Westcoast News

Knowing God

by Leanne Riley
YWAM Perth Staff
Media Ministry

 

 

 

In the English language, we generally use only one word for “know”. To say we “know” someone in a deep and personal way uses the same word as to “know” a math equation or a fun fact. In the Greek language, though, there is a difference. Many of us have read one of Paul’s most famous expressions about knowing God: “I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.” (Philippians 3:8, ESV.) When we look at the original language, we can see that Paul wasn’t simply talking about knowing the truth of God in our minds — he talked about something deeper. The Greek word used here for “knowing” is gnōseōs. Strong’s Greek defines this as a “functional knowledge gleaned from first-hand (personal) experience, connecting theory to application… gained in (by) a direct relationship.”

Paul’s earthly possessions paled in comparison to the knowledge of God. He wasn’t talking about the kind of factual knowledge that stays in our minds, but an experiential knowledge that transforms our hearts and the world around us — a knowledge that grows through a “direct relationship”.

Think about how you would describe a celebrity to someone. You may know a few facts, but your description would largely be based off of what you have heard about them. Now think about how you would describe your spouse, your children, or some of your good friends. There would likely be so much more life and joy behind that explanation, drawing from your firsthand experience and the deep, loving connection you have with them. This is one reason why it’s so important to know God personally. When we share with others about Jesus, we don’t need to share facts about a distant person that lived long ago. We can share from our own personal experience. There is so much more power behind something we know to be true in our heart versus something that is only information in our mind.

Try to recall something that God has done in your life, big or small. It could be a time that He provided when you were in need, or a time that you witnessed Him heal you or someone else. All of these moments that come to mind are testimonies – they bear witness to who God is.  

Revelations 12:11 says that Satan is overcome “by the power of [our] testimony”. In a courtroom, the power of a witness giving a testimony is that they have firsthand experience — they saw something with their own eyes. When we experience God personally, we are deeply convinced of the truth. Our inward conviction is powerful when we share our stories with others. Nobody can convince us otherwise when we have seen, heard and experienced God for ourselves.

Something we can all love about knowing Jesus is that it is a lifelong process of discovery.

He never hides Himself, yet there is always more to know about Him. We can walk through life excited to learn even more, expectant for Him to shape us through both our personal times of Bible reading and through life experience. No matter how long we have walked with God, there is always more to discover about him!

 

by Colleen Noblet
YWAM Perth Staff
Core Elder

 

 

 

/ GETTING TO KNOW HIM EVERYDAY /

I don’t think I would be exaggerating to say that each day in serving God in this mission, I get to know Him more. Sometimes it is deep and personal through worship or application to a message. Sometimes it is in very practical ways in finding homes for our staff. Just in the last few weeks, we have been trusting God for six new apartments to house our new staff. There were not really any rentals showing up in the usual ways, and it seemed impossible.

But, as we prayed, we saw god miraculously provide four apartments.

Such a practical way to get to know Him — to know that He hears and answers prayer, that He is the God of the impossible, that He cares deeply for us. He not only “goes to prepare a place for us” in heaven (John 14:2), but also provides for our daily needs here and now. I love the adventure of getting to know Him each day in such diverse ways.

 

by Cliff Wrener
YWAM Perth Staff
Core Elder

 

 

 

/ DRAWING CLOSE /

Did you know that God lays out a pathway for us to know Him more? In the gospel of Mark we read of two situations where people came close to Jesus. What can you take away about knowing God from these stories?

Mark 9:20-22; Mark 10:46-52

In the first passage, it was the woman’s humility that made the difference. She recognised her need and her hunger to meet Jesus, and she reached out her hand in the midst of a crowd  while Jesus was on his way to heal someone else. The woman’s faith, shown by her humility and hunger, brought about the life-changing encounter with God. The crowd that was pressed up against Jesus didn’t know God to that depth. It was the faith of the woman that resulted in a deeper knowledge of God.

In the same way, the second story tells of a blind man that received his sight. He met and experienced God because of his faith — shown by his humility and hunger.

Will you reach out to God in humility today?

Will you call out in desperation, in hunger to experience His touch and power in your life? Your faith matters. You can be on the pathway of experiencing God today.

 


 

 

This article was published in the
September 2018 edition of Westcoast News.

View the full Westcoast News magazine.

 

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