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Posts Tagged ‘knowing God’

Knowing God

November 2nd, 2012

“Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10 NIV.

Knowing anyone requires significant investments of your heart and time.

My thoughts and comments today are about “knowing God.”

How do you actually get to know someone, really know them? There have been times I thought I knew a person, only to be surprised to find how little I knew them and how little they knew me. Acquaintances are many; friends are few. Facebook reinforces our fuzzy concept of friends. But it takes more than clicking “Confirm” to become a friend.  Friendships are the product of significant investments of heart and time with one another.  Sufficient time and shared experiences are essential to truly know and trust one another and by those, enduring friendships are formed. Relationship is the process of welcoming and sharing life with others.

But my thoughts today are about a relationship unlike any other – a lifelong pursuit of knowing God personally and intimately. Knowing God is so much more than having intellectual knowledge about God. The Bible advises, “Acquaint yourself with [God] and be at peace. Thereby good will come to you.” Job 22:21 NKJV. Knowing God requires time and meaningful interaction; it is more about your heart than your head. There are many who know about God; you can truly know God in life-changing ways. “And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” John 17:3 NKJV.

In fact, you cannot really know God without willingness for life-change to occur. From personal experience Paul wrote, “Those who become Christians become new persons. They are not the same anymore, for the old life is gone. A new life has begun. All this newness of life is from God, who brought us back to Himself through what Christ did . . for God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them.” 2 Corinthians 5:17-19 NLT.

God invites you to know Him, “Be still and know that I am God.“ Psalm 46:10 NIV. Time and attention are essential elements for knowing God. God says, “Be still.” See also Psalm 131:1-2 NLT. But our lives are anything but still. The business and busyness of your world competes with the inner poise necessary for knowing God. Knowing God requires slowing your pace deliberately, and hearing God demands the practiced discipline of listening with your heart. Isaiah’s prophetic words are clear, “The Sovereign Lord says, ‘Only in returning to Me and waiting for Me will you be saved. In quietness and confidence is your strength.’” Read Isaiah 30:15-18 NLT.

In college, my life verse and heart’s cry was and remains, “That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death.” Philippians 3:10 NKJV. I don’t claim to have achieved that, but I know my heart still yearns to know Him. I want to know God, and I want you to know Him in a real and personal way. See Daniel 11:32 NKJV. Do not be as those Paul describes, “Such people claim they know God, but they deny him by the way they live.” Titus 1:16 NLT. Know God and let the evidence be “to walk just as [Jesus] walked.” See 1 John 2:3-6/4:8 NKJV.

My prayer for you today is that you will invest your heart and time to know God a little more every day.

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Do the Right Thing

May 18th, 2012

“Let it be known to you . . that we are not going to serve your gods.” Daniel 3:18 NASV

Do the right thing without regard to profit or pain.

My thoughts and comments today are, “do the right thing.”

Life presents you with consequential moments of decision. What you decide at such times shapes your life from that day forward. Some decisions are just choices with multiple acceptable options. However, there are matters that draw the line between right and wrong. At the risk of being ludicrous, let me illustrate the difference. What you choose to wear may be only a matter of preference and style, or the lack of it. However, which side of the freeway you decide to drive on will seriously impact the safety of others, and your own. The latter decision is consequential.

Three Hebrews were faced with a life shaping decision. Daniel 3:1-18. By royal command, the King decreed that everyone would bow down before a golden image at his command. To obey the king would desecrate their faith and renounce their God’s command – the first Commandment, “You shall have no other gods before Me . . you shall not bow down to them or serve them.” Exodus 20:3-5 NKJV.

They were captives in a foreign land. In spite of that beginning they had risen to places of privilege and prominence there. Everything they had gained and currently enjoyed would be forfeited. Of even greater gravity, to disobey the king would risk their lives. This was no small matter to the King, nor to them. Choices have consequence, immediate as well as eternal. They could make the right choice when it counted most because they had established a record of doing the right thing. See Daniel 1:3-8 NKJV.

What did they do? More importantly, what would you have done? Thankfully, the Bible records their answer. “Our God, Whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O King, But if not, let it known to you that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the golden image which you have set up.” Daniel 3:18 NKJV. These Hebrews did the right thing; they obeyed God rather than man. See Acts 5:29 NKJV/Proverbs 29:25 NIV.

They could make a right choice because they knew that was the right thing. They knew the right thing in the clutter of conflicting demands and inherent self preservation because they knew their God. Here is the secret to their moral and spiritual strength. They knew God’s ability and power, “Our God . . is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace.” They long before made a non-negotiable commitment, “Our God, Whom we serve . .” But as importantly, they knew God’s character, “He will deliver us from your hand, O King.”

When you are certain about God and your convictions, doing the right thing is simpler. They understood their deliverance from the furnace was not assured, but their deliverance from the King was. They trusted themselves to God’s hand, not the king’s. You can’t really know who you are until you are sure who God is. What is the thing with which you are struggling? Do what’s right.

Moses’ instruction to Israel is wise advice still today, “Listen to the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right in His eyes . . Do what is right and good in God’s sight, so that it may be well with you.” Exodus 15:27/Deuteronomy 6:18 NIV. When tempted to do what friends pressure you to do, or what your own desires dictate you do, do what God wants you to do. That’s always the right thing. Doing the right thing is neither convenient nor always spares you hurt. You do the right thing because it is the right thing to do, without regard to profit or pain.

My prayer for you today is that you will never shy from doing what’s right to say or do.

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