Something crossed my mind while pondering this idea of striving to know God. There is just something incredibly wrong with the human heart (mine, in particular) when it can begin a quest to know God with the purest of intentions and somewhere along the way, subtly, our flesh begins to pull and gnaw and we begin to believe that if we cease to increase in our knowledge of God, then God’s love will decrease towards us. We don’t typically realize this until it’s too late, but all of a sudden, we find ourselves in a works-based righteousness (which is, of course, no righteousness at all). I don’t discount anything written in the last post, but as with everything, it’s not the whole story. My hope here is to bring some balance to the issue and remind you of some pretty incredible things, not primarily concerning our thoughts towards God, but His thoughts toward us.
Really, if the last post was a plea for passion in your Christian walk, this one is a plea to allow the motivation for your passion to be rooted in the fact that God loves you not because of you, but in spite of you. Our action is a response to God’s love toward us, not an effort to gain it. You’ve heard the saying, “There’s nothing you can do to make God love you less…and there’s nothing you can do to make God love you more.” This is true and that concept is what provides the freedom for our action to be rooted and grounded in Christ’s finished work on the cross.
It’s a pretty astounding thing that this great God of ours who can be compared to an ocean in His vastness; whom we will never know fully and completely as we spend eternity going deeper and deeper into our knowledge of Him; who knit and now holds the entire universe together…this God knows me. This is incredible! We don’t have to do anything to impress God. Because of His Son, God is unflinchingly for us and not against us. Read these verses from your Bible and be encouraged…
- Psalms 139:13-18 says it like this, “For You formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are Your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from You, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in Your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. How precious to me are Your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I would count them, they are more than the sand…”
- Psalms 40:5 – “You have multiplied, O Lord my God, your wondrous deeds and your thoughts toward us; none can compare with You! I will proclaim and tell of them, yet they are more than can be told.”
- Psalms 56:8 – “You have kept count of my tossings [or wanderings]; put my tears in Your bottle. Are they not in Your book?”
- Matthew 10:29-31 – “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.
- Romans 8:30 – “…If God is for us, who can be against us?”
As much as we should pursue God and love God and seek to know more about God, always remember that He first pursued us. He first loved us. And He first knew everything about us. (And He still loves us anyway!) Knowing that God is for you, Christian, frees you to serve Him out of love, not fear. Think about those verses above and really ponder the depths of what is said in them. Our great God does not sit back and wait for us to approach Him, to “make the first move,” so to speak. He most definitely made the first move when He sent His son Jesus to “pitch His tent among us,” to live the life we should have lived but couldn’t and to die the death we should have died but didn’t. And it’s precisely through Jesus that God has made Himself known to us. It’s only because of Jesus that we are able to know God at all. Through Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection we are able to “draw near to throne of grace” (Hebrews 4:16) and the veil that previously separated God from the people was torn in half thus allowing anyone to approach God.
So yes, seek to know God, but let all your seeking and all your knowing be grounded and rooted in the fact that He first knew you, loved you, and found you. Then your seeking and knowing can be set free from fear and set fire with love.