This devotional series is based on J.I. Packer’s classic work, Knowing God. There is no greater quest, no more important activity, nothing that should be a higher priority than getting to know God. Too many Christians know about God without making their time with him personal. These devotionals are designed to challenge you to ask questions of yourself, bring these questions before God, make you think, and transform your relationship with God. My prayer is that your study will overflow in emotion, in touching your heart, in connecting with God, and sharing your relationship with others. The book consists of 22 Chapters, thus this series last 22 days. Dig in!
Chapter 2: The People Who Know God
I count all things loss that I may know Christ for whose sake I suffer… I count my sufferings in this world as dung that I may gain Christ and be found in him… that I may know him. Phil 3:7-10
· We can know a great deal about God without knowing Him.
· We can be full of theology and doctrine but not passionate in relationship with our Father.
· We can know a great deal about godliness without knowing Him: we know how to be a young Christian, an old Christian, how to obey the commands, and how to practice them.
“If you are more passionate in public prayer than in your closet, you have only mastered the art of performance, but you do not know the Master.” - Brett Kreider
1. Those who know God have great energy for God. Daniel 11:32 illustrates a people who see God’s name being dishonored who “stand firm and take action” (RSV). Daniel’s passion for God was both public (disobedient to Nebuchadnezzar) and private (praying and understanding the scriptures). Lack of this energy toward God in our private life is a warning sign that we don’t know God.
2. Those who know God have great thoughts of God. The book of Daniel includes many illustrations of Daniel’s thoughts (the most high rules the kingdom of men – Dan 4:25, 5:21) and how contagious these thoughts were even to his enemies (Nebuchadnezzar, Belshazzar, Darius). Great thoughts of God’s holiness, majesty, perfection, and faithfulness keep us humble, dependent, awed, and obedient – if we know God.
3. Those who know God show great boldness for God. Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego stuck their necks out for their God. The apostles proclaimed, “we must obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29). Our timidity reveals our level of fear of man (Prov 29:25). Our boldness demonstrates our awe and confidence in God.
4. Those who know God have great contentment in God. There is no peace like the peace that passes understanding; no hope like the hope of being with God; no confidence like Paul’s confidence that “there is no condemnation.” Nothing else but knowing God drives us to obedience – regardless of whether God will deliver us from the flames (Daniel 3).
How then shall we come to know God?
· Focus on how we pray. Pray through the dry spells into the deeper waters. Be so honest you are embarrassed. Tell God what you really feel and admit that he knows the true condition of your heart – and loves you anyway.
· Guard what goes on in our hearts. Don’t pollute your heart – only the pure in heart will see God. Get the junk out so it doesn’t rot inside and poison your faith and love.
· Seek the Savior. He promised that when we seek him we will find him (Jer 29:13, Mt 7:7). Don’t be surprised that the greatest treasure on earth doesn’t come easily. Don’t quit just because it is hard.