Everyone is busy with knowledge. Even youngsters want to know everything. Grownups too are overwhelmed with the desire of learning more…
With regards to people, most importantly is the issue of what they actually want to know!? And do they get correct information, is it as well useful or harmful knowledge?
The major source of information for most people is talking of others, press releases in addition to some media or satellite channels.
My advice concerning all kinds of those sources is as follows:
Do not believe all what is said or written…
Every person should pick properly the source of his information which should be reliable and never to accept any kind of information expect by wisely analyzing and thinking carefully first about it.
Some people are eager to know their future. Future is within the hands of God, though they seek other deviated procedures…
They search their luck, they go for sources like palm reading and other ways…they sometimes rely on what the stars tell them as what is written in newspapers everyday…ways which no reasonable man believes in and whoever goes for those ways might be mislead to the hands of sorceries…
Knowing what your future holds is never through those kinds of procedures; your future is within your own hands and also within the hands of God’s grace: it is within your own hands through your way of work, how you think and how you manage. Your future is also within the hands of God’s grace as regards the grace which you are granted that keeps you from evil and guide you through…
Speaking about kinds of knowledge, try to find the knowledge which benefits you, which builds up your culture and your spiritualities…
- There are harmful kinds of knowledge which might mislead you and invades your mind with doubtful or sinful lusts, a wise man once said about such knowledge: “he whose knowledge increases; his sorrow as well increases”.
- There is another kind of knowledge which is trying to learn more about other people’s life and how they behave, many people are interested in such kind of information and it doesn’t do any good, it rather might push this person into sinful gossip about other people and their reputation.
- There are other kinds of knowledge about which a wise man once said: “we are busy with trying to know matters which no one in the last day will blame us for being ignorant about!!”… it is that kind of knowledge which are neither useful nor harmful, matters of no significance that are related to this perishing world we live in, things which only waste our time…
- There are other kinds of knowledge which are above and beyond our intellectual level…which we might get lost if we seek them!!
Example of which are those kinds of knowledge related to intellectual search of Oreganos who was the greatest theologian at his time, it led him to falling into heresies for which he was then expelled from the church, and at the end of his days he himself said: “Oh great pillar, how did you fall?!”…
The apostle says “to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly” (Romans 12:3). As every person has a certain degree of recognition, and its not good for him to go beyond that degree and that is why the apostle conclude his advice saying “as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith” (Romans 12:3).
And so, it is good for a person to seek acknowledgment of the truth, searching for his own correct way of life which suits him.
And that what we learn from the Psalms as we pray: “Show me Your ways, O Lord; teach me Your paths”, “lead me in a smooth path”.
Acknowledgment of the truth and getting to know ways which lead to it is one of the most important things in a man’s life as the bible says :” There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death” (Proverbs 14:12) and is repeated in (Proverbs 16:25). And that’s because there are misleading ways of thought and misleading ways of the devils.
We ask the Lord to let us know His ways, to save us from the misleading ways of our own and of devil wars.
Acknowledgment of God is the kind of knowledge which we ought to seek first, in the Divine Liturgy Prayer we say: And game me the learning of Your knowledge.
Indeed, we know so little about God… God is infinite and our minds are not, our realization ability is limited as well, so how would it be for our bounded ability to be spacious enough for the unlimited!
That is why the Lord God says to the Father: “O righteous Father! The world has not known You, but I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me. And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them” (Jn 17:25-26).
Truly, the world hasn’t known the Lord…
The Gentiles didn’t know Him, those who worshipped idols, spirits and numerous Gods also didn’t know the Lord…the Jews didn’t know Him despite sacrifices and burnt offerings which they gave to the lord, they also celebrated feasts they fastened and they prayed! Finally God said about them: “I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against Me; the ox knows its owner and the donkey its master’s crib; but Israel does not know, my people do not consider” (Is 1:2, 3).
Holy Bible records the world’s acknowledgement of God as:
“He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him” (Jn.1:10)
Christ’s disciples, the saints who were with Him for a long time, they as well didn’t know Him. God said to His disciple Philip: “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip?” (Jn 14:9). And said to His disciples: “If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also” (Jn 14:7).
And for that the Lord God says to the Father about them “And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it…” (Jn 17:26).
Paul the apostle who served more than any of the apostles and who was granted to witness many heavenly revelations and who was also caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words which it is not lawful for a man to utter (2 Co 12:4)… St. Paul says about acknowledgement of God” Now I know in part” (1 Co 13:12) “For now we see in a mirror, dimly…”
So if St. Paul knows only in part so how much would it be our own acknowledgement of God?!
Complete acknowledgment of God or even seeking this kind of acknowledgment will be only in eternity…
And so the Lord God said” And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God” (Jn .)17:3
In eternity, when we will take off this terrestrial body and put on celestial bodies instead (1 Co 15), hence we will commence truly to acknowledge God…God will widen our hearts and broaden our thoughts so that we might know Him better, we will be then stunned and amazed to the extent that we will not be able to acknowledge anymore…we remain like that for a while then God comes back, widens our hearts and thoughts more so that we can get to know Him more, hence we will be increasingly stunned and amazed on witnessing more of this glory and beauty until we say enough…enough we can’t take it any more…and this goes on and on but till when?
The Lord says “And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God…”
Here on Earth, how would our acknowledgment of God be?
Is it just an intellectual kind of acknowledgment, is it just reading theology books and listening to sermons, is it by saying the Orthodox creed? All that is not enough.
True acknowledgment of God is actually the practical kind of acknowledgment; by means of experience which the Psalm says about it “taste and see that the Lord is good” (Ps 34:8), so how would that be?
We know the Lord through His work with us; as individuals and as congregation…
We get to know the Lord through His work with us during afflictions and trials…
All doors would be closed and only then one path is opened which is that of God, as St. John said in the revelation “I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven” (Rv 4:1), as the Lord promised “I open, and now one shuts…”
And hence we sing with the chanter and say: “If it had not been the Lord who was on our side, when men rose up against us, then they would have swallowed us alive” “Our soul has escaped as a bird from the snare of the fowlers; the snare is broken, and we have escaped.
Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth” (Ps 124).
Remember my brother all afflictions you went through, your family or the church, remember what did God do and how He interfered at that time so that you would acknowledge the tenderhearted hands of the Lord and His compassionate heart so you get to know Him better through what He had done.
Remember God’s loving kindnesses with you and with others so that you would get to acknowledge Him …
David the Prophet remembered God’s loving kindnesses and chanted “Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy name Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits Who forgives all your iniquities, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from destruction…” We acknowledge by these words more about God, all what He does with us and His many loving kindness…you could also do the same as David…
See how God dealt with His saints in the bible and in history books see also how did the Lord treat even the wicked.
We do know the Lord from His way of dealing with people…contemplate in His story with Daniel and with Jonah, with Josef the righteous…then you would know the loving God, who forgives, who helps and who never forgets His sons. God was with Josef in prison, with Jonah inside the belly of the great fish, with Daniel in the lion’s den and with the three young men in the furnace of fire.
Truly Godو who is like You?! No one resembles you..!!
Brother, if you live the life of righteousness, God will reveal Himself to you and get you to know Him better. But if you live apart from Him, so how would you know Him?!
Saint John the apostle says “He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him” (1 Jn 2:4, 5).
At this point I would like to tell you an important phrase for spiritual life:
If you love God, you will get to know Him. And if you know God then you will love Him.
Start with either ways and hence you will get to the other.