“What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the human heart conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him.”
— 1 Corinthians 2:9 (NRSV)
Dwight L. Moody once preached a sermon entitled, “Hell,” where he related the illustration of a man many times so close to salvation, yet he died resigned to the fact he was going to hell; that he was beyond saving. Nothing the famous pastor could do would change his mind for accepting Christ. The fear that his peers may have laughed at him for becoming Christian was this man’s perennial stumbling block. He desperately wanted Christ, but the approval of men, more.
Of course, many, many millions have come to saving faith just out of plain spiritual surrender; to give up their right to the old life that gave them a little, in order to risk for a new life that promised much more, even welling to eternal life.
What has frustrated evangelists the world over is, some can never quite see, nor hear, nor conceive what God has prepared for them—the gift of knowledge of the Spirit of God.
The Gift Of Knowledge Of The Spirit Of GOD
What stands between the saved and the unsaved is both so incredibly simple, yet never more impossible to see, hear, or conceive. It is both things, simultaneously.
It is a system of knowledge—the simplest ever—and it is known by the mind but not through the mind; a Spirit takes homely possession within a person upon favourable invitation. The door of the soul is flung open, not left ajar, and in the floods the entirety of the knowledge of the Spirit of God by way of an experience of rebirth—life anew. It is interminably conditional on surrender.
The actual process of transformation may be akin to this:
It might be as if the processing unit within the person has been upgraded; a completely new operating system has been installed; the faulty one removed and made defunct. This new operating system comes with software to actualise a person’s development and to oversee life as a project with renewed purpose, real meaning, the solemnity of direction, and finally the abundance of flourishing hope.
What stems from the gift of knowledge of the Spirit of God, therefore, are more delineated gifts for service within the kingdom of God—to all humankind. These gifts are tantamount to tangible blessing; both for the owner of the gift and the recipients for which those gifts are destined.
The Gift That Stands Some Way Off
Of course, one plain reading of 1 Corinthians 2:9 (which emanates from Isaiah 64:4) reveals a hint of heaven—the actual location—although heaven is implicated in the gift of the knowledge of the Spirit of God, in any event.
We can afford to read this literally, from a heaven context.
What might heaven actually look, sound, and feel like? Well, perhaps these are intentionally beyond us, but therein lay the incomprehensible beauty of anticipating and realising such a Divine appointment.
Heaven: we can imagine, now, what lay ahead of us; this knowledge we have of the Spirit—this gift from plain acceptance—and what that simple decision of surrender has won for us. What anticipation we have until that day, yet even now! To imagine... we are won to Heaven!
© 2013 S. J. Wickham.