There is an old saying that says, “If ignorance is bliss and not knowledge, why do people go to college?” There is another one that says, “What you don’t know won’t hurt you.” Neither of those sayings is true, but it is amazing how many Christians tend to live by them, though they are usually unaware of doing so. All Christians use basically the same terminology: sanctification, dedication, faith, holiness, filled with the Spirit, Christ in us, born again, etc. These terminologies, though, do not mean the same thing to all. Some Christians believe that when they became Christians they were born again, had received Christ, had received the Holy Spirit, and were sanctified and all set for the rapture. They are in a state of bliss, but only because of their ignorance. Once you claim an experience you don’t really have, you have closed the door to ever receiving it. One brother made this statement: “Walking with God is easy; anybody can do it.” That statement says only one thing; he doesn’t know what a walk with God really is. His “walk with God” is bliss because of his ignorance.
Other Christians are very thankful God has forgiven them of their sins and set them on the path of becoming what He wants them to be. To them the greatest experiences are yet to be. They realize their born-again experience is just beginning and their hunger is driving them on to a greater fulfillment in Christ. Once they enter the strait gate and narrow way that leads into life (Matthew 7:14), they begin experiencing opposition and the further they go in the Lord the greater the opposition becomes. It is then that they learn their greatest enemy is in them. It is their own flesh that rises up against them, but their hunger for God drives them onward. They do not have the youthful bliss of ignorance, but they have a hope in God that ministers life to them. The battle rages against them but it only drives them on because they realize the greater battle means they are closer to their goal. They want to “know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings; to be made conformable unto His death.” Philippians 3:10.
Galatians 5:16-17 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill
the lust of the flesh.
17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that you cannot do the things that you would.
This war between the flesh and the Spirit is only experienced by those who have set their hearts to move into more of God. They count not their present experiences as enough. Their born-again experience doesn’t have enough of God in it, and they are contending for more.
Galatians 1:18 But if you are led of the Spirit, you are not under the law.
During your whole life before you became a Christian, your flesh ruled over you, and it will continue to do so afterwards until you bring it under the Lordship of Christ. If you are led of the Spirit, you are not under the law of your flesh. Christians who are not contending for the fulfillment of life in God will not know this warfare between their flesh and the Spirit. The flesh will not rise up against a Christian that is satisfied where he is.
We have talked about two kinds of Christians. Those who are satisfied where they are (assuming they have more than they really do) and those who have an intense hunger for more of God, so much so they are being battled by their flesh. Now let’s look at the Scripture we referred to in Matthew chapter seven.
Matthew 7:13 Enter in at the strait gate; for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leads to destruction, and many there be which go in there.
Ignorance is bliss. Ignorance of what your flesh nature is like leads to destruction. As long as you are not pressing into more of a real walk with God, your flesh doesn’t oppose you much. Feeling that you were born again completely when you became a Christian, that you received the Holy Spirit at that time, that the gifts of the Spirit are not needed, and that you are ready for the rapture is the wide gate that leads to destruction. If you don’t overcome the flesh by bringing it under the Lordship of Jesus Christ, it will eventually destroy you. The way of ignorance leads to destruction.
Matthew 7:14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way that leads into life, and few there be that find it.
The ones that find the narrow way and are willing to walk it are few. They are only a remnant among Christians. The majority of the Christian world is traveling down the broad way that leads to destruction. Is ignorance bliss? It seems so, but only till you reach the place of destruction. Is the narrow way that leads to life fun? No, it requires a lot of dying out to self, but it leads to eternal life in God. Remember: The sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. Romans 8:18.
Copyright © 2008 by Henry DuBose