Do you know of God?
“Submit to God and be at peace with Him; in this way prosperity will come to you. Accept instruction from His mouth and lay up His words in your heart. (Job 22:21-22 NIV)
Job 22:21-29 details a wonderful promise of benefits that come with knowing God. Eliphaz, a “friend” of Job, issues a call to righteousness. He offers “good will” and being “at peace” if we really know God. That word “know” is used throughout the Bible as an intimate word – even used to include the intimacy in a marriage. We will be “built up” if we will just “remove wickedness from our tents (daily lives).” Further, it promises “you will delight yourself in the Almighty and lift up your face to God. You will make your prayer to Him, and He will hear you. We will “decide on a matter and it will be established for us, and light will shine on our ways.”
Of course, there is a great difference between knowing God and simply knowing about Him. Millions of people know about Him who do not really know Him. There is an intellectual, theoretical vs. an experiential knowledge of God, and it is the experiential knowledge of Him which is so vital. I sometimes wonder if Satan isn’t one of the great theologians in the world. He knows all about God but he does not put his faith and trust in Him – or live his life for Him.
Jesus’ words challenge us to face the truth,”Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. “Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ (Matt. 7:21-23) Many people attend church, give money, even serve in some very special and impressive ways. Yet, as noted in verse 7:22, do not know God. How do we know God? The words “return” and “receive”, in verses 22 and 23 in the ESV Version, give us direction. We “return” once – that is a crisis; but we go on to “receive” continually – that is a process.
All of these wonderful promises can be ours, if we follow four steps in this passage. We need to “agree with God,” and “receive instruction from His mouth.” We need to “lay up His words in our heart” and “return to the Almighty.” (Job 22:21-23 ESV)
I don’t want to, but have to recall the words Isaiah delivered to God’s “chosen ones” of Israel. “The Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says, “Only in returning to me and waiting for me will you be saved. In quietness and confidence is your strength. But you would have none of it.” (Isa. 30:15)
Will we meet these challenges spelled out in Matthew 7? Will we follow God’s law – or “practice lawlessness?” Do we know about God, and know of God? Or, do we know God – personally and intimately? Do you need to just spend time quiet time with God? Being still before Him? I know I need to spend more time with my Lord, My Father, Friend, and Guide. The choir and I need to hear this message.
Pastor Bill Baltz is a member of the Carson Valley Ministers’ Association.