I think we’ve lost sight of what it means to know. We hear someone’s name and think, “Yeah, I know them.” But we really have only seen their picture on Facebook, or on a tabloid cover, or in the news. Maybe we’ve even met them a few times, exchanged some chit-chat. And we think that qualifies us to know them.
We do that with God too. Perhaps we’ve heard the name of Jesus, or attended church (even weekly!), or read someone’s devotional or quippy post about His character and love. Maybe we’ve even prayed a few times, sung some songs in the sanctuary. And we think that qualifies us to know Him.
Our English word, “know” is just simply too limited. In the Bible, while “knowing” can refer to an acquaintance, it primarily refers to far more than intellection. Knowing isn’t mere mental ascent.
Knowing is a euphemism for intercourse between a man and woman.
Knowing refers to the acceptance of and response to God’s truth and calling on a life.
Knowing is deeply intimate, intrinsically connected, reaching beyond mere thought into the deepest connection of spirits.
What if it’s just as simple as knowing Him more?
The best feeling in the world is knowing that you are known.
When husband and wife come together in physical intimacy, if they can cast off personal insecurities and enter into complete trust that their spouse sees them for who they truly are, scars and all, and loves them unconditionally…this is the moment that gives incredible witness to the euphoria of knowing God deeply, and grasping, even a smidgeon, how deeply He knows us.
Can this be the answer to every problem? To every attempt to compartmentalize issues and people groups? To just see Him, to know Him more? If we know Him truly, we’ll know ourselves accurately. If we know Him truly, it won’t matter what phase of life we’re in, because He’ll meet us anywhere. If we know Him truly, we’ll trust that He is working it all out for our good, so we don’t need to worry or overthink things. We can rest. If we know Him truly, we won’t even need to fear death, because we’ll know that death is merely a doorway that brings us into eternity with Him.
Tough day living in the grind? Envelop yourself in His presence.
Tragedy knocking at your door? Open the door up to God and let Him handle it, whether He brings healing we understand or not.
Tired? Bored? Uninspired? When we have the Spirit of God living in us, we are LITERALLY in-spired. Filled with the Spirt. Know Him. Be known by Him.
Sitting easy at a coffee shop, hugging the warmth of my cup, struggling to know where to begin when the hardness pounds me upon waking. Having opened my eyes to a message of desperation and despair, beginning a day with heartbreak where hope was anticipated, I could pray for so many answers, but the only true answer is Jesus. For my loved ones in the midst of messy custody battles, I hurt, I ache, I pray. I want smoothness and ease and resolution. I want safety and communication and forgiveness. But, most of all, I want Jesus to be on both sides of the wall that now separates. With wars and disease, genocide and slavery everywhere I look, everything I read; with marriages on the rocks and children caught in between; the walls stand tall, seeming to grow each day, between the sides and differing perspectives.
When I look around, I see heartache and very real, very intense pain. I see children abused, ripped from the only families they know, and oftentimes returned to the place where the abuse first occurred. I see little ones used as pawns in domestic disputes. I see the depth of pain when the color of skin divides. I see the hardened hearts, attempting to protect themselves from further attack. I see the disillusioned and the bitter.
Can we look just beyond? Can the eyes of our hearts – covered by the rubble left from a lifetime of battles – can they begin to see again?
There was a time when life and knowledge grew on trees and we could see them. There was a time when the sound of rustling leaves we heard was the swinging legs of the Almighty walking in the Garden – where physical and spiritual met, where our eyes could perceive with equal clarity the physical items before us as well as the spiritual. This time will come again.
“Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations…And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.” (Revelation 22:1-2, 5)
While the hurt and broken and disillusioned may feel stuck like a pawn in the middle of God’s twisted game, the truth is just beyond. God isn’t pushing us around on a giant chess board. He’s never wanted control of robotic, unfeeling, disconnected pawns. He longs for mutual love, which is a choice, which can never be forced. So the choices we make and the choices other imperfect humans make are what move us. Some of those humans listen to the truth of God, some listen to lies of the enemy, but each one directly intertwines with and affects others.
Those things we ask for – clarity, justification, revenge, the upholding of our cause – those things, themselves, aren’t the answers. The answer is freedom. “Freedom is when you engage the presence of God and become the person you are created and redeemed to be.” (Bob Hamp)
And freedom is found in truth.
And truth is found in Christ.
In a relationship, not a religion or a set of rules.
In intimate knowing, not intellectual ascent.
Adam and Eve looked upon life dangling from a tree branch. Jews and Romans alike stood looking up at the Source of life hanging on a tree. And all forsook life in favor of a lie. Their intentions weren’t to seek out death. The lie appeared to them to be wisdom.
What brokenness to do you face today? What heartache and uncertain thing? Without a doubt, the enemy will take that difficulty, that pain, and give you his interpretation, full of lies. Will you listen?
Or, will you choose to believe that God has a word about that very same situation? Will you step out and hear the truth He’s speaking? Will you choose His life over the lie?