June 28, 2013
Oh, that we might know the LORD! Let us press on to know him! Then he will respond to us as surely as the arrival of dawn or the coming of rains in early spring.” (Hosea 6:3 NLT)
When I first came to faith and for the first few years as a pastor I struggled with the concept of knowing God personally. I struggled until several spiritual heavyweights mentored me in this dimension of my faith journey. They helped me by shaking everything down to three simple propositions that were basic, yet absolute.
The three propositions are: God is there, God is real, and God is personal.
I have not struggled with the proposition that God is there. My mentors challenged me to think about all the ways God responds to our many prayers to Him. As proclaimed by Hosea I found that when I related myself to God He responded by relating Himself to me. That inspired me to believe that He is not only there but He is very real when I relate to Him and make contact with Him there.
Over time as I shared the intimate dimensions of my personal, private and even secret life with Him I affirmed the glorious reality that God is personal and I should believe Him when He tells me He knows the number of hairs on my head at any given moment. I should also believe Him when He tells me He has a plan for my life that when followed will make me an original person distinct from every other living person.
Are you pressing on to know the Lord? If you are, I offer you these three propositions that can help us all know the Lord when we believe them.
March 2, 2013
“I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living” (Psalm 27: 13).
As we ponder the definition of faith we hear it said that believing is seeing. “When I see it I’ll believe it” is the way some would put it. In the verse quoted above David clearly writes that we believe first and then our believing leads us to the seeing of what we believe.
Biblical faith always has an unseen object. According to other Scriptures there will always be evidence that the unseen object of our faith exists, but when our faith is biblical faith the object of that faith will be unseen (Hebrews 11:6). Seeing does not lead to believing because we already have the object of our faith when we see, but believing does lead to seeing according to David and other authors of the Bible.
A rural pastor told his people that when they invited him home for dinner after church he was always hoping they would have southern fried chicken. If he had no reason to believe that would be the menu he could only hope there would be chicken for dinner. But when he came into their home if he smelled chicken and if he saw from the living room chicken gravy on the dining room table, those things were the evidence of the object he could not see. He could now believe there was chicken in the kitchen and he would have it for dinner.
David tells us that after the believing that leads to seeing, all we have to do is wait on the Lord until we see the object of our faith. Are you believing God for something you cannot yet see?