August 22, 2013
I Want to Know God
I want to know Christ (Philippians 3:10, NIV).
Friend to Friend
When our family moved from Florida to North Carolina, we were all very excited about the move – well, most of us were excited. Our sixteen-year-old daughter, Danna, was leaving behind some very special friends and making the first major move of her life. When I asked what her greatest fear about moving was, her answer surprised me. I thought surely she would say, “I won’t know anyone.” Instead, she responded with an interesting perspective, “No one will know me.”
That may very well be our greatest fear about God. We find it almost impossible to believe that we can really know Him or that He really knows us. That one truth alone changes lives and alters eternity. What does it mean to “know” God? I believe we can know God on different levels.
The first level is the “acquaintance level” where we think to know God means to encounter Him at certain pivotal times in life. It could be during an especially moving worship service or perhaps in a life crisis. In that moment, we really do sense something different and may even go as far as to make a shallow commitment. But in our daily lives, there is very little - if any – change in our behavior, attitudes or habits.
The second level is the “friendship level.” Knowing God is not just experiencing a moment of spiritual excitement, but is a commitment to be actively involved with God. Friends spend time together and are involved in each other’s lives. At this level, we are involved with God - to a point. We come to church and participate in its activities. We try to have a daily quiet time, and we may even attempt to be disciplined in spiritual habits. In other words, we are really working at this friendship. However, if the friendship level is as deep as we ever go in the pursuit of a relationship with God, sooner or later we will long for something more – because we were created for an intimate relationship with God. No one and nothing can fill that God-shaped hole in our lives.
The third level is the “marriage level” of knowing God. I believe that when Jesus says we can “know” Him, He is talking about a “marriage level” relationship. The first time that the word “know” is used in the Bible is in Genesis 4:1, “Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain.” When the Bible talks about “knowing” someone, it is not only referring to a physical knowledge, but to an even deeper level of intimacy. Many of us settle for a nodding acquaintance or a mere surface friendship with the Father, when what He really desires and what we really need is the marriage level relationship. There are many people in the Bible who had a marriage level relationship with God.
David was a man after God’s own heart.
Moses spoke with God face-to-face.
Mary, Martha and Lazerus were close personal friends of Jesus.
The disciples served beside Him day in and day out.
The good news is that you and I can have what those people had! In 1 Chronicles 28:9, we discover how to have an intimate relationship with God. "And you, my son Solomon, acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the LORD searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts. If you seek him, he will be found by you” (NIV).
How can we really know God?
First, there is the simple but profoundly impacting promise that if we seek God - He will be found. We sometimes think that God wants to engage us in some kind of heavenly game of “hide-and-seek.” We picture Him doing all of the hiding while we do all of the seeking. Since many of His “hiding places” are not the places we would logically think to look for Him, we give up and are content to be lost. When we look and don’t find Him, we assume that He is laughing at our foolish and futile efforts.
Nothing could be further from the truth!
The spiritual reality is that more than you want to find God - He wants you to find Him! In fact, He made a way for us to know Him when He bridged heaven and earth by sending His Son, Jesus Christ, to die on a cross – for you and for me. If we seek Him we will find Him!
Second, remember who is speaking and who is listening in this passage of scripture. King David, one of God’s closest companions, is talking to Solomon, his son. At this point, Solomon is not even seeking God, but David tells Solomon that he can have the same relationship with God that David himself has enjoyed through the years. Solomon never did – but he could have. And so can we – by doing what David told Solomon to do.
Acknowledge God as God. To know God is to admit and recognize Him as the One and only true God, our Savior and the risen Lord.
Surrender everything you are to Him. To know God is to lay down at His feet everything we are, have been or ever hope to be, exchanging our life plan for His, knowing that His plan for our lives is the highest and best plan for our lives.
Serve Him with absolute devotion. To know God is to live every moment of every day every day as a living sacrificial offering of worship to Him.
Seek Him wholeheartedly. To know God is to abandon everything we are to Him, actively searching for Him and His will in every life circumstance.
Inviting Jesus Christ to take over your life is the most important decision you will ever make. He stands, waiting for you to come. Come today, just as you are, and you will know God.
Lord, I want to know You personally. I want to see Your face in my everyday life. I want to hear Your voice through Your Word and through prayer. I want to know You, Lord through obedience and through the lives of others. Lead me in paths that will draw me to Your side and mold me into Your fully devoted follower. Right now, I turn away from my old life, and turn to You. I surrender all that I know about me to all that I know about You. Thank you for being my Lord. In Jesus’s name, amen.
Now It’s Your Turn
Determine the level of your relationship with God. Do you really know Him?
What level of relationship do you really want with God?
Are you willing to pay the price to know Him in a more intimate way?
Seeking God? Click HERE to find out more about how to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
More from the Girlfriends
It’s finally here! Sharon, Gwen and Mary’s new book, Knowing God by Name, is now available. This is the perfect book for individual study or for gathering a group of friends in what we call GiG Groups. With impactful devotions, study questions, journal pages, and free on-line video intros, this book is a resource you’ll refer to time-and-time again.
Looking for a Bible Study? Join women from across the world in Mary’s Online Bible Study, From a Mess to a Miracle. If you enroll now, you will also have access to all of the 2013 lessons from Proverbs. Check it out! And be sure to connect with Mary on Facebook or through email.
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how to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
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