I love reading devotionals to start my day.
I have several that show up like clockwork each morning on my iPad. I have a couple of devotional books that I try really hard to keep up with each day. And, of course, there are always words of wisdom be found within my Twitter feed throughout the day.
I thoroughly enjoy reading the thoughts of other believers as they share their life experiences both good and bad.
I enjoy books as well, so a few days ago I was reading John Bevere’s new book Good or God? In it he was illustrating the difference between communicated knowledge and revealed knowledge.
He explained the difference in these two types of knowledge using the story in Genesis of Adam, Eve and that whole eating the fruit fiasco.
I thought I knew that story quite well, but John pointed out a fact that seems to be ALWAYS overlooked. My understanding of the turn of events in the Garden was that God revealed to both Adam and Eve that they were not to eat of the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.
Remember God spoke the restriction of eating the fruit to Adam in Genesis 2:17. Now here was the game changer for me – Eve wasn’t created until Genesis 2:22.
That means Eve wasn’t even born when God put the restriction on the Tree!
If we move to Genesis 3, we find Eve chatting with the serpent. She tells him in verse 2 that God said, “You must not eat the fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it or you will die.”
The first thing to notice here is that nowhere in Scripture is it recorded God said not to touch the fruit, He only told Adam not to eat the fruit.
The second thing to notice is how did Eve know about the restriction in the first place if she wasn’t around when God put the limits on their food sources?
Eve learned of the restriction through communicated knowledge probably when walking through the Garden with Adam one day. He might have casually said to her,“Oh, see that tree over there. Apparently it is pretty special so God said not to eat the fruit on it.”
Somewhere between the time Adam gave the no-eat tree news to Eve and the time Eve was deceived by the serpent, God’s revealed words were lost in the interpretation.
Adam was given knowledge about an aspect of the Garden that literally was spiritual life and death. When Adam heard directly from God, His truth penetrated Adams heart and spirit.
I think the serpent knew that revelation knowledge could not be deceived.
I think the serpent spoke to Eve alone because he knew communicated knowledge could be deceived.
Now going back to my daily devotions I enjoy reading…
All of the devotions represent communicated knowledge, but I am not saying they will not contain words of wisdom based on what God reveal to authors’ hearts. I do think this is a very important way God communicates to us – through the insights of fellow believers.
However, I believe we sell ourselves short when only seek the words of someone else’s ‘revealed inspiration’ from God.
God desperately wants to be in an intimate conversation with all of His children – that means you and me.
He desires to reveal Himself to us in the unique way that only we would understand based on how He designed us and the season He has us in now.
When we rely solely on what the documented revelation God has given to another, we risk missing what He wants to whisper in our own hearts.
Now I do not want to imply that devotionals or hearing insights of others is bad because they are not. They do play an important role in our spiritual growth.
I am saying that when we make it a habit of also opening up our Bibles, reading His Word, meditating on the scripture before us, and then asking the Holy Spirit to reveal to us, amazing things usually happen.
If we are in a rhythm of reading devotionals each day, then we are capable of becoming accustomed to reading the Bible every day.
When God speaks directly to us, He is revealing His desire to be in a personal relationship with us.
When our hearts and minds are bathed with the direct thoughts of God, we are able to discern the world’s deception, especially as it relates to what is trying to pass itself off as truth within the Christian faith.
Enjoy the thoughts and insight of fellow brothers and sisters in faith, but also know God desires to speak directly to you as well.