruit?
Following God is not a formula, it is a relationship.