July 16, 2017
Getting To Know My God
So, what is He really like? And how do we ever hope to get to know Him better? I think that is one of the most pressing and difficult missions of our Christian life. And I believe it takes a lifetime of devotion to the task. It requires that we continuously search the Scriptures, evaluate what the Holy Spirit reveals, and then adjust our conceptions of Him. I am thankful each and every day that it is His desire that I seek Him and come to know Him, and that He is willing to reveal more of Himself to the faithful. Yet I do not think it wrong to state that there will be differing opinions and conceptions as to who He really is. But that's Ok with me.
As I have been discussing with my amazing Christian friends, we all have our own predisposition, or "bent", as to how we perceive God. We all have a foundation that was laid by a Sunday School teacher, a Pastor, or a particular denomination, and let's face it, our life experiences. And as we engage in edifying and encouraging conversations, those "bents" are going to become obvious as to how we see God, the Person. So coming [in unity] to a true and Biblical conception of God is not easy. And I believe that it is absolutely essential that we maintain a reverential fear and awe towards the majesty of God, while at the same time, developing an open, friendly, and intimate relationship whereby we can ask Him anything, and expect to receive it!
I find it quite interesting that a study out of Baylor University revealed that out of the number of Americans who believe in God, there are four different concepts of Him: the Authoritarian God; the Benevolent God; the Critical God; and the Distant God. And all these people are reading the same Bible (or at least I hope they are reading it)! Is it because when Adam and Eve sinned and were cast out of the Garden (where they had personal communion with God), mankind became subject to satan's deception and we lost that true knowledge of who He is? Do we only have bits and pieces now, and we must seek Him for more revelation before those pieces begin falling into place?
Or, is it that as we begin to seek deep encounters with Him, we lose ourselves and are therefore able to see and know Him more clearly? I will tell you that I am seeking a breakthrough in my relationship with my Father in Heaven. I feel that I have hit a brick wall and on the other side of that wall is more of the intimacy that I so desperately want. I have just ended a week-long fast, and boy, did I need to deal with some issues between me and Him. And the hunger I felt in my flesh was no match for the hunger in my spirit. Do I know Him more? I can say that at this point, I know what He desires in me, and I am working on transforming my mind to be in sync with His. But I will not be satisfied until I can feel my heart beating in sync with His.
But then I consider this, that Paul tells us in Philippians 3, that even after more than 25 years of service to the Lord, he felt he still hadn't attained perfect knowledge of Jesus, who is the image of God; and it was still his aim to know Him. As for myself, I know that any distance I feel from God is laid at my feet, not His. He is always seeking relationship with me. It is up to me to be deliberate in my efforts to stay close to Him and grow more intimate. Just like any relationship, you have to work at it! I must not think I can divide my attention between the world and Him, and still maintain that intimacy and devotion. Our relationship must be one of love and trust. There must be no doubt where my loyalty and heart lie.
So it is paramount that I never become content within my relationship with God! There is always more of Him to know and experience. I want to keep that passion alive, and never take His love for granted. To that end, one of the things the Holy Spirit has been showing me is the danger of complacency; a feeling of uncritical satisfaction with myself and my journey of faith. I know that this entire journey is about knowing Him more and more, and I want every step to bring me into closer proximity of Him. I want to see His Face, hear His Voice, be in His Presence.
And, so, I continue to cry out, and pray, and search for Him in His Word. In a way, it is akin to one of my earliest memories as a child ... of sitting on the front steps of our house, waiting to see my Dad walking home from the high school where he taught. My mother would put a clean dress on me, comb my hair, and tell me to wait until I could see him. Even these long years later, I can remember the expectancy and the excitement, as I waited for that first glimpse of him, and when my childlike discernment was sure it was him, I flew off those steps and ran to him as fast as my little legs could carry me. I can still see his smile of delight as he saw me running towards him, and feel the love that emanated from him as he held me tightly to his chest, and whispered in my ear that "Daddy loves you". That memory has stayed alive in my heart for over half a century. I know it is a mirror image of how my Abba in Heaven feels about me. And isn't that what we are all searching for in our relationship with Him? May your heart's desire to truly know Him be realized today and every day until we see Him in His Glory!
Psalm 42:1-2 As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.