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.
You don’t hear the word “sluggard” used very much today. It’s definition is an habitually lazy person. The sluggard in this verse, refuses to work, but wants everything he desires to be just handed to him. I see many Christians that are sluggards in the Lord. They long for a closer walk with God…but they want someone else to do all the heavy lifting for them. They want someone else to hand feed them choice bits from God, because they’re too lazy to open the Bible up for themselves. Or they’d rather listen to a pod-cast on their phones than get their back-sides up off the couch and actually go to Church. Laziness in the Lord will get you nothing. But diligence in the Lord will strengthen you from the inside out. For when you are motivated to know God better…He will meet you more than halfway.
God called us for His own reasons by the wooing of the Holy Spirit, through the Gospel. The plan and purpose for your life was ingeniously created before the beginning of time. You might think God’s plan and purpose for you is only some lofty ideal…more concept than practicality. But God uses everything for our good. He uses the consequences that happen when we sin to disciple and shape us into a better person. He uses the drudgery of dull mundane tasks, the interactions with strangers, and the simple acts of kindness we do to conform us closer to His image. There is not one thing you’ll do today that hasn’t already passed through God’s hands first and will be used for your good.
God really does know who you are. To Him you’re not just a number or face in the crowd. Consider this Scripture in Psalms… “He determines the number of stars and calls them each by name.” (Psalm 147:4) Tonight go stand outside and look up…can you even begin to count the stars? So if this verse tells us God can name each one of those stars…how could you believe He doesn’t know your name? But it goes so much farther than that… for God not only knows who you are but is aware of every detail in your life, for nothing escapes Him.
God so loved the world that He gave us His Son, Jesus Christ. This overwhelming love was evidenced by Him sending Jesus to die for our sinful world…placing such unwarranted value on us, though we certainly didn’t deserve it. What we deserved was God’s wrath and judgment…but what we received was the sacrificial lamb of Jesus… Who died in our place.
These scriptures beg the question…”What are You asking of me Lord?” Foremost, Jesus is asking for commitment. Not just lip service, or Sunday only acknowledgement… No, He’s asking for sold-out, unwavering determination to follow Him no matter the cost. Jesus is also asking for conviction. That’s a gut belief that He died on the Cross and rose again for me so that I may have eternal life. Then too, Jesus is asking for conformity. He wants me to become more like Him. Finally, Jesus is asking that I give up control. Now this is probably the most frightening but the most freeing request of His…For to go deeper with Jesus means releasing command of myself and trusting Him more.
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.
We all need spiritual sustenance, because we all have a God-shaped hole inside that needs to be filled. This inner hunger and thirst for God propels us forward in His Way and supports us in times of trials. Life is sustained by food…but our spiritual life is nourished and maintained by the word of God.
The Words of the Lord are powerful. They convict and lay bare the sin in our life and cause Godly sorrow. This Godly sorrow leads to brokenness and repentance. For every time we listen to the Word being spoken, it’s an opportunity for the Lord to change us.