“And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” John 17:3
As a doe-eyed youth, I often imagined spending time with celebrities. There was a degree of celebrity status that I attributed to peers who appeared to be doing better in life than I thought that I was doing. These celebrities became idols who I sometimes longed to get know. I thought if I knew more about them and their way of doing things, I could try to conquer life on their terms and win. To my release, I’ve grown to understand that there is only One celebrity worth knowing on a life-directing level. Some may argue that following actors, musicians, athletes, and the remainder of the greats of the world are time well spent. I will not dispute the passion an individual may have toward the talented professionals that greet them on television and film; however, I will magnify the importance of coming to know, fully, the Lord, and His Son, Jesus Christ.
Fascinatingly, as myself and a chosen few excavate the Word of God for its hidden gems and mysteries as well as the simplistic wonders that keep a believer on course, our teacher gave reference to John 17:3. What’s more, the spirit of the Lord led me to this verse the day prior to reply to my fearful response to a perceived threat in my secular career. Nevertheless, as I obediently turned to this verse nothing hit home for me. I did not understand the connection between the fear of someone potentially withholding promotion from me with the declarations made in said verse until our teacher read the verse and the accompanying definitions. Those two inconspicuous words, “to know” became the billboards on the highways of my discouraged soul. In the Old Testament, per Vines Concise Dictionary of Bible Words, “to know”, yada’ refers to observing, reflecting, thinking, and experiencing. In the New Testament, Vine’s depicts “to know”, ginosko, as coming to know, recognizing, understanding, or understanding completely, to become known, to be taking in knowledge.
Suddenly, God’s answer became transparently clear to me. My fear was that the person who has a voice in my promotion may perceive me differently if word got out that I am just another frail human, prone to error, and not superwoman. So, perfection was the goal. You can imagine my lamentations as I reread a message I sent that could’ve been misconstrued as inappropriate. I went into panic mode. Fear makes us do crazy things. I thank God, before I could make what, had the appearances of a bad situation worse, Jesus stepped in and reminded me to remember Who I know, and of Whom I am known. The Lord was gently saying to me that God is God and man is man. People may have power and prestige but God has the final authority over everything on, above, around, and below this earth. Phew!!! I do not have to be anything other than who I was created to be. I would be remiss not to further address the steps in coming to know Our magnificently sovereign Lord. Let’s go!
- If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. Romans 10:9
Coming to know God with head knowledge is feasible for anyone who can reason and articulate, but to fully know the Lord in a divine manner as mentioned in the scriptural definition we must believe in Him and His Son. We all know that Satan has a trick bag bigger than our frustrated and confused world’s and he it fills it with lies such as
- There is more than one way to get to God- LIE
- Jesus was a nice prophet, but not the Messiah- LIE
- The good behavior of people will establish a seat in heaven despite their disbelief in Jesus- LIE
Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me. John 14:6
Sometimes we become so ritualistic and traditional that we drift away from our beliefs which keep us rooted in God, and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, even if we attend church regularly. Sometimes, it is the fact that we come to church all the time that we have become habituated to the building and stopped seeking to come there to know, become acquainted with, comprehend, realize, and reflect God. Some of us may have asked Christ to sup with us ages ago, yet we left Him sitting at the table. Perchance, we still believe in the resurrection of Jesus, but we lack resurrection power because we took the focus off coming to know Him and completely came to know the things of this world.
- “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” Matthew 6:33
Communication is everything in any relationship, especially a seemingly long-distance relationship. Although God is never out of our presence, we must purpose to invite Him in our space. I say long distance for the obvious reasons, we cannot see God visibly, or touch Him but if we talk with Him more we do begin to see His fingerprint in all the earth. God is beautiful and He loves all things beautifully. When we talk to Jehovah Shammah, The Lord is There, we can observe and experience what His voice sounds like, what matters to God, and even get a glimpse into His response times. Believe it or not, God wants to hear from you more than the person on your speed dial and has a greater revelation for you. Think about it. Personally, I call my friends and family, but much of my time, I spend talking to God. I cannot utter the joyful noise in my soul as Yahweh Elohim, reveals His mysteries of grace and mercy to me.
Our nemesis will try to keep us from talking to our heavenly Father with lies, some of which are below.
- God does not want to talk to us because we are too sinful. LIE
“In the same way, I tell you that there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous ones who do not need to repent.” Luke 15:7
- God does not care or understand what we are going through. LIE
“Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28
- God does not hear us. LIE
“The LORD heard you when you spoke to me, and the LORD said to me, “I have heard what this people said to you. Everything they said was good.” Deuteronomy 5:28
- “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15
I realize that this list has the potential to exceed my capacity but I will list two more ways that I have learned to come to know the Lord God. Reading, studying, excavating, exploring; however, you word it, if the goal is to divide the word of truth, you are well on your way in coming to know Adonai. There is a scripture for what is going to happen to frustrate you tomorrow, as well as an answer for what happened yesterday that crippled you. Reading the Bible is different than academic reading which does not always apply to life. The Holy Scriptures are teeming with life-giving lessons, principles, strategies, how to guides, how not to guides, as well as illustrations of God’s love for us. As mentioned, our enemy will attempt to make reading seem tedious, fruitless, and unexciting with lies like the ones listed below.
- Reading the Bible takes too long. LIE
- I must read to meet a quota daily or it doesn’t count. LIE
- The bible has been re-written too many times it is inaccurate. LIE
- The Bible contradicts itself. LIE
“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12
“Is not My word like fire?” declares the LORD, “and like a hammer which shatters a rock?” Jeremiah 23:29
“And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” Ephesians 6:17
- “You shall therefore obey the voice of the LORD your God, keeping his commandments and his statutes, which I command you today.”” Deuteronomy 27:10
Lastly, obedience is yet another way we can come to know our most gracious God on a deeper level. We obey, simply when we do what He says for us to do either in His word, through prophets, preachers, and teachers, audibly, and through circumstances. Indeed, God often uses circumstances to bring our attention to the lack of attention that we have been showing Him which is evidenced by our persistent disobedience. Our Bishop once said something to the effect of “I love Him so I want to do what He says.” The correlation between obedience and our love for God is undeniable; however, we may be in denial about this truth. We may want to think that we are loving God to the utmost when we are living, abiding, basking, and wallowing in sin but we are loving that thing that we are choosing over Him more which is why He calls it idolatry. Now we will never be without sin. I’m not referring to the sins that we are wrestling with every day. I am speaking of premeditated sin that is persistent with no plans to repent, our love for God may be a bit askew, but thanks be unto God even if we are there He still loves us and is waiting for us to repent so we can come to know Him on deeper levels. Wouldn’t you know that most the lies the enemy whispers in our ears is to keep us from being obedient to God? That tells me that there is something powerfully threatening to him about an obedient believer. Below are some of the lies he mutters.
- If I obey God, I cannot have fun anymore. LIE
- God doesn’t care if I obey Him or not because of Jesus. LIE
- Sin has few consequences. LIE
- The pleasures of sin outweigh the consequences. LIE
- I may miss out on a good opportunity if I do not do things my way. LIE
“Whether it be good, or whether it be evil, we will obey the voice of the LORD our God, to whom we send thee; that it may be well with us, when we obey the voice of the LORD our God.” Jeremiah 42:6
“’Oh that they had such a heart in them, that they would fear Me and keep all My commandments always, that it may be well with them and with their sons forever!” Deuteronomy 5:29
“Tell the righteous it will be well with them, for they will enjoy the fruit of their deeds.” Isaiah 3:10
I know plenty of people and about a lot of stuff, but none of it had the power to change my life but when I committed to coming to know the Lord, things have never been the same. I pray that this post rekindled the desire to come to know Yahweh in some and set others on fire with a burning desire to seek after the Lord God all their days. Be Blessed.