When someone testifies at the end of an Ellel course, “I really know God loves me”, it’s one of the most precious things they can say. They may not have received the specific healing they were seeking, it might be that in one sense nothing has changed for them, yet, when the awe and wonder expressed in the famous Charles Wesley hymn, fills a person’s heart, everything changes:
And can it be …
Amazing love! How can it be,
That Thou, My God, should’st die for me?
What brings about such a radical transformation? What facilitates that deep knowing in our heart that through the shed blood of Jesus we really are unconditionally loved, and that by His Spirit our Heavenly Father really is with us and for us, whatever we might be facing?
It’s not about gaining more head knowledge. After all, the Pharisees had all the theology, but when Jesus healed the man who was born blind, they were more concerned that He had violated their legalistic Sabbath rules than they were about the wonderful miracle He had performed. And as Jesus went on to talk about Himself as the Good Shepherd, we are told ‘the Pharisees did not understand what He was telling them’ (John 10:6). The Pharisees knew every letter of the law, but they completely missed the heart of Jesus and the heart of the Father.
Perhaps the key for us, is giving our Heavenly Father time … setting aside quality time for Him to impart, not head knowledge, but heart knowledge: those powerful truths of who He is and who we are in Him, so that they really permeate our inner being. Learning to recognise and know His voice. Taking steps in growing in hearing that ‘still, small voice’ above all the noise and commotion of the world, above the busyness of our lives and above the noise of our emotions that can be full of things like: fears and worries, anxiety, and the pain and hurts in our lives.
Jesus, reflecting the heart of the Father, spoke about the sheep listening to His voice, how He calls each one by name and leads them out to the rich pastures of the abundant life He provides, how He goes ahead of them, not driving them from behind and how His sheep follow Him because they know His voice. We have such a caring, personal Heavenly Father, who doesn’t just want us to know about Him, He longs for us to hear Him and really know Him.
Perhaps today He is calling us to set aside time, to allow Him to impart more of His precious truth into our hearts: the truth that through Jesus you truly are His adopted child and how He longs for you to have that assurance of acceptance and belonging in your heart in a yet deeper way, and knowing that you are completely safe and unconditionally loved in Him. The Pharisees knew far more theology than the man born blind, but they didn’t know the Father. But the healed blind man met with Jesus and truly knew the Fatherheart of God.
Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You know my name, You’re not forgetful, and You’re calling me to spend quality time with You, to allow You to speak Your truth into my heart. Please help me to stop in the tracks of the busy-ness of my life, to take time to drink in Your Word, to hear Your voice, and to allow You to freshly root the truth of Your love into the deepest places of my heart, so that I may willingly follow You with that unwavering trust of the sheep following their shepherd, wherever You lead me. In Jesus' name, Amen.
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