In this verse the Lord lays out very clearly what’s our responsibility and what’s His. For starters, this relationship can’t happen until we have that “coming to Jesus moment”, a time when we finally stop, admit our sinfulness, repent, and turn back to Him. He says that at that moment He will restore, renew, and revive our old self into a new one that is worthy of carrying His Message to others. But there is also a warning in this verse, a caution to not allow compromise to creep into our message – however enticing it is – to merely win the approval of man. As Zechariah 3:7 tells us, we are to continually walk in His ways and keep His requirements…not what we think others want to hear.
Isaiah gives a vivid picture of this knowledge of the Lord in Chapter 11, verse 9 when he says, “For the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.” All mankind has the opportunity to experience the Lord in a personal way…to have intimate fellowship with the Creator of the universe. For you can be “told” about God all your life, but it’s not until you fully grasp what Jesus did for you on that Cross…dying so you may live…that you can really “know” Him. “Taste and see that the Lord is good.” Psalm 34:8
Our walk with the Lord is a process…a long, sometimes difficult passage, from what we once were, to what we are becoming. But what happens many times, we end up feeling stuck in the middle of our old and new self. So that’s when it’s time to take inventory. Turn around and take a critical view of your old self…not a pretty picture, right? Now, ponder where your life is today with the Lord’s help. It’s nothing short of a miracle in how you have grown in the knowledge of God…and with that knowledge, how you have been changed. None of us will every be able to say, “I’ve arrived!” when it comes to the full knowledge of God…but as long as we continually strive for more of Him in our lives…we’ll be making headway.
For many of us, we are riding on the shoulders of those who have come before us. Maybe it was a Grandmother, Great Aunt, or Great Uncle that were so influential in your early years. This someone, whose strong Christian walk stirred your own soul and formed early on your ideas of just who God was, became a shining example of His light and truth to you. And as they walked the walk and talked the talk…that assurance of who God was and His matchless power and authority became more real every day.
What’s motivating your thoughts and actions today? Is it the Lord or something else? Is the driving force behind what you think and do Godly or worldly? When we are motivated by the desire to know God better, each day is a new discovery of divine knowledge…not just shown to us, but clarified and witnessed by the Holy Spirit within. And with that daily recognition of the truth, our motivation shifts from selfish to selfless.
This would be my prayer for you today also. That the Lord would accomplish in your life His plan and purpose… and you would be able to grasp the concept and see the relationship between knowing God and living for Him. You know God to live…in other words, you put your faith and trust in Jesus Christ which leads to eternal life. But then, you live to know God…that is, you continue to faithfully walk with God, which develops this close, intimate relationship that only grows deeper every day. I pray that you would know God to live, and live to know God. Amen.
It is simply by God’s unearned and unmerited favor that we have the chance to be saved. It’s by His absolute free expression of His loving kindness towards us that we may come into a right relationship with Him through His Son Jesus Christ. This divine gift…the gift of eternal life is not to be taken lightly, or with a casualness that doesn’t fully take into account the terrible price Jesus Christ paid for our freedom. The gift of salvation can not be bought with a price…for what Jesus did for mankind was priceless.