Monday, April 14, 2014

Knowing God .............................. Parables 105

"Oh, I know him... I met him last year at a convention... haven't seen him since though."
"I know her so well that I can almost finish her sentences when she talks to me."
"Dear, we have been married 12 years and I sometimes feel as if I don't really know you at all."

Obviously, the degree of 'knowing' someone varies anywhere from a brief encounter to deep intimacy. We know the American president, at least we know who he is and would be able to say his name and shake his hand if he came to our door. We also know the neighbors, perhaps just by sight or perhaps well enough to discuss world affairs and Alberta weather as we chat across the fence, leaning on our garden shovels.

We also know our family, more intimately of course. We know what they like to eat, what clothes they wear, and who leaves their dirty socks under the bed. We know their deepest desires, their hopes and dreams.

Knowing God is the same, yet it is different. We do not see His image on television. If He came knocking on our door, we may not respond by sight the same way we would to a well‑known celebrity. We could also know many facts about God yet never have met Him in a personal way.

Yet God is not a person anyone could meet in a casual manner and walk away from the encounter without any further interaction. True knowledge of God never starts and ends with an introduction because when anyone meets the Living God, things are changed...

Their FOCUS OF TRUST is changed: "I know in whom I believe, and I am convinced that He is able..." (2 Timothy 1). True knowledge of God goes hand in hand with trusting Him. But this kind of faith is far more than a passive "Sure, I believe..." or an intellectual agreeing that God exists. Even the devil believes that!

ETERNAL DESTINY is changed: "And this is life eternal, that they might know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent" (J0hn 17:3). The devil knows who God is and knows all about Him, but the devil will not spend eternity in heaven with God. True knowledge of God results in eternal life. Therefore, it is a relationship worth seeking.

BEHAVIOR is changed: "We know that we have come to know Him if we obey His commands." True knowledge of God results in a lifestyle of obedience. Lack of knowing Him will show up in a person's life because the Bible says that anyone without God is also without the ability or the desire to obey Him. James affirmed it this way: "Faith without action is useless." Daniel 11:32 says, "They who know their God will be strong and take action."

In other words, if there are no changes, no action as a result of a supposed "knowing" of God, it is not the right kind of knowledge. That person is either lying or deceived.

Real knowledge also makes us want to know Him more. Paul, after meeting the Lord (Acts 9), spent several years with Him in private getting to know Him (Galatians 1). Later on, he wrote Philippians and said his only desire was "that I MAY KNOW HIM, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings..."

God did not allow Paul to be content with an introduction only. He had a desire to deepen his relationship with the One who had changed him so dramatically.
This deeper knowing is not reserved for apostles. It is God's desire that all know HIm... then all increase the intimacy of that relationship. He wants us to discuss every detail of our lives with Him, hear our deepest desires, our hopes and dreams. He wants us to consciously be aware of His presence, to intimately know His mind. Our God is a knowable God, willing to reveal Himself to those who search for Him with their whole heart.

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