Most who follow God, fit into one of two groups. I was recently pondering these two typical perspectives the Word describes — not including the casual observer, spectator & devoted bystander group.
There are those who are contented with an enthusiastic, fervent approach to some spiritual things, but without a depth of knowledge of the Word. There are even more folks who willingly accumulate spiritual knowledge (and often pride themselves in their wisdom) yet without any accompanying fire or real passion for the Lord.
Rom 10:2 AMP speaks of those who “have a zeal and enthusiasm for God, but it is not enlightened and according to [correct and vital] knowledge.” Yet, we also know that zealous, fervent fire is required, as Paul underscores 2 chapters later, “Never lag in zeal and in earnest endeavor; be aglow and burning with the Spirit, serving the Lord.” (Rom 12:11 AMP)
Similarly, while we know the vital nature of spiritual knowledge, there are many who are “…ever learning but never able to come to the knowledge of the Truth,” 2Tim.3:7. The AMP says: “forever inquiring and getting information, but are never able to arrive at a recognition and knowledge of the Truth.” (Described 2 vss before as a powerless “form of godliness.”) […forever gathering info, but never knowing personally and intimately the Truth.]
Neither is exclusive. Neither is acceptable in and of itself, apart from the vital accompaniment of the other.
This thought process brought me to this Acts 18:25 reference to the ministry of Apollos. “He had been instructed in the way of the Lord, and burning with spiritual zeal, he spoke and taught diligently and accurately the things concerning Jesus…” Note the balance of instruction and fire – diligence and accuracy. The marriage of knowledge/spiritual training with fervency/passion is vital to the life of every believer (worshiper).
In His Word, God is never redundant. ‘Instructed and burning’, ‘diligently and accurately’ are not just meaningless repetitions for added emphasis – they are exclusive references to the two vital aspects of our spiritual lives. …They that hunger and thirst …shall be filled! [Hunger for the meat of the Word / thirst for the flow of the Spirit.] Sitting at His feet and hearing the Word. These all directly parallel the John 4 “spirit and truth” discussion.
Are you a truth-seeker? To God, that’s not enough. He is seeking worshipers who worship Him in spirit and in truth.
Joh 4:23 NLT But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship Him that way. 24 For God is Spirit, so those who worship Him must worship in spirit and in truth.” Jesus turns a discussion about worship from a physical perspective (location – worship at this mountain or Jerusalem) into a personal, spiritual encounter. This is how true worshipers must approach Him.
There is a crucial relationship between recognizing and acknowledging Him as God (growing in His precepts, character and attributes) and passionately encountering Him as Abba. From my perspective, many today have an appetite for “revelation” (truth-seekers) yet minimize (or worse) the ‘spirit connection’, the fire, the “emotional” connection (any impassioned “emotional display”).
This is why true wisdom must be rooted in worship – the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and knowledge! Selah! \o/