Everything we truly know of God comes by revelation of the Holy Spirit. The work of the Holy Spirit is to reveal to us the reality of the mysteries of God. These are in the unseen and eternal realm and as God’s children they are our right to know, but only the Holy Spirit can tell us those realities.
Until the Holy Spirit tells us, God’s unseen and eternal realities seem to be outside of us. So we set out to gain information about them, thinking that if we gain enough information, we can then produce the spiritual life. Some of us have garnered entire libraries to help us gain the spiritual life, as if it were an outside thing-a thing-to be gained by knowledge. Of course, what we ended up with was not much spiritual life, but lots of information about it.
Unfortunately, there’s no relationship between the amount of information we accumulate and the ability to live a spiritual life. But there is a direct correlation between the amount of information we gain and our level of frustration. It’s frustrating to know about something and not be able to know it or live it. It’s frustrating to know something is there and not be able to lay hold of it. It always seems elusive, like the carrot dangling in front of you that you keep chasing but can never grab.
In the things of the Spirit, no amount of know-about gives you the ability to do. Our heart is for God, though, so the more we know about, the greater our desire is to do it, and the more we try to do it. But trying to live the Christian life through our own effort is like trying to put a cube into a spherical hole. It doesn’t fit. The only One who can live the Christian life is Christ. Only His life fits the hole. But we still try to force it to work ourselves, and that becomes very, very frustrating.
We are meant to be frustrated when we are trying to produce something that we are incapable of producing. It’s the goodness of God to let us be frustrated. If God were to interrupt our frustration before we were completely frustrated, we would think, “I’ve learned how to do it. I’m not frustrated anymore.” But we wouldn’t have learned anything. So He says, “Go right on with your program until you have exhausted the library of Christian 1iterature on how to be spiritual. When you have exhausted all of that, when you have come to your end, you are ready to be taught by My Spirit.” At that point, where else do you have to go?
Without revelation knowledge from the Holy Spirit, we’re not going to have an experiential understanding of the unseen and eternal realities that are ours. Why does God make this so difficult? Don’t ask me! It really isn’t difficult, except that we are raised in the seen and temporal realm, and that makes the unseen and eternal realm seem difficult, because we have to unlearn and be broken away from the first realm for the second to become reality to us.
This is God’s plan. Our battles in the visible realm force us to finally ask the right question. Until we recognize that the right question doesn’t focus on the externals of life, we’re never going to experience the unseen and eternal. When we finally realize that the right question has to do with the life within us, then the Holy Spirit will come alone with an answer.
The Spirit teaches us by bringing us to the place where we begin asking spirit questions instead of flesh questions. Spirit questions are questions from desperation. They arise when you reach the end of all flesh questions. When we finally ask a spirit question, the Holy Spirit will give us an answer. It’s interesting how quickly the answer comes once you ask the right question. Because the answer always is present tense. All we have to do is catch up with the answer. We catch up with Who already is. The answer is a Person who lives in us.
From: Stone, Dan, The Rest of the Gospel: When the partial Gospel has worn you out. Dallas: One Press. 2000. pgs 122,123.