A Wake-up Call
Brother Zac Poonen spoke at our church these past few weeks. I have been particularly challenged by his devotion to Jesus Christ and the reality of God in his life. I have been a serious Christian for nine years now, but my relationship with God seemed so shallow compared to his.
I was focused on overcoming sin and living an upright life. However, the ultimate purpose of the Christian life is not a moral life, but a deep relationship with God. This is what I was missing.
How Long Does It Take to Know God?
I was challenged by this passage in Brother Zac’s book, “Hear! O My Sons” (P259).
“Miles Stanford writes in his book, Principles of Spiritual Growth:
We might consider some familiar names of believers whom God obviously brought to maturity and used for His glory—such as D.L. Moody, Jonathan Goforth, George Mueller, Hudson Taylor, Charles Trumbull, F.B. Meyer, Andrew Murray, Frances Havergal, Madam Guyon, John Hyde, Robert McCheyne, Amy Carmichael and Evans Hopkins.
The average for these was 15 years after they entered their life work before they began to know the Lord Jesus as their Life and ceased trying to work for Him and began allowing Him to be their All in all and do His work through them.”
15 years is a long time. On one hand, I need not be discouraged because knowing God takes time.
On the other hand, knowing God is not automatic after 15 years, but will require persistence in seeking Him.
How Well Can We Know God?
I was challenged by another passage in “Hear! O My Sons” (P45).
“This is my greatest longing for all of you, my sons – that you may know the Lord…. I long that each of you will know the Lord in the same way – and in an even better way than I have known Him.”
I was a bit surprised by the last statement. Is it possible to know God in an even better way than Brother Zac?
This reminded me of the story of Elijah and Elisha. Elisha eventually received a double portion of Elijah’s spirit (2 Kings 2:9). I was encouraged to see that Elisha was not a great man of God when he started. He used to be a farmer (1 Kings 19:19) and was known as the person who used to pour water on the hands of Elijah (2 Kings 3:11). Yet, God was able to do a great work in his life. If God would do this for Elisha, who was a servant, how much more would God do this for me, His child?
This gave me faith to believe that God will do the same in my life.
An Unlimited Faith in God
Jesus often emphasized the importance of having faith in God during His earthly ministry. When it pertains to the spiritual promises in the New Covenant, why limit God with unbelief? Why not have an unlimited faith towards what God can do?
Why not also confess with our mouth what we believe in our heart? Romans 10:10 says, “For with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.” I have discovered that this verse is really true! Whenever I boldly testify about my faith in God’s promises, God never disappoints me. God honors bold faith.
Two is Better than One
15 years is a long time. I do not feel that I have the persistence and focus to seek God for that long by myself. But I thank God that He has given me the best spiritual partner and best friend: my wife. If I fall or become distracted, my wife can lift me up (Ecclesiastes 4:10). We will help each other and seek God together until we truly find Him.
Jesus Died So That We Could Know God
In closing, please consider these two verses:
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” John 3:16
“This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” John 17:3
If we combine these verses, it reads like this:
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, so that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but know God.
God did not give Jesus so that we could go to heaven. God gave Jesus so that we could know God. God has an infinitely greater desire that we, His children, would come to know Him. This gives me faith to believe that God will certainly help me to truly know Him.
There is no partiality with God. God will do the same for anyone who puts their faith in Him.