…or do you just know about Him?
Psalm 100:3 (NCV) KNOW that the Lord is God. He made us, and we belong to him; we are his people, the sheep he tends. (emphasis mine)
What does the word “know” mean to you? For me, I think I use the word whether I actually “know” the truth about something or someone. Have you ever said you “know someone” only to have that “knowledge” proven wrong? Boy I have… and being proven wrong isn’t very fun at all.
So, what does it mean to actually “know” God? Having asked myself this question, I went to the very first dictionary in America – Noah Webster’s 1828 American Dictionary. Noah Webster utilized the Bible as the foundation for his definitions and it was here I found the following definition.
To perceive with certainty; to understand clearly; To distinguish; To be informed of; To be no stranger to; To have full assurance of; To learn
If I have made the Bible the standard by which I live my life, “knowing that the Lord is God” is essential. It’s not enough for me to “believe” that God is God – because even Satan and his minions “believe” in God (James 2:19). I have to put actions to my belief. I have to be informed of, learn, perceive with certainty and distinguish with clarity that God is God. How do I do this? By getting into His word and “learning” everything I can about God – who He is and the things He has done. As I begin to learn about who God is and what He’s done, the next step is for me to trust that He knows better than me and then have the faith to follow where His leads.
Getting into God’s word helps me “discover” more about God’s character. I have heard people say
“I know God won’t do this for me.” “I know for a fact there is no God.” “I know there is no way God could love someone like me.”
But how do they really know that their statements just don’t align with God’s character unless they dig into the truth? Their words are most likely based on “what they have heard from outside influences.” There was a time in my life that I couldn’t really believe that God couldn’t love me because I had done some pretty horrible things. But that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Take a look at Ephesians 1:4 (NIV)
For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.
Psalm 100:3 also reminds me that God made me. This truth is also confirmed in Psalm 139:13
“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.”
When I read Romans 5:8, I am reminded that God demonstrated his own love for us in this:
While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
What I’ve discovered by reading my Bible is that I can be assured of His knowledge of me. Check out what Psalm 56:8 (MSG) has to say:
You’ve kept track of my every toss and turn through the sleepless nights, Each tear entered in your ledger, each ache written in your book.
Psalm 139 (NIV) is also a reminder that God knows me:
God has searched me and knows me; He knows my thoughts, my ways, when I get up and when I lie down.
So my questions becomes, what about my “knowledge” of Him? Have I grown in grace and knowledge (2 Peter 3:18) as the Bible urges me to do? I sure hope so. As a Christian, I am on a life-long journey to know God and His characteristics. I want to know Him more and more every day.
How about you? Do you want to “know” the God of the universe in this way?