The days, weeks, and now a month has flown by since the beginning of the new year. I’ve wanted to post many times, but been unsure of what exactly I wanted to say. Of what exactly you should hear. After all, I think interesting and useful things happen around here every day, but you might not agree. You might get tired of reading post after post of boring incidents and emotions lost in translation. I’ve also wanted to make an end of the year/beginning of the year post that really portrays the heart of God’s working in our lives. And the space between posts has stretched, until… now it’s hard to break. But there is a triumphant anthem in my heart, a joy and confidence that has so arrested me, and now is breaking the bondage to self that once I felt. It is the most important part of my life, and yet I have not shared it! Please know, these following thoughts and Scripture passages are the very support and confidence of my heart in this season of my life.
Last spring, Jeremiah 9:23-24 touched my heart like never before:
Thus saith the Lord, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom,
neither let the mighty man glory in his might,
let not the rich man glory in his riches:
But let him that glorieth glory in this,
that he understandeth and knoweth me,
that I am the Lord which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the Lord.
My glory is in knowing God. As I have considered and mediated upon this passage over the past year, the Lord has taught me so much! In reading His Word, more and more verses jump out that reinforce and develop this truth. I am amazed and humbled that God has given to man the glory of actually, truly, knowing Him! He desires that we seek AND find Him! And in heaven one day, we will see Him as He is (1 John 3:2), with no imperfections in our understanding (1 Cor 13:12) – we will clearly behold His beauty (Psalm 27:4). This is eternal life (John 17:3). And God, in mercy and love for us, has given us a foretaste of eternity here and now… in knowing Him as our God. Weak vessels though we be, “the light of the knowledge of the glory of God” shines within us (2 Corinthians 4:6-7)!
He has shown me how this deep understanding in my heart instructs how I live my life. Most obvious and basic is how it directs the use of God’s gifts to me – time, energy, my hands and feet, eyes and mouth and ears… and relationships. I’ve always thought that the great pursuit of the human heart is to know and be known, and this confirms that thought and also elevates it! It’s not just a human pursuit, it’s the pursuit God has placed in man’s heart from the beginning of time, meant to be perfectly fulfilled in knowing Him! This transforms relationships with others – after all, those relationships (to know and be known) are a working out of that desire within us.
To know God, and I mean truly know Him for who He is – in all that he is! – is to have confidence. “I will love thee, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.” (Psalm 18:1-2) All the names and attributes of God, when deeply considered and used in prayer, imbue the heart with awe and trust and hope! How can I doubt His will or ways when I know Him like this?!
“…for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able…” (2 Timothy 1:12)
A dear friend expressed to me that sometimes she has to remind herself that He IS the Lord, the Creator and Ruler of men, and that she prefers to think of Him as a comforting friend. I didn’t know how to say it at the time, but I wanted to tell her that knowing God in that Sovereign role doesn’t have to take away any shred of her comfort, rather it can add confidence to it! He IS Creator – He lovingly and purposely formed each of us in our mother’s wombs. He IS Ruler – He directs the affairs of men to His perfect glory and our ultimate good. By Him all things consist! (Colossians 1:16-18)
Tears sting my eyes when I think of this great privilege of knowing the eternal God. He created us for this! He made us in His image with this in mind – that we might have communion with Him! Gratefulness. Love. Those two words carry the fulness of my heart in them. They overflow in my tears and burst joyously into a desire for more of Him in my life. I would say with David, “one thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to enquire in His temple.” (Psalm 27:4) As this one thing… this spiritual desire… consumes me, self seems less interesting. My fleshly desires grow pale and less satisfactory. The urgency of the world even becomes laughable. Don’t get me wrong – there are weak moments, moments when the Lord’s nearness isn’t discernible to my harried soul. But as soon as I return my eyes to Christ, I see Him and know Him. The anthem doesn’t end, and the song only gains in momentum for each of these victories.