Sin or Ignorance?
Sometime in August 2017, my pastor was preaching on a subject and made a statement that got me meditating. He said “A believer doesn’t necessarily need to commit sin to be afflicted. Most Christians are suffering one form of affliction or the other due to ignorance.”
Often time, believers are quick to start confessing sins when they sense any affliction or seemly delay in certain achievements. You here statements like; I know I had a bad past Lord why are you punishing me with this? Lord, I just had a nightmare I am sorry for all my sins. I failed this exam because I am a sinner, God forgive me. The list is endless. Confessions as this make the redemption work of Christ in the life of a believer less powerful.
A good number of persons always result to prayer and fasting when going through certain life challenges. While this is important, it will yield less result in the absence of knowledge. A lot of persons going from one prayer house to another in search of “answers” need not to if they had knowledge. Suffice to say until a believer gains the needed knowledge from scripture and other Christian literatures, there are afflictions he/she may not have the authority/understanding to nip in the bud. The Bible affirm in the book of Hosea 4:6 “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge…” Knowledge is very key to overcoming life’s challenges.
In the book of Daniel, the children of God were to stay 70 years in Babylon and Daniel saw where it was written, prayed in line with what he read and God heard him (Daniel 9:2). Take note of Daniel’s declaration “…I Daniel understood by books…” Inferring from the foregoing, a believer must stay informed and gain proper knowledge from scriptures to break free from afflictions otherwise untold hardship may be the case.
Years ago, due to ignorance many believers came down with ulcer after engaging in dry fast. Thank God for insight as touching this subject matter today. Those who came down with ulcer after the fast always credited it to the devil attacking them not knowing it was due to their ignorance. A student can read for an exam and know all about the course but on exam day, if he/she fails to put pen on paper (apply knowledge) failure is inevitable (James 1:22). Knowledge gained must be applied because whatever you don’t know is above you.
A believer’s ignorance can have its root from a heart adamant to change and transformation (Rom. 1:21), poor fellowship with the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 2:14-15), unwillingness to pay the price (2 Tim. 2:15; 2:3-4), not familiar with Satan’s strategies (Matt. 13:19).
The consequences of ignorance in the life of the believer are many and severe. Risk of losing eternal life (John 5:38-39), walking the wrong path (Matt. 7:13-14), loss of peace (Isaiah 30:15), losing the blessings of God (Isa. 30:18).
Nonetheless, a believer can find solution by first recognizing his inadequacies i.e. if you don’t know you’re sick, you will never get well (Heb. 5:11). Take bold step to attain maturity (Heb. 5:12). Seize every opportunity to learn, grow, get stronger and be useful to the lord. This can be achieved by attending Bible classes, discipleship training, constant prayer and meditation etc. (Heb. 5:13). Spiritual maturity is a growing process hence there is no time limit to start learning and growing (Heb. 5:14).
It may seem that ignorance is a terrible thing that we cannot overcome. However, there is light at the end of the tunnel. In the times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to REPENT (Act. 17:30). Repentance is a change of heart and the mind out of godly sorrow. We should be changing from ignorance to wisdom, one of the greatest gifts of God (Prov. 24:3). Don’t take your spiritual ignorance lightly. See the real problem and ask God to help you overcome obstacles. Make a commitment to start participating, learning, engaging in service and make the best of your life now.