There is a lake near my home and it is my favourite place to walk. I have walked around it dozens and dozens of times, in hot sunshine and in rain. I have been around it so many times that I know the path like the back of my hand.
But sometimes I like to take my camera and try and find views and scenes that I have never noticed before. I like to explore the smaller paths that wind between the rhododendrons and camellias and look for something new to photograph.
It is the same lake, of course, but there is always a fresh angle or a new perspective waiting to be discovered. And, the more I discover, the more I love it.
I think knowing God is like that.
If I am going to live carefully and wisely, as described in Ephesians 5.15-17, if I am going to understand and grasp God’s will, I have to always remember that I don’t know everything. There is always more.
God is bigger than my particular political persuasion or my preferred church denomination. He is bigger than my own personal view of the world.
That is one of the reasons that we need each other.
In Romans chapter 12, we see that we are all gifted in different ways and in verse 5 it says, ‘we being many are one in Christ and individually members of one another.’ The New Living Translation says, ‘we are all different but we depend on each other.’
One of the ways in which Christians depend on each other is for the different perspectives we each bring.
It is so easy to read things we already know and to only spend time with people who are just like us. When we do that, we are missing out because we often learn the most from those who are different from us.
This doesn’t come naturally though. It can feel uncomfortable and vulnerable. It involves listening more and never being so set in our ways that we can’t learn something new about God from someone else.
If you are a bit of a bookworm like me, someone who is always reading and writing and thinking, it might be time to hang out with a Christian who serves the needy in more practical ways. Watch and learn as they get their hands dirty and love others with actions, not just words.
If your natural inclination is towards serving other Christians in church, you could dare to spend the day with an evangelist. Their love for the lost will infuse you and challenge you and change you.
If prayer isn’t your thing, find a friend who is a committed intercessor. Listen to the passion they have for prayer and let them lift your faith with their tales of God’s supernatural answers.
If you have been a Christian for a long time, nothing will refresh and revive you like the energy of a new believer. It is so sincere and pure and totally contagious. If you are newer to the faith, find a mature Christian and just watch them. See how they live life, make decisions and raise a family. Ask them anything you don’t understand. Follow them as they follow Christ.
Don’t read the same authors or go to the same conferences all the time. Try something a little different. As long as it is Biblical, learn from someone with a new perspective. It really is life-changing.
Don’t spend your life just re-enforcing what you already know and believe. Look to learn every day. This is how we grow.
We must always remind ourselves that there are things about God we do not know or understand yet, however long we have been Christians. God has so much truth to reveal to you and so much new beauty for you to enjoy. There is treasure you haven’t found in the Bible yet and ways of praying you have never thought of.
This Creator God we call Father is indescribable and uncontainable and it takes a lifetime to scratch the surface of His goodness and love.
There is so much to seek, to chase and to discover in God.
And God promises that whenever we seek more of Him, we find more of Him.