Because Knowing God Changes Everything Part 2
In a world created by God, sustained by God, and renewed by God, nothing is more important than knowing God.
J.I. Packer said: “What were we made for? To know God. What aim should we set ourselves in life? To know God. What is the best thing in life, bringing more joy, delight, and contentment, than anything else? Knowledge of God.”
I Corinthians 15:34 MSG – Ignorance of God is a luxury you can’t afford in times like these
God wants us to know Him to lead us to a higher place of worship, a greater level of faith, wisdom to act wisely, and a deeper level of commitment
Jeremiah 24:7 NIV – I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the Lord. They will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me with all their heart.
Jonathan Edwards wrote, “Seek not to grow in Knowledge chiefly for the sake of its applause, and to enable you to dispute with others; but seek it for the benefit of your souls.”
“Nothing can be rightly known, if God be not known; nor is any study well managed, nor to any great purpose, if God is not studied. We know little of the creature, till we know it as it stands related to the Creator…”~Richard Baxter
OUR Knowledge OF GOD Comes From the WORD OF GOD
John 5:39 ESV- You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me,
Mark Twain said, “It ain’t the those parts of the Bible that I can’t understand that bother me, it is the parts that I do understand.”
All 66 Books, 1,189 Chapters, 31,273 verses – is God Breathed
John 8:31-32 ESV – So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
“People do not reject the Bible because it contradicts itself but because it contradicts them.”
John 1:1-5 ESV – In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life,[a] and the life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
John Calvin said, “We owe to the scripture the same reverence which we owe God bc it proceeded from Him alone…
In our pursuit of seeking God, we must become interested in the Word of God.
“If we are not interested in the Word of God, can we really be interested in God?” ~Robert Godfrey
•Knowing God will transform our nature and character
II Corinthians 3:18 (amp) – “And all of us, as with unveiled face, (because we) continued to behold (in the word of God) as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are constantly being transfigured into His very own image in ever increasing splendor & from one degree of glory to another; (for this comes) from the Lord (Who is) the Spirit.”
a. Knowing God means to Seek Him – To know God means to constantly be searching Him out in His Word. The word “behold” in t his passage means “to continually explore and look into.”
b. Knowing him produces Change
c. •The Proof of God’s Power is not in an explanation but in a changed life
•(Hebrews 10:22) “Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith…”
A person’s perception of understanding of the nature of God will determine their level of faith in His ability or desire to help them
1. God is there.
•(Psalm 139:7-8) “Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.”
•(Hebrews 13:5) “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”
•(Hebrews 4:13 LB) “He knows about everyone, everywhere. Everything about us is bare and wide open to the all-seeing eyes of our living God; nothing can be hidden from Him…”
2. God is never late.
2 Timothy 4:18 NIV “The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”
Philippians 1:6 NAS “For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.”
(Acts 16:25-26) “About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everybodyʼs chains came loose.”
3. God knows best.
•(Hebrews 11:39-40) “These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. God had planned something better…”
•(Isaiah 55:8-9 LB) “This plan of mine is not what you would work out, neither are my thoughts the same as yours! For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than yours, and my thoughts than yours.”
4. God cares.
•(James 5:11 Message) “Youʼve heard, of course, of Jobʼs staying power, and you know how God brought it all together for him at the end. That’s because God cares, cares right down to the last detail.”
Getting Our Attention
Jim Bakker, the televangelist who built the huge PTL empire spent 5 years in prison for mail fraud and for bilking his followers out of millions of dollars. In his book called, I Was Wrong, he admits that his whole view of God was faulty. As he recounts his spiritual journey behind bars, he finally comes to the conclusion that God sent him to prison for a very specific purpose. He had become so concerned with building a name for himself that he somewhere along the way forgot all about God. According to Bakker, God sent him to prison so that he could get to know God for who He really is. It’s as simple as that.
If knowing God is that important, I wonder what He’ll have to do to get our attention? Our biggest problem is not that God isn’t speaking, it’s that we’re so busy we can’t — or won’t — slow down long enough to hear His voice. Psalm 46:10 urges us to “Be still and know that I am God.”
What then should we do? Hosea 6:3 challenges us to “…press on to acknowledge the Lord.” To press on means to move toward the goal with undiminished vigor. It means to set your focus on knowing our Knowable God and letting nothing get in your way. Do you have a passion and vigor for God this morning?
Tony Evans uses a great illustration: “I can’t fully explain what it means to know God. I can use the terms, but it’s like defining a kiss. Webster calls a kiss ‘a caress with the lips; a gentle touch or contact.’ But anyone who has kissed someone knows that a kiss is really much more than that. You can’t explain it, but Lord have mercy, it’s good when you get it! I can’t fully explain what getting to know God feels like, but I know that you will like it when it happens. (Our God is Awesome, p. 34)
Friends, you will never understand God until you begin to know Him personally. I can’t define it fully, but when you encounter God Almighty, your life will never be the same again. Which is why Psalm 34:8 says, “Taste and see that the Lord is good.” He is good and He’s good all the time, but you’ll never know until you taste Him for yourself!
My Prayer for you
Ephesians 1:17 NIV “I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.”
Jeremiah 29:13 NIV “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”
Everybody surrenders to something or someone in life. If not to God, you’ll surrender to popular opinion, money, resentment, or fear, to your own pride, lust, and ego.
Surrender is not the best way to live; it is the only way to live. Nothing else works. All other approaches lead to frustration, disappointment, and self-destruction.
So give it all to God: your past regrets, your present problems, your future ambitions, your fears, dreams, weaknesses, habits, hurts, and hang-ups. Put Christ in the driver’s seat of your life, and take your hands off the steering wheel. Don’t be afraid; nothing under his control can ever be out of control.
Prayer of Commitment
I’d like you to stand this morning and we’re going to pray a prayer together. This prayer originally appeared in A.W. Tozer’s book called, “The Knowledge of the Holy.”
“O majesty unspeakable, my soul desires to behold Thee. I cry to Thee from the dust. Yet when I inquire after Thy name it is secret. Thou art hidden in the light which no man can approach unto. What Thou art cannot be thought or uttered, for Thy glory is beyond comprehension.
Still, prophet and psalmist, apostle and saint have encouraged me to believe that I may in some measure know Thee. Therefore, I pray, whatever of Thyself Thou hast been pleased to disclose, help me to search out as treasure more precious than fine gold: for with Thee shall I live when the stars of the twilight are no more and the heavens have vanished away and only Thou remainest. Amen.”