Friday, 19 July 2013

How do we know the Lord?

How do we know the Lord? How do I know Him?

Do I only know ABOUT Him? By reading about Him in a book or in a web site, or by hearing what others have told me? By looking at pictures of Him?

Or do I have first hand experience of Him? Before I met the Lord, I knew about Him. I read the Bible a lot as a child and probably knew much of the Bible better than many so-called 'Bible-believers' do today. But Jesus as the Person He IS was, as far as I was concerned, a two-dimensional figure in a stained-glass window. If someone had told me back then that I could actually know this wonderful Person in reality; that He is/was REAL, ALIVE and present here and now... well, I don't know what I would have said. John the Immerser says (John 3:27) that a man can only receive what has been given to him. Back then, it had not yet been given to me to know the Lord. I was a bit like the child Samuel - serving in the Temple, but the word of the Lord hadn't yet been revealed to him.

Once He had given me revelation of Himself - once He had opened my heart to see Him - thank you Lord that you did!- I could say in my heart, I KNOW that I know that I KNOW Him. The difference between knowing about Him and REALLY meeting and knowing Him is like the difference between  reading the score of Rachmaninov's second piano concerto and actually hearing an orchestra playing it, or tasting chocolate for the first time, after only reading about it, or hearing about giving birth to a child and knowing all the theory of what is supposed to happen and then actually going through the experience for yourself, and holding this little LIFE in your arms afterwards. Or falling helplessly in love yourself, after merely watching romantic films. Second-hand knowledge is paltry - tasteless, bland.

Which is perhaps why so many fail to want to come into an experience of KNOWING Him; because they have been put off by the paltry, tasteless blandness of what so many tout as Christianity - but which is actually only a pathetic counterfeit of the real thing.

Granted that He alone can give a person revelation of Himself - and that all our efforts to come into the knowledge of the King by our own strength are futile, once He has done so, how do we then know Him? Again, by more revelation from Him.

But in meeting the King for the first time, my heart is captured by His love, and having tasted His love for the first time, nothing else can ever satisfy me again. Nothing this world can offer can come close to being in His Presence, being held close to His heart, hearing His voice speaking my name so lovingly, so tenderly, feeling and soaking in His peace, knowing His forgiveness for my mistakes and foolish ways and knowing that He loves me in and in spite of my weakness and it only makes Him want to bless me with more of Himself, to wipe away anything left of the old me. Have we really known a love like this before?

And knowing Him now, all I long to do is to sit in His presence, at His feet, watching Him, not letting any gesture or movement escape me. His voice thrills me! I love the movement of His lips, love to see the way the light in His eyes changes when He has a new thought, love to anticipate what He might say next...

Studying Him, loving Him, beholding the Lord in my heart, is the way to closer intimacy with Him. The more I gaze at Him, the more He is enraptured by me, "Turn your eyes away from me, because they overwhelm me!" (Song of Songs 6:5). He longs to pour Himself out on me and bless me more than I have ever been blessed before, simply because I love Him for Who He is, and cannot get enough of Him.
Hosea 6:3: "Let us know, let us strive to know Adonai. That he will come is as certain as morning..."

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