“Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.” – Matthew 7:7 NLT
The New Living Translation is very accurate as it translates the tenses of the verbs for asking, seeking, and knocking. Our Lord is using the present tense in His commands to convey that it takes a persistent drive to find truth and to discover His ways (Matthew 7:6). Holy inquisitiveness is a profound prerequisite to finding God and His truth! I have discovered a most simple and primal certainty: If you want to find truth or God, you will! One of my favorite things Jesus says in the New Testament is:
“If anyone is willing to do His will, he will know of the teaching, whether it is of God or whether I speak from Myself.” – John 7:17 NASB95
Are you inquisitive enough to intensify your willingness to learn and obey God’s truths?
I think Inquisitiveness is a holy instinct that reflects and intensifies one’s will. It is our desire to inquire about God that fuels a desire to know Him and His ways. It is our inquisitiveness regarding His creation that increases our intensity to discover. Our desire to inquire arouses our wills to discover God’s will and God’s expectations of us. This holy inquisitiveness is as old as Eden. It takes us back to the Beginning.
“Then God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth and govern it. Reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, and all the animals that scurry along the ground.” – Genesis 1:28 NLT
Stop and think about it. God was inviting Adam and Eve to explore. Everything outside Eden was uncharted territory. They could travel 24,759 miles in any direction and never see the same landscape twice. There were 196,949,970 square miles of virgin territory to explore. Please don’t miss this elemental truth: one of the ways to reflect and celebrate God’s character is to explore and educate ourselves about everything He has created. Our innate impetus is holy inquisitiveness! And the result is we can offer verbal praise of God’s character (Hebrews 13:5), not only for our own benefit and His delight, but for other people who hear us celebrate His nature (John 18:37). The sharing of these realities is not only celebratory but transformative when received by receptive hearts.
It’s assumed by some that Adam and Eve would have remained in the Garden of Eden forever if they had not eaten from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. However, I think this is misreading the text. Long before Adam and Eve were banished from the garden, God told them to “fill the earth (with people) and subdue (govern and manage) it.” This was mankind’s first commission, which, I believe is still operative today. It was a commission to extend the character of the God of the Bible everywhere on the face of the earth.
It is important to know that the word “subdue” is not a military term, and in no way implies hostility or resistance toward the earth, for it was all deemed “very good” (1:31). It suggests, rather, that we ought to study the earth and its creatures (i.e. “science”) and then the application of that knowledge (i.e. technology and commerce) for the optimum benefit of mankind, the animals, and ultimately, for the glory of God.
God desires to scatter us! Sounds a little strange, doesn’t it?
“4 And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top [may reach] unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.” – Genesis 11:4 KJV
The last phrase of Genesis 11:4 caught my eye. God planned for the people He created to be “scattered abroad.” He did this to bring fulfillment and joy to all people by reaping the rich benefits of His created earth (Acts 14:15-17). He also did this so that mankind might spread the knowledge of Him to all the eventual inhabitants on the earth (Joshua 4:24).
As the founding pastor of Rolling Hills Community Church, I remember after the first service at Palisades Elementary School (1979), standing before our young fledgling congregation and giving them this exhortation:
The greatest temptation we will face in the coming years. is that we will have a propensity to talk to ourselves.
I believe this is still one of our most significant temptations.
When was the last time you had a meaningful personaldialogue, with a not-yet-Christian about Jesus Christ?
Yikes, this is convicting for me, and it might be for you as well!
God has given two great commissions to His people, both of which require worldwide effort to accomplish:
#1 Genesis 1:28 the verse above: “Then God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth (populate with people) and govern (manage, protect, and use the environment) it. Reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, and all the animals that scurry along the ground.”
#2 Mark 16:15 “And then he told them, “Go into all the world and preach (proclaim) the Good News to everyone.”
Both, however, were so resisted by humanity that God Himself had to step in and force His people to be obedient.
This was true after Noah’s descendants decided to stay in Babel, (Genesis 11:4, 9), and when the believers stayed in Jerusalem instead of going out to the ends of the earth (Acts 8:1). The inclination for all of us is to stay put and talk amongst ourselves, instead of talking to people outside of Christ (Romans 10:14, 15).
The Practice of Persistent Persuasion
About everyday of my life, I believe, and live the reality that I’m “scattered abroad” to communicate some aspect of the Good News of the Kingdom of God (Matthew 4:23) with the goal to persuade people to believe in and follow Christ. Persuasion is content orientated, not emotionally driven.
Please contemplate the two verses below, and in particular what they teach us about persuasion:
23 “So a time was set, and on that day a large number of people came to Paul’s lodging. He explained and testified about the Kingdom of God and tried to persuade them about Jesus from the Scriptures. Using the law of Moses and the books of the prophets, he spoke to them from morning until evening.” – Acts 28:23 NLT
11 “Because we understand our fearful responsibility to the Lord, we work hard to persuade others. God knows we are sincere, and I hope you know this, too.” – 2 Corinthians 5:11 NLT
The Greek word for “persuade” means to induce one by words to believe. It also carries with it the idea to make friends with, and to win one’s favor.
Isn’t that wonderful?! This is how I order my steps, not perfectly, but consistently.
Perhaps one day our efforts will come to fruition as we participate with the masses in the multitude of those standing before the throne in front of the Lamb:
9 “After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, 10 and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” – Revelation 7:9-10 ESV
Oh my, I get chills reading this marvelous passage! Won’t that be glorious and rewarding?!
I have personally discovered that sharing God’s truth with outsiders allows the Word of God to get into their lives, which often results in further dialogue. As I communicate with the wonderful people around me, I become salt and light (Matthew 5:13-16) to them. I continue to trust and anticipate these conversations will lead to an opening to present the Good News of Jesus Christ. In essence, these realities from Scripture have become multi-pronged avenues and doorways to evangelize people. Really cool!
Our Sushi Bar Culture
Have you ever been to a Sushi Bar where a conveyer belt moves past you with food selections? We have such a restaurant in West Linn. You simply pick your selection off the conveyer belt.
With access to good and not-so-good information, more people are educated and offer sound bites from what they have learned. This presents a huge challenge for us who profess Christ as its not only difficult to keep up, but antagonists are quick in their attempts to refute the morals of Scripture. This “increase in knowledge” is indicative that we are in “The End Times.” (Look to Daniel 12:4).
When events take place in our world, we have the opportunity to communicate God’s perspective on those events. Recent examples that have been opportunities for me are the war in Israel, the eclipse, the rise of the Social Justice Movement and its false ideologies, Artificial Intelligence, Legalism and legalist Christians, Islam, Identity Theft, and financial discussions.
Friends, when we keep in step with the Spirit, the Christian life is never static!
“Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.” – Galatians 5:25 NIV
Below are some of my recent conversations with people. I trust they will be instructive for you as they have been for me. I learn so much about people, Truth, and myself when I listen to them.
In my conversations, I always identify myself as a follower of Christ!
My physical therapist.
I had a biblically orientated conversation with my physical therapist about the biological birth rates in America and the world. We interacted in detail about Genesis 1:28.
Below are portions of the content of our conversation:
- Contrary to the intellectual elites of the world like Bill Gates, the late Margret Sanger, a eugenics proponent and founder of Planned Parenthood and radical environments, outcries about the population explosion, half of the countries of the world are losing their populations rather than gaining people. In fact, the growth rate of the world population has been slowing as the age of people around the world is increasing. (Look to Our World in Data. How many people die and how many are born each year?)
- It takes 2.2 babes per woman for a country to be able to sustain itself. America is at a 1.8 growth rate and the Hispanic population brings us up to 2.2 growth rate. By 2050 Europe as we know it will be a geographic destination with most likely an Islamic political and cultural way of life. The countries of Europe are growing at a rate of 1.58 while their immigrants, mostly Muslims, are growing at a rate of 2.60. Islam is the fastest growing religious group in the world. They have a long-term view of the world. Please look to the article on my blog titled Leaving a Carbon Footprint?
Our Sound Technician
He entered our home to fix our BlueRay player and promptly asked me: “Dale, are we living in the End Times?” (Linda and I have known him for years and he knows we are “religious”.)
My response: “yes, we are but I think the End-Times is a longer extended period of time than most people think. However, since Israel has become a nation, we see the fulfillment of predicative prophecies from the Bible accelerating as the return of Christ draws near.” He immediately concurred, with concern, that he sees this significant acceleration! We than proceeded to talk about the war in Israel, inserted identification chips, ecological changes etc. In all of these subjects I sought to set forth a biblical perspective. His comments about Israel were enlightening as he said that it is like the Palestinians have been in prison. Really? 21% of the population of Israel are Arab citizens and have the same rights and benefits as Jews.
He shared with me why he left his Protestant up-bringing and the fact that he was still open to discover truth, even though he admitted that it was hard to have hope at this time. I told him that Linda and I have hope because we trust in Jesus Christ and the Bible brings clarity to the events happening in the world.
He gave me his bill and I paid it with a nice tip. I looked at his invoice later and he discounted the bill with a $15.00 “wisdom discount”☺
Many Conversations about Islam
The present war instigated by Hamas, from Gaza, on Israel (October 2023) is only the continuation of Islam’s ultimate goal of a worldwide caliphate (the dominance of Sharia Law). We remain ignorant at our own peril. I have referenced Psalm 83 on numerous occasions which identifies the enemies of Israel, radical Muslims, and their goal to, “wipe the nation of Israel off the face of the earth” 83:4. This is the essence of the message of the Koran.
If you are interested, I wrote a paper on the tenets of Islam. I will email you a copy upon request.
On numerous occasions I also talk to people about geological realities evident in God’s creation that have been discovered my man and are revealed in the Bible long before scientific discoveries or confirmations. As the Apostle Paul weaved the realities of God’s creation into his comments to the crowds in Lystra (Acts 14:16, 17) so we ought to have a grasp of Scripture to be able to integrate God’s most primal truths.
This quote from Thomas Paine is insightful:
“All the principles of science are of Divine origin. Man cannot make, or invent, or contrive principles; he can only discover them. And he ought to look through the discovery to the Author. (The writings of Thomas Paine, ed. Moncure Daniel Conway (New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons 1896), Vol. IV, p. 239.
Entropy—The second law of thermodynamics (entropy) states the all systems over time tend toward disorder and disintegration.
25 “Long ago you laid the foundation of the earth and made the heavens with your hands. 26 They will perish, but you remain forever; they will wear out like old clothing. You will change them like a garment and discard them. 27 But you are always the same; you will live forever.” – Psalm 102:25-27 NLT
Also, look up, Romans 8:19-21 and Hebrews 1:11. We are not evolving we are devolving. Simply look in the mirror every three months or so ☺! I reference entropy (everything is going downhill and wearing out) many times to many people in a given year. Really fun☺!
Ocean Currents and Jet Streams— How rewarding it is to talk about the great oceanographer Matthew Maury (1806-1873). Long before modern man made these discoveries Maury discovered them by reading and observing what the Bible said. In his reading he observed the reference to the “paths in the seas,” from Psalm 8:8, and jet streams from Ecclesiastes 1:6.
“Blowing toward the south, then turning toward the north, The wind continues swirling along; And on its circular courses the wind returns.” I would say these facts are rather current☺.
The Sun’s Circuit—In speaking of the sun, the psalmist (in 800 B.C.) said that “The sun rises at one end of the heavens and follows its course to the other end. Nothing can hide from its heat” – Psalm 19:6 NLT For many years critics scoffed at this verse claiming that it taught the doctrine of egocentricity (i.e., the sun revolves around the earth). Scientists at that time thought the sun was stationary. However, it has been discovered in recent years that the sun is in fact moving through space at approximately 600,000 miles per hour. It is traveling through the heavens and has a “circuit” just as the Bible says.
Financial principles from Scripture.
While working out I engaged a young entrepreneur that was, of all things, starting a company in China. Rather surprised I asked how he was doing that. Out of the blue he said, “I look for Christian companies that are successful and inquire how they have had success.” I was inquisitive to say the least about his response, so I asked, “Why do you select Christian companies?” He said, “they are the most independent of the government, the most profitable and trustworthy.” How wonderful is that!?
I referenced Joseph from Genesis 41 who was a covenant keeper of the God of the Bible and how God used him to save the Egyptian Empire through the principles of “save in times of plenty to survive in times of scarcity.” We dialogued about how Pharaoh knew Joseph was trustworthy and wise. I then reaffirmed how the Bible reinforced the importance of honesty as being the foundation for any successful financial venture. Additionally, we discussed, Proverbs 11:1 “The LORD detests the use of dishonest scales, but he delights in accurate weights.” He was grateful for and rather positively surprised of the common sense from the Bible.
My Orthotist Prosthetist
Yesterday (October 24, 2023) I went to get fitted for new orthotics. In the process I had a wonderful discussion about how the Bible elevates honesty in business practices. We also interacted about the false practice of legalism (rules without explanations, mis-placed emphasis on misunderstandings and misapplications of biblical texts) found in some religions. Each of these topics were based on their personal experiences with several insurance companies and families close to them. Who would have thought I would be providing a biblical explanation of legalism to my prosthetist. Ha, our Sushi Bar culture☺!
Actions to take.
#1 Increase your reading of books about various subjects and then learn Scripture about these subjects.
- One book that might help you is: Scientific Facts in the Bible, by Ray Comfort. This small book is loaded with scientific facts and reasons to believe.
- America Alone by Mark Steyn regarding world demographics.
- Islam Unveiled by Abdullah Ak-Araby
#2 What topics have been presented to you as the Sushi Bar Conveyor belt has passed you by? How are you, or did you, respond?
#3 Ok, I think there is primal inquisitive rhythms of the Holy Spirit as we walk in obedience to His promptings. He wants us to converse with non-Christians! Please take it up a notch or two and start up biblical content conversations with people who are outside of Christ. Simply inviting them to church will not suffice.
Suppose every week all the people that attend your church had 1-2 personal biblical conversations with those who do not know Christ? What would happen as a result?
17 “So he reasoned in the synagogue with both Jews and God-fearing Greeks, as well as in the marketplace day by day with those who happened to be there.” – Acts 17:17 NIV
Being Inquisitive with you,