~~ I Know ~~
Before we can ever hope to know God in an intimate way, there is one very important thing that we must know about ourselves.
It is not the easiest pill to swallow; after all we like to hear something that's going to make us feel good about ourselves, don't we? However it is essential that we know that we have a condition if ever we are going to enjoy the best of what God has in store for us.
If ever we are to enjoy the best of health we must face any health issues first! Our God is the great Physician who came not to the self righteous but to the aid of those suffering from the sickness of sin and know it.
Paul, that great religious man of his day who was used by God to write a large portion of the New Testament wrote these words:
“For I know that in me, that is, in my flesh, there dwelleth no good thing"
Romans 7: 18.
“Why Paul, You are among the upper echelons of religious society are you not? What is this that you are saying?” You may be forgiven for thinking that Paul has a lapsed into a moment of insanity. But not so! Paul, thinking he was doing the will of God, was on his way to Damascus one day to collect Christians and have them punished for their faith, when Jesus Christ Himself met with him on his traitorous journey and questioned him about his mission and about his whole life as a matter of fact. If Paul felt security in his religious standing and position in life, it soon paled into insignificance in the presence of the Lord Jesus in all His glory.
Now, we in our lifetime will never have an encounter with the Lord Jesus like Paul had but -
there is another type of glory that we are apt to overlook, that is the glory of the cross!
The glory of the cross and the Man who was suffering there reveals the stain of our sin just the revealing brightness of the noonday sun!
Take a walk by faith to Calvary's hill outside the city walls of Jerusalem and as you approach the centre cross, you will find a Man dying there for you. You will feel yourself getting smaller and smaller the closer you get. Take the opportunity to feel the roughness of that cruel cross, or the weight and texture of those Roman nails that impaled His blessed body. Feel the earth below soaked with the precious blood that was shed for the remission of your sins, and you will have arrived at the place where Paul was when he wrote these words:
“For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing ...”
Sin is a very serious matter, and cannot be lightly treated or overlooked. This man also wrote: “God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” Romans 5: 8. But he then made it really personal (for so it is) when he wrote again: “The Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me” Galatians 2: 20.
“Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift”
2 Corinthians 9: 15.
That gift is God's beloved Son. The above statements have told us of a Saviour who died as a substitute in the place of ourselves, the sinners. However, what use to us is a Saviour who died if He is not alive again after dying? The Bible tells us that: “If Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins” 1 Corinthians 15: 17.
Back in the Old Testament there lived a man called Job. He was a suffering man who truly knew what it was to have lost everything except his own life. He even almost lost his hope in one of his darkest moments. But there was one thing in the heart of Job that was unshakeable, and that was his knowledge of a living God:
“For I know that my redeemer liveth,and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth ...”
Job 19: 25.
Knowing this most tremendous fact revolutionises our living and makes an eternity of a difference to those who embrace this knowledge. The lives of all who have repented of their sin and trusted in the work Christ accomplished on the cross are linked to a living Man in heaven – today! This Man is somebody who died, and was buried, and who rose again from among the dead. Search the world over and you will never find the physical remains of the Lord Jesus. He took with Him to heaven His living body. And we can be eternally thankful for that.
Because our lives are linked by faith to this living Man in heaven we can now address that close, personal and intimate subject of knowing Him.
“And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God,
and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.”
John 17: 3.
This is by no means presumptuous in thought but a blessed reality desired by the Lord Jesus Christ Himself.
We also see in this amazing statement that eternal life doesn't begin when the Christian leaves this world through death but it begins the moment an individual is truly born of God. The knowledge of Him in all of His loveliness and beauty makes eternal life a most blessed reality here and now - and forever! But how is it possible to know God and His beloved Son intimately?
There is a lady in the Bible who can disclose the answer to that question. Her name is Mary of the town of Bethany. She was sister to Martha and Lazarus. The Lord Jesus often resorted at their home. This is the place where He could rest and there He knew He was welcome. When the Bible creates for us an image of Mary of Bethany, we always see her sitting at His feet and hearing His Word. She makes sure she's close enough to Him to feast upon every word He has to utter. She doesn't miss a thing. At His feet she learns about the intricate details of His beautiful character, His mind, His will. and His ways. She learns just what it is that gives Him pleasure and what she can give to Him that He will treasure for eternity.
Mary must have been among the very few people on earth at that time
who knew the reason why He had come -
and what He must do in order to accomplish the will of God. The extravagant demonstration of her love six days before He was crucified is proof of that. I have a feeling that Mary wasn't with the others at the cross when He died. And I am sure she wasn't among the women who came to anoint His body the day He was resurrected because she had already done so in preparation for His burial with her extravagant love gift prior to the day He was crucified.
is therefore much to be said in favour of getting alone with God. Wise
is the person who on a regular basis makes time to come away from the
din of the world with an open Bible before them, humbly asking Him in
all honesty and sincerity to: “Speak Lord, for I long to hear your voice” and: “Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law” Psalm 119: 18.
You will never be disappointed. You will be encouraged and guided. You will be comforted and strengthened. You may even be challenged at times! But guaranteed your soul will be enriched. Time alone with God is well invested time and never wasted.
It is quite an amazing thing to have the knowledge and assurance that our sins are all forgiven and that we have the promise of a home in heaven.
seems to be somewhat easier to trust Him with our souls for eternity
but how good are we at trusting Him with our lives in time?
Do we know
Him well enough to do that?
Only you can answer that question. All I can say is that we can love a passage of Scripture; we can love it so much because of the encouragement, help and strength it gives that we will even commit it to memory but there comes a time when we may perhaps have to learn what it is teaching us by experiment.
I would never really have truly appreciated the statement: “My God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory” Philippians 4: 19, until I found one day that I was utterly dependent on Him for my daily provision.
If I had never been to the edge of despair I would have
perhaps taken for granted these powerful words: “There hath no
temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful,
who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will
with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to
bear it” 1 Corinthians 10: 13.
Had I never experienced loneliness how could I have ever valued the great honour of the promise of His abiding presence? For, faithful is He that promised: “I will never leave thee nor forsake thee” Hebrews 13: 5. I guess after a walk with the Lord for well over 30 years you learn enough about Him to confidently declare:
“I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded
that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day”
2 Timothy 1: 12.
Well now, dear reader, it is never too late to turn to God who loves you more than your heart could ever imagine, and He desires that you enter into a real and living relationship with Him. Today is the first day of the rest of your life and every moment counts.
“It is of the utmost importance to see that what really stamps man's character and condition
is his ignorance or knowledge of God.
This it is that marks his character here, and fixes his destiny hereafter ...
Thus the knowledge of God is everything.
It quickens the soul, purifies the heart, tranquilizes the conscience,
elevates the affections, and sanctifies the entire character and conduct.”
“Acquaint now thyself with him, and be at peace: thereby good shall come unto thee”