It seems to me that every person who really has been saved by God’s grace, will have some realization of what it is to KNOW GOD personally and experience the presence of His Holy Spirit within the very heart, mind, soul and spirit, that is, that God is in their presence within their total being. For we find words along these lines when we hear the Apostles speak of “having the Holy Spirit upon us”, or ” having Christ in us” or “living in the Spirit” etc.! One can’t KNOW God and not experience His presence in their life.
But somehow things change in many people’s lives within evangelicalism, in which they seem to get so enthralled in the study of God’s word, which is certainly to be done, but due to our weaknesses, we become people who just gain knowledge for knowledge’s sake, or learn much ABOUT God but forget the REAL GOD and HIS presence which the word of God is directing us to experience and know.
Our journey becomes many times very heavy and burdensome because we know the truth and facts about God and how He is to protect us and be with us, but we lose our sense of it all by becoming a sort of dried-up stoic, miles removed from the “joy unspeakable and full of glory” we should be experiencing regardless of the trials and tribulations that come our way.
We begin to live in some type of “pity party” mentality. Poor souls our friends say of us, look how much they have suffered, and we too go along with that idea about ourselves. We slip into these ideas of gloom, bitterness and heartbreaks, disappointments, etc.! We live with them and consider them our “crosses” to bear as we think about it all.
These things out not to be. Those who know God never, or should never, brood on the “might – have – beens, and the things we have missed, but rather we should think of what we have gained.
Paul the Apostle wrote: “But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of KNOWING Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost ALL THINGS. I consider them rubbish, that I may GAIN Christ and be found IN HIM…..I want to KNOW Christ.” – Phil. 3: 7-10.
When he says those things are like rubbish, the word really means “dung or manure”! He is not saying merely that he does not think of them as having any value, but also that he does not live with them constantly in his mind: what normal person spends his time dreaming of manure or dung?
But yet that is what many of us do. And due to that we are not Knowing God properly and rightly. We should be full of delight, joy and gladness regardless of the pain or suffering, or difficulties and tribulations. That of course can’t be accomplished UNLESS WE REALLY KNOW GOD AND ARE IN THAT SPECIAL KNOWING OF HIM AS A FRIEND, COUNSELOR, PROTECTOR, SATISFYER, A VERY PERSONAL INTIMATE GOD IN OUR VERY DEEPEST PART OF THE SOUL!
Knowing about God is fine but we have to go further than just “about” but really “knowing Him in a intimate vibrant alive manner.”
Think about it for moment. The God of the Universe – the one who created all of this and everything we can’t even see. I mean the God who calls things into existence which were not, that is, out of nothing makes it appear! If that God comes to us and we know Him and meet Him I can assure you we will be very aware of His presence. If HE is not, then we need to find out why He is not for He certainly tells us this is what we can expect when we really Know Him!
So, we find we can have a great deal of knowledge ABOUT God, and about His godliness and holiness and expectations, etc., or about things to come, or the law, etc., but that is not what the Gospel ends up doing, it ends up bringing us into a very alive, vibrant and joyful delightful sense of being as we Know Him personally as our God. He speaks to us through His word, and the end of that knowledge of the word is Knowing Him intimately.
John Piper has it right when he stated, “God is most Glorified in us, when we are most satisfied in Him.” God created all of us and the entire world system and galaxies, to bring MUCH attention to Himself and bring much Glory to His name. He didn’t need that for He was fully satisfied and no one can add to that Glory at all. However, out of His creation He desired all of it bring about making much of His name and in doing so, it brings Him great satisfaction and joy! We were made to do just that! But we left that and became self glorifying individuals thus becoming idolaters fully. God is a jealous God over His name and being. No other god’s or thoughts about another god are allowed, for first of all there are none, and those idols we make are NOT god’s! They are FAKE! They can’t satisfy us at all. They fail. He never fails. So get to KNOW the true and living God and Jesus Christ the Commander in Chief of Heaven’s Armies through the Holy Spirit and the word of the Everlasting God to us! Amen!