Aug 8, 2018

Above All, Know God

"There’s a difference between knowing God and knowing about God. When you truly know God, you have energy to serve him, boldness to share him, and contentment in him." - J. I. Packer

There have been a number of major events in my life. A few were good but most were difficult. Although I’m still walking through some for the time being, I’ve been able to look back on those times and see God’s presence through it all. Looking back may be through reading old journals and seeing how God carried me through my fears I was writing down, or looking at old photos and noticing the joy everywhere and how that was only possible because of Him. I’ve always acknowledged the fact that God is omnipresent, but only recently did I notice my failure to actually apply that to my life. There have been many times I’ve thought He wasn’t there for me when it seemed like there was no hope, but I was always turned back to the truth despite my doubts. However, I have recently become increasingly aware that it’s just not the big areas that God dwells or cares about. I sometimes think that He just doesn’t have the time to care or notice whether or not I’ll get through the week without having a breakdown or resolving that one conflict that shouldn’t even be there to begin with. People, myself included, tend to put nonexistent limitations on God. We think that He is bound by the pressures of time or the burden of having too many people to care for with bigger issues than if we have time to get everything done or not. God’s presence in your life is not dependent on if someone dies or some other major tragedy occurs. And it doesn’t even have to be something bad, He’s there when things are good too.

A friend reminded me of this truth recently when she said something along the lines of “God is everywhere, all the time.” A simple fact, but hard to apply to our lives with Him. And it’s not even just with His omnipresence where we place limitations on Him. We think He only loves us if we’re perfect, when in fact we’re made perfect by His own Son’s blood. We think He’s only watching us when we’re about to do something wrong. We think the only time to worship or be with Him is on Sundays during church. Everywhere in life we know the truth but chose to ignore it simply because it’s easier or we’re actually believing the lie we’re being told. I would encourage you to start practicing acknowledging His presence in all things and thanking Him when good things happen and praying for strength and wisdom when they go otherwise, and not just about the major things. There was a time I prayed that He would help me find a sock. If God is the God of the universe, why should we limit Him to taking care of anything less than what He has made– that is, everything? There are times I feel incredibly alone but then I feel awful because I remember God is there and I shouldn’t be complaining. But that’s not really knowing he’s present, that’s just remembering a fact I’ve known my whole life and doesn’t change the way I’m wrongly feeling. This isn’t a guilt trip to make you feel bad, rather a prompting to help you really understand more of who God is. It’s a good thing He’s there, can you imagine where you’d be if He weren’t? Don’t feel guilty, but do turn from your false preconceptions of what God does or doesn’t have time for. This is how you take the knowledge you have of God and actually apply it to your life; this is how you know God instead of knowing about Him. God cares for you and is very present in your life. Recognize and acknowledge that He is there. Big or small, good or bad, He’s there.