Hungry Hearts

A Bible Study of Men who Hunger for the Lord

​A bi-monthly group led by Gary Ott diving verse-by-verse into the Scripture. The Hungry Hearts digest God's truths, discuss the abundant Life found in the person of Christ, and reflect on the transformation of living by grace through faith. 

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      A Vision of 2 Cor. 11:1-4

Oh, to be sensitive to your Spirit!

To cease striving, be still, and know that you are God. (Ps 46:10)

Sometimes, due to the clamor of the world, the desires of the flesh and the direct attacks of the devil, we move internally away from intimate communion with You.  And it’s just that that gives us power to overcome the other!  This vicious circle syndrome could certainly take us down through numbness into deadness if it wasn’t for our oneness with Christ.

Thank you for the organic union you have wrought through our new birth whereby we became partakers of your divine nature.(2 Pet 1:2-4)  You will never leave us or forsake us. You will discipline us, if necessary, and take the initiative in breaking that vicious circle in order to fill us with the knowledge of your will and enable us to fulfill it.

Intimate communion with You, how many of us avail ourselves of the privilege?

To think for a moment that any worldly pleasure could even approach the tremendous satisfaction of experiencing You is absurd!  And in light of the fact that You are the one who gives us all things to enjoy, it’s even more absurd to seek after anything other than You.  Every good and perfect gift we have or ever will have is from you. And what do we have, that’s worth having, that we did not receive from You?  Nothing!  And knowing and believing what Jesus said in Matt 6:33, “ But keep on seeking first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things ( such as food, shelter, clothing, occupation, money, mate, and achievement; as well as love, joy, peace, wisdom and power) shall be added unto you”.  On the basis of that statement alone, backed by Your character and the veracity of You Word, we would be crazy to substitute seeking any of these lesser important things for seeking after You.

Seeking you, however, is sometimes remote to our feelings and seems such an indirect method of achieving the satisfaction we want or the material thing we need.  You say we, the Gentiles, out of the futility of our minds, spend the majority of our time seeking after the very things you want to give us. What a paradox!  For You say we have not, because we ask not!  How simple and humbling!  We think, in ignorance of Your way, that everything we want we must get for ourselves.  And if we bothered to come to You, we sometimes assume that what we want would be considered by You to be illegitimate and therefore wrong to want it, because we have concluded erroneously that You are some kind of cosmic killjoy!  So, we run around seeking after the very things you would gladly give us. It’s the “seeking after” that messes up our lives.  For if we move out to get our needs met on our own, the very things we go after and get sour once obtained and become sources of dissatisfaction and pain.  The thing or the experience we want is usually not the issue, but the “seeking after”. Certainly there are illegitimate things and experiences, but they are sought after, as a rule, to satisfy legitimate needs and desires.

Paul says, “ I wish that you would bear with me in a little foolishness; but indeed you are bearing with me.” He knows that what the Spirit is about to say through him is going to sound stupid when it comes to the means by which we get our needs met, so suspend your rational thinking for a minute and put on the filter of childlike faith and listen to what is about to be said.  “For I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy; for I betrothed you to one husband, so that to Christ I might present you as a pure virgin.” (2 Cor 11:1-2)

So, Paul sets up an analogy that everyone would be familiar with; in the same way that it would be wrong for a virgin to go outside of her betrothed to get her sexual needs met, it is wrong for us to go outside of Christ to get any of our needs met.  Clearly, Christ is our husband, our provider and as the Scripture says, “for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God (Exodus 34:14) and we would obviously provoke Him to jealousy, as a virgin would her betrothed, if we go to some other source, or methodology, to get our needs met.  So, Paul then says, “ But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of Christ.”  Where do we go or what do we turn to when a pressing need is weighing in on us?  The Spirit made it clear to Paul and to us through Paul; “your MIND”!  Satan told Eve if she ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, she would be wise, become like God and be able to live life successfully by means of her own capacity to reason and make sound decisions.  So, too, in like manner, we, as Christians, can be led astray from the “simplicity” and “purity” of having our needs met by Jesus Christ as we occupy our minds with Him.  Its so simple, it sounds “too good to be true” and its pure because it is unmixed with our mental and volitional effort.  Its sounds foolish to believe that practical needs can be met by focusing our time and attention on “growing in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ”, but that is the operational mode of the Christian Life.

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