Knowing God is the best resolution that anyone can make at any time, but especially at the beginning of a New Year. Knowing God is eternal life. “…This is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent” (John 17:3).
The LORD says, “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the LORD” (Jeremiah 9:23-24). Does this describe you?
Knowing the LORD is man’s greatest need. We were made to know God. The knowledge of God not only gives us eternal life in the hereafter – but there is more. Knowing God has huge practical benefits to us here and now. As J. I. Packer says in his book, Knowing God, “Once you become aware that the main business that you are here for is to know God, most of life’s problems fall into place of their own accord.” We all need to know God better. I have yet to meet a Christian (or a non-Christian for that matter), who said that he knows all that there is to be known about God. We need to continue seeking the Lord and striving to get to know Him better. This is the greatest need of the church today – and it’s always been the greatest need of the churches throughout the ages.
We all need a real encounter with the Living God, YHWH, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob – the Holy One of Israel – a real encounter with the LORD in all His majesty and glory through Jesus Christ and by the power of the Holy Spirit. This I believe is the greatest need of the hour. But I fear that the true knowledge of the God of the Bible is deficient among many who profess to be Christians (or Christian churches) today. As a result, there is no life in their souls – no experience of real transformation which is brought about by a divine encounter with the LORD God in Jesus Christ by the Holy Spirit through the Word. As A. W. Tozer wrote in his book, The Knowledge of the Holy:
So necessary to the Church is a lofty concept of God that when that concept in any measure declines, the Church with her worship and her moral standards declines along with it. The first step down for any church is taken when it surrenders its high opinion of God. Before the Christian Church goes into eclipse anywhere there must first be a corrupting of her simple basic theology. She simply gets a wrong answer to the question, “What is God like?” and goes on from there. Though she may continue to cling to a sound nominal creed, her practical working creed has become false. The masses of her adherents come to believe that God is different from what He actually is; and that is heresy of the most insidious and deadly kind. The heaviest obligation lying upon the Christian Church today is to purify and elevate her concept of God until it is once more worthy of Him – and of her. In all her prayers and labors this should have first place. We do the greatest service to the next generation of Christians by passing on to them undimmed and undiminished that noble concept of God which we received from our Hebrew and Christian fathers of generations past. This will prove of greater value to them than anything that art or science can devise.
I hope and pray that you will make it your chief aim in 2015 to know God and to make Him known wherever you are through Jesus Christ, our Savior. Amen! I wish you a blessed year – a year filled with God.
“For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.”