Monday, 3 January 2022

That I May Know Thee

 Scripture: Exodus 33 v 12 - 14: "And Moses said unto the LORD, See, thou sayest unto me, Bring up this people: and thou hast not let me know whom thou wilt send with me. Yet thou hast said, I know thee by name, and thou hast also found grace in my sight.

13  Now therefore, I pray thee, if I have found grace in thy sight, shew me now thy way, that I may know thee, that I may find grace in thy sight: and consider that this nation is thy people.
14  And he said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest."

Phillipians 3 v 8 - 10: "Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,
9  And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:
10  That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;"

These two great men of God, chosen vessels, powerfully gifted, had one central heart's desire - that I may know Him.  If they did not know Him, how about us?  Do we really know Him?

Paul wrote that everything he ever knew or owned became worthless in the light of the knowledge of Jesus.  He realised that being in the presence of God, experiencing the anointing of His nearness, was worth more than anything on this Earth, or in the world.  The anointing of the Holy Spirit transforms us into vessels meet for the Masters use.

When we feel His presence and respond to Him we are opened in our spirit to receive instructions of what He needs us to do.  When this is an established experience some things require urgency and knowing His ways gives us short cuts to getting things done prayerfully.  It is thrilling to be in such close contact with the King of Kings and to want to know Him more.

Moses too was overwhelmed that God knew him personally and he wanted to know Him like that, and be in His mighty presence.  Nothing was more sacred to Moses.  He would never for a moment forget the experience of the burning bush, or deliverance of the Hebrews from Egypt.  He knew God as a God of miracles who fed His people for forty years with manna and quail.  He sent forth a river of water in the desert, flowing out of a rock to satisfy twelve tribes and their flocks.

Yet these two, Paul and Moses, wanted to know Him more.  David wrote, As the deer pants for the water so my heart longs after You, You alone are my heart's desire and I long to worship You.  Those who have tasted the wonderful presence of Jesus, want nothing more because He utterly satisfies those who come bringing offerings of praise, worship and love.

Job 19 v 25: "For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth:"  The Book of Job is the oldest book of the Bible.  God knew Job was a man of honour and righteousness so He blessed him abundantly.  Satan challenged God over the blessings of Job.

Job 1 v 8 - 12: "And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? 
 9  Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought?
 10  Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land. 
 11  But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face. 
 12  And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD."

Satan then destroyed everything that Job possessed, killing all his children, ruining his farms and livestock, turning his friends into mockers, and covering his body with painful boils.  Satan taunted him to curse God but Job never did, and in the end God gave him back everything he had lost and even more abundance.  His daughters were known as the fairest in the land.

Through this ordeal Job knew God and His presence in his life.  One thing he was sure of was that the Living Redeemer would be on Earth in the last days.  So did the angels who were present when the resurrected Jesus ascended into Heaven four millennia later.

Acts 1 v 9 - 11: "And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.
 10  And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel;
 11  Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven."

This wonderful reassurance occurred just 10 days before Pentecost, a feast of the Jews happening 50 days after Passover.  It began in the Wilderness during the exodus.  It now would become the birth of the Church of Jesus Christ because it was on Pentecost that the Holy Spirit came upon the apostles and even Mary, the mother of Jesus, who were in an Upper Room.

They heard a sound like a strong wind and upon their heads appeared tongues of fire, power came upon them and they started to pray, speak and worship in other tongues.  Languages they had never learned poured forth from their mouths.  The people in the street below were from many countries and had come to celebrate Pentecost.  They understood the words the apostles uttered.  They were telling of the wonderful works of God.

Not all tongues are in known languages, some are in heavenly languages unknown on Earth.  When the Lord wants to get a message across to unbelievers He uses known tongues that will be understood by them.

Everyone who has been baptised in the Holy Spirit and has received His gifts of tongues, interpretation of tongues, faith, miracles, prophecy, healings, discerning of spirits, word of knowledge and word of wisdom, has begun to know Him, the Living God.

Through the power, anointing, gifts, fruit, guidance of the Holy Spirit, we learn to scratch the surface of knowing God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ.  The more we know, the more we want to know, but to plunge into the depths of really knowing God, this world has to become nothing.  Our God is far removed from anything that even looks like sin.

He has forgiven sin for sure, as soon as we repent and show remorse it is deleted forever.  No guilt remains and we are free to be grateful.  Free to explore the nature of God and receive all the changes following Jesus brings upon us.  Our blocks to transformation are stubbornness and self-deception which becomes unbelief and backsliding.

Starting out in this new year let us make "That we may know Him" our quest and our one desire.  Paul spent three years alone in the desert after his conversion for one purpose - to know Him whom he had persecuted and hated for no real reason.  To discover the nature and purpose of Jesus appearing to him on that dusty Damascus road, and turning His blinding lights upon Him.

Acts 22 v 8 - 10: "And I answered, Who art thou, Lord? And he said unto me, I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom thou persecutest.
 9  And they that were with me saw indeed the light, and were afraid; but they heard not the voice of him that spake to me.
 10  And I said, What shall I do, Lord? And the Lord said unto me, Arise, and go into Damascus; and there it shall be told thee of all things which are appointed for thee to do."

So, as Don Francisco once sang, Come a little closer to Jesus, get a whole lot closer to Jesus, everything is going to be alright!

Prayer: Heavenly Father, no matter how long we have been born again and begun a personal relationship with You and Jesus, we need to know You more than we do.  We will spend eternity with You, so every bit of knowledge will be a delight.  Help us to seek Your face and experience Your divine presence in our midst.  In Jesus' name. Amen.