Monday, June 13, 2016

Message of Interest - Knowing God

Knowing God Rather Than Just Knowing About God

Many sermons and discussions tend to talk about God and various aspects of scripture, but too few explain the importance and how to of knowing Him.

Inspired by a message by “Bill Cloud”

Establish the importance of knowing Him!

(John 17:1-3) When Yeshua had finished saying these things, he looked upward to heaven and said, “Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, so that your Son may glorify you – just as you have given him authority over all humanity, so that he may give eternal life to everyone you have given him. Now this is eternal life – that they know you, the only true God, and Yeshua Messiah, whom you sent.

This knowing is an intimate knowing (like husband and wife type of relationship).  Not a head knowledge that can puff us up, but a heart knowledge. We can show up for church on all the right days, send in our tithes, spend our time looking just right, even perform miracles, but still not know Him.

 (Matt 7:21-23) “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter into the kingdom of heaven – only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. On that day, many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, didn’t we prophesy in your name, and in your name cast out demons and do many powerful deeds?’ Then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you. Go away from me, you lawbreakers!’

 (Matt 23:23) “Woe to you, experts in the law and you Pharisees, hypocrites! You give a tenth of mint, dill, and cumin, yet you neglect what is more important (or weightier) in the law – justice, mercy, and faithfulness! You should have done these things without neglecting the others.

Weightier = More Glorious!  These require an intimate relationship with our God to be appropriated in our lives.  These are matters of the heart, and we need His heart in us to develop in righteousness.

Is knowing Him my priority?  How well do I know Him?  How would you grade yourself in this area?

True Knowing = Oneness

 (John 5:19) So Yeshua answered them, “I tell you the solemn truth, the Son can do nothing on his own initiative, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, the Son does likewise.
(John 14:7) If you have known me, you will know my Father too...

(John 17:21-23) “I am not praying only on their behalf, but also on behalf of those who believe in me through their testimony, that they will all be one, just as you, Father, are in me and I am in you. I pray that they will be in us, so that the world will believe that you sent me. The glory you gave to me I have given to them, that they may be one just as we are one – I in them and you in me – that they may be completely one, so that the world will know that you sent me, and you have loved them just as you have loved me.

What is important to Him becomes important to us if He is in us.
Are we one?  Are we in the Father and Yeshua in us?  Are we one with each other?  How can we all be one in the Father and Son, yet divided amongst ourselves?

Seeking His Face

We can’t truly know someone and be like them only by learning about them.  We must seek their face, to be in their presence continually.  It is through this interaction, by spending much time through different circumstances that we begin to know others, to know their heart.

  • But if you seek the LORD your God from there, you will find him, if, indeed, you seek him with all your heart and soul. (Deut 4:29)
  • Now seek the LORD your God wholeheartedly and with your entire being! … (1Chr 22:19)
  • Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart. (Ps 119:2)
  • And you shall seek me, and find me, when you shall search for me with all your heart. (Jer 29:13)
  • “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened for you. (Matt 7:7)

Practical Application for how to seek to know Him better

  • Look for God in creation.   Instead of just taking life for granted as it passes by, one should slow down and consider the artist.  Consider the Creator as we enjoy His creation all around us.
  • Seek God’s council / direction for the challenges we face.  God is not just our Creator, but also the Master Mechanic for His creation.  Even if we think “I got this one”, which proved to be a grave mistake for some of the kings we read about in the Bible, it is always better to seek His will in all things.
  • Look for the Creator’s “fingerprints” in my circumstances.   It is easy to chalk up the cause of my circumstances to time and chance, or as a result of other's choices and actions, but we should consider what our responsibility is for our situation.  What is God teaching us?  What is He working on in our life?  This will not only show us where we need to repent, or where we need to press on, but also is another way to seek Him and His heart for us!
  • Humbly Seek God at all times. Seek Him in time of need with prayer and supplication.  This usually isn’t too hard for us as we tend to do it by default when we run out of options.  But just as importantly, go to Him with thanksgiving and praise in our time of abundance.  Another downfall for several biblical kings, when they became proud and thought they had acquired their wealth and position on their own, was forgetting that God is the one who establishes as well as removes us.  Conversely some kings turned their back on God when they faced judgement, trial and hardship, which also stems from pride in oneself.  How do we compare to the kings?

To truly know Him, and not just know about Him, we must die to our self, our will, our thoughts, our words and our deeds.  As a true sacrifice we do NOT get to have it our way, but get to practice making it His way, which is always the best way because He knows all and always knows best!

(Rom 12:1) Therefore I exhort you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a sacrifice – alive, holy, and pleasing to God – which is your reasonable service.

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