On Paul’s second missionary trip to Thessalonica, Berea, and Athens, He was met with the opportunity to reveal and declare God’s existential divinity, nature, character and sovereignty to the Athenian church (Acts 17). The Athenian culture was one rich in religion, yet they did not KNOW God. In fact, in verse 23, Paul addresses the fact that they had an altar inscribed with the words ‘To the Unknown God’ who they ignorantly worshipped. How is it possible that people can worship someone they do not know? The truth is, there are more people that fall into this category today than not.
Unfortunately, this is the case, even within the Body of Christ. People go to church every week, serve in their assigned ministry auxiliaries, tithe, operate in their spiritual giftings, etc., for years, and still do not know God. Why? They have relegated their relationship with God to their performance, what they can understand and/or what they can get from the experience. These are all self-based pursuits ridden in idolatry of ‘self’. In Jesus’ sermon on the Mount in Matthew 7:21-23, He tells of those who profess the name of Christ in talk and works, yet they do not know Him. Let us keep in mind. These were church people, not worldly people.
With this said, I want to ask you. Do you know God? To know means “to be aware of, have knowledge of, to perceive with certainty, be resolved in, be fully sure of, understand clearly, precludes all doubt or uncertainty of its existence and to be no stranger to.” Are you fully sure of who God is and what is required of you to have right relationship with Him? Do you know for certain that God is pleased with your life and your relationship with Him? Do you know and understand God’s ways and desires? How much time do you spend getting to know who He is? Is it less than, equal to or more than the time you spend doing other things?
These are not questions to condemn you (Romans 8:1) but an encouragement to examine/judge yourself (1 Corinthians 11:31-32) to identify who it is you are really worshipping. Is it the television, Internet, culture, money, social media, friends/family/spouse/significant other, job/business, health and fitness, the idea of marriage, material possessions, sex, drugs, alcohol, pornography, the recognition and/or approval of others, wealth, etc.? The list goes on and on.
The truth is many who profess Christ do not know Him. They know more about the lives of their favorite celebrities than that of Jesus’ life. They have the words of their favorite secular song or TV show memorized more than they do Jesus’ words in the Bible. They may believe He is the Son of God (James 2:19), have a zeal for who He is (Romans 10:2) and even believe in His power, but still do not know Him (Matthew 7:21-23). Hence, is why many who profess Christ do not experience the fullness of God’s love and power in their lives. More detrimental than this though is some will never experience His eternal glory in Heaven either. How devastating is this? To think you are on the right side, all to find out in the end you are not. As a Christ follower, this ought to convict you to action – performing daily self-examination of your spiritual state and soul (mind, will and emotions) to ensure your vertical relationship with the Father is where it needs to be. None of us have arrived. True soul work is activated first by our decision, perpetual until the coming of Christ and unattainable without the Holy Spirit’s empowerment.
Prayer to Know God
Father God, in the Name of Jesus, I come before you acknowledging your sovereignty, unfailing love, grace and mercy. You and you alone are God over all created existence and in my life. I love you. Lord, if I have given first place position to anyone/anything but you in my life and heart, please forgive me. I willfully lay it down right now. Create in me a new heart and renew a right spirit within me. I am nothing and can do nothing without you. It is only in you that I live, move and have my being. I want to know you more. As your child, I want to know and match your nature, your character and your heart. Holy Spirit, I ask you to help me to be disciplined in seeking God through prayer and studying His Word daily. Holy Spirit, empower me to not just be a hearer of the Word but a doer also so I will not be deceived. I declare that I am right now putting off the old man/woman’s ways and picking up my newness of life in Christ Jesus. By faith, I receive and praise you for what I have prayed for in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Today, I am challenging you to respond with action in the following ways:
1. Pray and ask the Holy Spirit to show you any idols you in your life.
2. Find and read aloud three Scriptures that speak to that/those area(s), confess them over your life, write them down and meditate on them throughout the day. To Get You Started: Read, meditate on and pray Exodus 20:3-6, Isaiah 44:9-20 and Galatians 5.
3. Keep a journal with you throughout the day and take note of any revelations the Holy Spirit gifts you as you meditate on these Scriptures.
4. Before you go to bed, write down one action step you are going to take to align this area to God’s Word. Find and share with your accountability partner.
5. Comment below what the Holy Spirit revealed to you and how you are going to partner with God to become more like Christ in this area.