Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Knowing God

"Where is God-not the God of the Big Bang, not the unmoved mover, not the ground of our being, but God--this very personal God of the Bible who knows me and who knows my every thought?"
--Mark Buchanan, The Holy Wild

Does anyone else ever ask this question? I know I do. There are times when I am struggling so hard in life. I know God is big and powerful. I know He is in total control of the universe. The thing is, though, do I know God. In our walks, we strive to know about God. We strive to know that He created the universe ex nihilo (out of nothing). We pour over the Scriptures to prove a theology we just know is right. We know a lot about God, but when push comes to shove our head knowledge only gets us so far. Do we know God?

That's the question we need to ask ourselves. Do we know God in such an intimate way, that we can cling to the Unmoved Mover, the Creater of heaven and earth. Can we rest in the bosom of the God of Abraham?

This is what the world is screaming for. They desire a God that is real, personal and involved in their lives; a God that is loving and cares about them. Unfortunately, many believers in Christ do not radiate and show that kind of God to the world. Most of the time, they only see a vengeful, sinful God who cares for no one and nothing but Himself. If you don't believe me, just ask a server in a restaurant who works the Sunday lunch shift.

In post-Christian America, experience makes truth. We need to show them the claims of God are true in our lives. They need to see us knowing God, not just knowing about God. St. Francis of Assisi is credited with the saying, "Preach the Gospel. Use words if necessary." While words are necessary in the presentation of the Gospel, they must be backed up with a life that is lived in the glory of God. If non-believers see disciples who are not in a relationship with God, what do they want with God, then?

I'm not saying theology is not important. You will never hear me say that! I love knowing about God, but only if it leads me to knowing God in a deeper way. Our theology should always lead to doxology--the glorifying of God, and to a deeper relationship with our Creator and Savior. I relish the fact that God is sovereign and in control of all things from the spin of the galaxies to the holding together of the cells that make up my body. That, though, means nothing to me outside my relationship. I have no reason to rest in the sovereignty of God if I have not put my faith in Him. The same is true for the love, grace and mercy of our Father. If we have no relationship to Him, then we have no reason to rest in Him and His love, grace and mercy.

God is big, no doubt. He is big enough to create the universe and to redeem His creation through Jesus Christ. He is big enough to hold the universe in His hands. He's also big enough to cradle the last leaf of Fall as it glides toward the grown as the first flake of snow rests on the ground. He's also big enough to handle our doubts and frustrations. He is big enough to hold us late at night, while we cry ourselves to sleep. He is big enough for us to put our heart in His hands without fear of being heart. God is definitely big....thankfully big. He's bigger than all of creation combined, yet we can still know Him--intimately. We can know Him better than a brother, parent or even a spouse. He is deep and fathomless....and we can dive deep and know Him.

What am I saying? Simple; we must know God and to not be content to just know about Him. This is our goal in life: to know God--to have an intimate relationship with Him, and to make Him known to the world. That's what we need to be about. Not just knowing about God, but knowing God.

How do we do that? We first need to make sure we have a relationship with Him. Second, we need to be in the Scriptures on a regular basis (daily, if not more frequently). That is God's Word to us. Third, we need to pray and converse with Him. This needs to evolve from just presenting requests to God, to talking with Him about all things and listening for a response. Fourthly, we need to be part of a church fellowship. We were not meant to walk this path called life alone, and I don't think we can. (Read the book of Hebrews) We were meant to be a part of a community in which the disciples there walk with each other, help each other, and even carry each other when it becomes necessary.

Know God. Walk with God. Walk with each other.


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