Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Knowledge from Head to Heart

It has always been said that Christian should not maintain their knowledge in the head but not at the heart. Since my pilgrimage as a Christian started 6 years ago, this truth is very much in my wanting because of my desire to experience the wholeness of Christian joy. Whenever I pick up some new insights that advocate the truthfulness of Christianity, this newly found knowledge does established gradually of my own standpoint in view of my faith. The existence of God and the historicity of Jesus Christ become undeniable reasonably to me, it marks a chapter in my life that worth celebrating. To my own unawareness at that moment, the truthfulness of my faith has gone beyond the shadow of doubt. But why am I still having the difficulty to fully and perfectly demonstrate a parallel between this knowledge that is in my head and the conviction that is in my heart? Is not this is what I want: to really know what I am believing and to base my life on this belief system?

After a lot of contemplation, introspection and discussion with my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, it has dawn on me that there seems to be a “missing link” between my head and my heart. Even though I have heard of many sermons from different pulpits concerning the issue of linking the head and the heart, but there is never one that could really defines what does it mean to transform the head knowledge to the heart with satisfactory precision. Or even if someone presented it to me, but due to my forgetfulness (or should I say “willingful forgetfulness”) that that part of the message failed to store in my head, needless to say, the heart. All along I have imprisoned myself in the secured room up in the ivory tower. Religion was to me a matter of propositions. Never, it occurs to me that faith is to be live out and live up. I always thought that as long as I got the things in its place up there in the tower, I am safe.

Because of this schism between the head and heart, backslides and depressions are always an unwelcome visitor. Times and times, I tried to live out a life that was contradictory to my belief. There was even once, I felt the overwhelming pain resulted from the amputation of my head from my heart. I remembered that time; it was 2 am in the morning when headache and heartache occurred simultaneously in me. The inner parts of my mind and soul felt that great separation and immediately broke down accordingly. In desperation, I prayed and prayed, seeking for relief more than forgiveness. If there ever was an hour of pure darkness, it was that moment. If ever I could draw a personal experience of a taste of hell, it was that moment.

But despite being overarching by those dark emotional and mental tortures, somewhere at the edge of my mind, there was Christ. Though He was as tiny as though the light of a candle in an enormous darkened room, His radiance of hope drew me over. From prayers for relief, I turned to prayers for forgiveness. Although those pains were still there but they were not as prevailing as before. Grasping the knowledge of the gospel in my head like a drowning man’s grasp to the rescuer’s hand, I submit myself, my body, my heart to that promised Hope. And for the first time after a long time, I experienced the authentic submission of the head, the heart; my whole, to my Lord Jesus Christ. Though I was not sure what it means to transform the head knowledge to the heart yet, somehow, there is an insight of what heart knowledge is about.

Months later, despite a lot of failings and failings, none of those were as horrible as that night’s 2 am. And reading commentary by D.A Carson on 2 Peter gave me obvious hints of the real meaning of transforming knowledge from the head to the heart. After further contemplations and talks with friends (especially Naomi) the clarity of heart knowledge floated up; just like a bubble that floats from the bottom to the surface of the water and pops. When the truth of heart knowledge flows through my life I came to realization that, after all, it is not something that is incredibly profound. Heart knowledge is merely the consistent manifestation of our head knowledge in our lives. A person with a lot of knowledge and convictions on a certain belief (say, Christianity), one still has it as a form of head knowledge until that knowledge is manifest through and through out that person’s life. This manifestation is our Heart knowledge.

His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins.

Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
2 Peter 1:3-11


Nao said...

Amen brother! the very desire to want to transform head knowledge into a heart knowledge; to want to live out a life that daily manifests the truths of our faith, is already very precious. we are redeemed saints seeking to live out a victorious Christian life, with God on our side, nothing can be against us! let us remember to rest in the Lord as He transforms our hearts from within...

Jack The LOT{B}R said...

I think you're right..

I believe our experience play a very important role in helping us to live out such conviction (and of course to measure those actions). Experience is a major part of sanctification, as we began our life in Christ, the Holy Spirit will ccontinue to convict us to bend and twist at the junctions of life. And how we are going to submit ourselves to such guidance is through seeing our life story as part of the Church's story as part of the Jesus story as part of the God's story.

It rises from individual touched by God and indwelt by the Holy Spirit, to the community. Without the Church, our experience may have no meaning at all. Sanctification i believe often occurs in the community as God prepares the whole Bride for Christ.

The Church's history is aligned to Jesus' story. As Christ is to Israel, so the Church is to the World. The Church is called to be the hands and feet for Christ the Head. Here we see something significant. Being the agent of Christ, the Church is perceive not much as his mouthpiece (though no doubt she is), than his limbs. I believe this has a very important message, the Church is called to ACT on Christ behalf more than she is called to SPEAK. The Word of God is closed in the Bible and is available for the world to hear.

Finally, the life of Christ is (the climax of) God's "In the begining.." story. It's the eternal pleasurable will of God to establish a kingdom for his Son...A Kingdom consisting of individuals happily reflecting his glory.

I think so lah...hahaha..happy saint of God, go marching on!

jacksons said...

Very encouraged by your consideration, it has been my goal to, to bridge the gap. Check out RC Sproul's lessons on Spirituality www.ligonier.org and Piper's Desiring God at http://www.monergism.com/thethreshold/articles/bio/johnpiper.html. Also there seems to be a desire for spirituality amongst us recently, must be the Holy Spirit!

jacksons said...

Very nice, new look. If you ever move to Malaysia, you can be my fellow designer.