THE GOD I NOW KNOW

For much of my adult life, God remained mostly unknown to me. I knew that God was “out there” somewhere, but I knew little about Him or what to expect from Him. To me, the older I became, the less I seemed to understand God. So even after I had become a Christian, God was an ever-growing question mark of whom I had little expectation of ever getting to “meet” in this life, let alone getting to know. Little did I recognize either God’s good and loving Presence or His active working power in my life or in the lives of others around me.

For many years, my hope in God—a hope to which I admit not having been one hundred percent certain—was basic.  I “hoped” that I would one day be allowed to enter heaven; but, at the same time, I was genuinely afraid that I would never get in. Though my church attendance was fairly regular and I prayed as often as need seemed to indicate, my worship and prayers were essentially flat—two dimensional. At the time, they couldn’t have been any more than they were because they lacked depth in the life that is received in true communion with God. The fact is that my communion with God was on the light side.

As a young child, I had attended Sunday school often, and as a teen, I had confessed Jesus as Savior. But after that, I was essentially left hanging by people who didn’t know much more about having a personal relationship with God than I did. I didn’t know that I could personally come to know God, nor did I know that He wanted me to do so. I didn’t know the depth of my need for God, nor did I know that God had placed Himself within my reach. I didn’t know that His Hand was already on me as He waited patiently for my attention to turn foremost to Him. The shortfall in my relationship with God was all on my end, and God alone had the means to overcome it; and, He did.

On the day when God caught my attention, He signaled His Presence to me in a way that would have been impossible for me to have missed. As I stood with my head bowed and my eyes closed before a young pastor, who was laying hands on me in prayer, a sudden flash of bright white light caused my eyes to fling open and my body to reel backward in great surprise. In that moment, as the light dispelled the darkness, I became certain of this:  Whatever had just happened to me, no one but God could have been behind it. I had no other explanation than to realize that there is a God whom I did not know and that He was involving Himself with me.

In accepting that fact, I accepted a change in my thinking that opened my mind and life to new possibilities. From that one God-given supernatural experience, a question relative to God arose within me to take precedence over all other concerns. That question that I continue carrying with me is this:  What do I not know about the here and now reality of God that I am missing out on?

What I did know at that moment was this:  I wanted to know more. At first, I simply wanted to know more about the God to whom the flash of light had introduced me. But the more that I witnessed the Truth—the Truth that God is present and working in people’s lives today in ways that supersede their natural abilities, the more that I wanted God participating similarly in my life. Simply knowing about God was no longer sufficient. The more that I came to know about God, the more that I wanted to experience Him up close and personal. The desire turned out to be exactly what God wanted all along.

While God has always known all about me, I had everything to learn about God, including that God loves being my Teacher. So as I began allotting more time to hearing what God had to say, He began redrawing the erroneous picture that had formed in my mind of what “the normal Christian life” looks like.

With God adjusting my thinking, my reading of Scripture took on new and deeper meaning. At times, the words seemed to jump off the Bible’s pages in a life of their own, causing me to jump out of my seat, praising God. Additionally, the inner second-person voice of God began standing out more distinctly from my own separate thoughts, as I came to more readily recognize God’s direct and concise manner of speaking. And twice thus far, for whatever reasons that God deemed to be best, I have heard His Words delivered via a booming, audible voice that only I was enabled to hear.

This is the God I have come to know.

He is the God who gives words of knowledge for the welfare of others and words of wisdom for the wellbeing of all. He speaks prophetically, both to us and through us, increasing our understanding and giving us direction. He enables His Words to flow from our mouths.

This is the God I have come to know.

He is the God who speaks through dreams when we are asleep and through revelatory visions when we are awake. Day and night, He gives discernment, enabling us to distinguish between good and evil.

This is the God I have come to know.

He is the God who hears our prayers and responds when we call upon Him. He is the God who delights in fulfilling our desires, giving us what we need so that we may have what we want, knowing that what we want is within His goodwill for us. Then, above and beyond all that we’ve asked for, God loves to surprise us with bonus gifts, to boot.

This is the God I have come to know.

He is the God who restores souls, correcting our thinking and healing our hearts. He is the God who heals our physical bodies, even doing so instantaneously at times, as I have now three times experienced. He is the God of all Creation who is still doing creative miracles today, one of which I have also received.

This is the God I have come to know:  the God of the Bible—

the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob;
the God of Peter, John, and Paul.

One God who does not change—a Mighty God who eternally is, was, and will forever yet be:

  • the One whose love, grace, mercy, and forgiveness extend forever;
  • the One whose Holiness perfects us in His Wholeness forever;
  • the One who can’t ever stop righteously giving Himself for our sakes.

This is the God who I now know that I’m just now starting to know forever. Praise God for His Goodness that made us able to know and grow in His Truth forever.

Amen.

 

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