Knowing God

When you come to the end of your life and you stand before Christ, you want Him to accept you as one of His.  You do not want him to reject you.  Matt 7:22-23 “Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’   And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’”  These individuals thought that the Lord knew them.  They thought they had served Him and even had prophesied, cast out demons, and done many wonders in His name.  But the Lord is saying that He never knew these individuals that He is rejecting.  You want to be known by the Lord.  It is also important to know God.  2 Thessalonians 1:7-8 “And to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.”  When Jesus returns, He will take vengeance on those who do not obey the gospel, but He will also take vengeance on those who do not know God.  It is important to be known by God and to know God.  This relationship between you and God is of all importance.  If you do not have this relationship, you will be rejected and receive His vengeance.

What does it mean to know God?  What does it mean to know anyone?  There is a difference between knowing about someone and knowing someone.  I know about the President of the United States of America.  I know what he looks like; I know his political party; I know the promises he has made; I know where he stands on some important issues; I know some of the decisions he has made.  I know about the President, but I do not know the President.  I have never met him; I have never spent any time with him.  And he certainly does not know me.  On the other hand, I know my wife.  I have known her for over fifty years.  I know the things that she likes; I know that she is loving and caring; I know that she is a server and a giver; I know pretty much what she will say and do in certain circumstances.  I have spent many years with her.  Given my illustration between my knowing about the President and knowing my wife, my question to you is ‘Do you know God?’  You can go to the church assembly every Sunday and even be very knowledgeable about the Bible and many of the teachings found therein.  You can know about God, but do you really know God?

Jesus knows the Father.  One day Jesus was speaking to the Jews. John 8:54-55 “Jesus answered, ‘If I honor Myself, My honor is nothing. It is My Father who honors Me, of whom you say that He is your God.  Yet you have not known Him, but I know Him. And if I say, ‘I do not know Him,’ I shall be a liar like you; but I do know Him and keep His word.’”  Another time, He said in Matthew 11:27 “All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.”  Jesus certainly knows the Father.  He was in the beginning with the Father; together they created the universe; the Father told Jesus what to do and what to say while here on earth; many times, Jesus spent much time in prayer with the Father.  Jesus has revealed the Father to you and me.

Jesus used the illustration of Him being our shepherd.  John 10:1-5 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.  But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.  To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.  And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.  Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.”  John 10:14 “I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own.”  Sheep know their shepherd.  He has led them to pasture; he has watered them; he has rescued them from danger.  In Psalm 23, David describes how the Lord was his shepherd.  The point is that the shepherd knows his sheep and the sheep know the shepherd.  Many flocks of sheep can be mixed together in one place, but when a shepherd calls his sheep, only his sheep follow him because they know him and they know his voice.   This illustrates how we should know our shepherd.

Part of knowing God is keeping His commandments and walking as Jesus walked.  1 John 2:3-6 “Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments.  He who says, ‘I know Him,’ and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.  But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him.  He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.”  Your works cannot deny your knowledge of God.  Titus 1:15-16 “To the pure all things are pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure; but even their mind and conscience are defiled.  They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work.”  Having love for one another is one of the important characteristics you must have in knowing God.  1 John 4:7 “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.  He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.”

My encouragement to you is to truly know God.  Study the Bible to understand God.  Keep His commandments and walk as Jesus walked.  Spend much time in prayer with your Father.  Follow the leading of the Holy Spirit in your life.  Develop an intimate knowledge of God.