May 24, 2015

The power of knowing

1 Chronicles 14:1–15:29, 2 Timothy 1:1–2, Psalm 83

When God answers prayer, His people know it. When God does something, or allows an event, or has His hand in our lives, we know it. Knowing what and why God does what He does makes a huge difference in our responses to Him.

“And David knew that the Lord had established him as king over Israel, and that his kingdom was highly exalted for the sake of his people Israel.... And David did as God commanded him, and they struck down the Philistine army from Gibeon to Gezer. And the fame of David went out into all lands, and the Lord brought the fear of him upon all nations.” (1 Chronicles 14:2, 16–17)

David knew God set him up as king. He knew that God exalted his kingdom for the sake of His people. This was not about David , but about the power and purposes of the Lord. Because of these realities, “David did as God commanded him.”

I’ve noticed that my behavior is based on what I know, those things that I am certain of. If there is doubt in my heart, then I begin to become immobilized, or stop doing what I should, or start doing what I should not. Losing my certainty is destructive.

The very definition of faith includes knowing that what God says is true. This is why the enemy of our souls uses lies to keep me and all of God’s people from living rightly. If he can mess up our knowing, then we become useless in our faith and falter in our obedience.

Knowing has several dimensions. I need to know that without Christ, I am nothing. However, that kind of knowing by itself can put me in despair. I also need to know that in Christ I can do all things, that with Him I am a precious child of God, forgiven, justified, beloved, equipped.

The New Testament is filled with what the people of God need to know in order to function as ambassadors for Christ, as God’s people. We need all that only God can give to live the life that He has also given to us. This is why many of the NT books begin with an expressed desire for God’s grace in the lives of those who read them: “Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God according to the promise of the life that is in Christ Jesus, To Timothy, my beloved child: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.” (2 Timothy 1:1–2)

When I am praying, I need to know the power of God and His promises. This gives power and confidence to my prayers. Every child of God needs God’s continual reminders of our identity in Christ.

Today I am pondering the idea that those who are against Christ and His people also need to know the truth about themselves. They need to realize that they are in error and in a grave situation. They need to know that trying to thwart God is folly because they cannot oppose Him and come out of it as winners.

This is why the psalmist prayed: “Fill their faces with shame, that they may seek your name, O Lord. Let them be put to shame and dismayed forever; let them perish in disgrace, that they may know that you alone, whose name is the Lord, are the Most High over all the earth.” (Psalm 83:16–18)

These are some of the reasons for praying that God will give me understanding about Himself, and that others will increase in the knowledge and wisdom of God. Knowing God changes everything and gives His people victory over the lies of Satan, the lure of the world, and the sins that otherwise will entangle us. Knowing myself enables me to realize how much I need to know God!

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