That I may know Him…

“How I want to be, Lord, just like You…and all the good things that I want to do.  Listen to my heart, Lord, yes it’s true…in everything I say, in everything I do, How I want to be, Lord, just like You.”

Jewish children (near exit of Western Wall area I think)

The words to this children’s song are simple and sound so good to sing or say with words.  And it is good.  In fact, I can fill my life with good works (which are in fact commanded by Jesus) which seemingly depict what He would do.   But it goes deeper than that.  My heart must be changed.  It must be washed with grace (the power and desire to do God’s will, or as Strong’s implies – the Divine influence upon the heart and it’s being reflected in the life).  If I am not truly changed inside – I could give all my goods to feed the poor (a good thing) and it profit me nothing.  And grace must be ministered to us continually – being multiplied for the many ways and times we need it – the inward desire to do what’s right and the power to carry it out.

What I am trying to say, is – how many times do I try to do the right things but fall short in my heart attitudes?  Am I allowing Jesus to in fact change me on the inside so that I WANT to do what’s right because of the Spirit working in me, and am not just trying to DO what’s right in my own strength.

Our tour group hiking near Tel Dan

It’s true that if we love Jesus, we will obey Him and keep His commandments.  But He also invites us to draw near to Him.

Am I truly coming to KNOW Him?

Seeking Him, finding Him, and knowing Him makes ALL the difference.  And it isn’t just head knowledge, it’s personal experience – it’s the knowing Him on the inside that brings peace and contentment and in fact victory – in Him.

Atop Mt. Carmel

I recently heard a two-part testimony given by Ravi Zacharias (here and here) that just moved me and inspired me to truly live out the life Christ called me to live.  How many times do I focus on the difficulties encountered in following Him, rather than on coming to know Who He is and embracing the life He has so freely given and the close relationship afforded?  Some good may come from those who choose to follow Him at a distance but I want to be up close – able to see His face which is all revealing of His purposes, compassion, delight, mercy, forgiveness, love, zeal, and yes even His anguish at my failures and anger at the wickedness prevalent in the world.

I am thinking now of the song,

“Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face.

And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.

Oh soul, are you weary and troubled?  No light in the darkness you see?

There’s light for a look at the Savior, and life more abundant and free.”

Through death into life everlasting He passed, and we follow Him there;
Over us sin no more hath dominion— For more than conquerors we are!

His Word shall not fail you—He promised; Believe Him, and all will be well:

Then go to a world that is dying, His perfect salvation to tell!

Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face.

And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.”

And also, this one (a chorus we sing at church)…

“Close to Thee, close to Thee, let me live every day close to Thee.

With Thy Holy Spirit guide me, in Thy pavilion hide me,

Let me live every day close to Thee.”

My brother, Andrew, walking the street where Jesus walked (next to the Temple Mount).

Close enough that I can feel Him, hear him, and as my brother, Andrew, mentioned in church last night, be guided by His eye (Psalm 32:8).  And not only as a servant is guided by a master but as a friend who is able to be confided in by my Greater Friend, closer than even a brother (John 15:14-15, Proverbs 18:24).

I have been reading  Left to Tell by Immaculée Ilibagiza, a survivor of the Rwandan Holocaust and how she came to know God in a much deeper way through the incredible terror, suffering, and loss she experienced losing all her immediate family (with the exception of one brother out of the country) and hiding for 91 days in a small bathroom with several other women enduring frequent threats (often audible and just beyond a few inches of plastered wall) of being discovered by killers.  Hardly able to speak and tormented with mental anguish, she cried out to God and was given great comfort and strength during those dark days and a greater love relationship with Him she had never had before.  In a video clip of her sharing her testimony she said she felt like she was “falling in love with Him” during that time.  It was because she drew near to Him in her hour of need and He responded.

Yes, I want to know God as it says in in Philippians 3:10.  The first part of that verse conveys our desire to know Him in the “power of His resurrection” speaks of might and miracles, but the part about knowing Him in the “fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death” requires us to know Him in ways that are often difficult.  However, the difference is we are sharing in them WITH Him and that makes all things possible and the result profitable – for us and others.

The Garden Tomb

What I want to convey through all I have said is this:

I want to be closer to Jesus and know Him more deeply.

Not just know more about Him, but know Him, the Man, Christ Jesus, in the relationship He has so graciously afforded me.

I don’t want to squander this opportunity.

May this be my heart’s cry and the cry of all who have heard of His fame.  Know Him.  Make Him yours.

I know we will never regret it.

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2 thoughts on “That I may know Him…

  1. This post really spoke to my heart, Rachel. I found it to be so encouraging and convicting to me as I read what you shared. Oh, to truly draw near to Him and earnestly long and seek to know Him intimately! To walk in such close fellowship with Him that obedience to Him and having His love flowing through us to others is the natural result. To, as you shared, not follow Him at a distance, but as closely as we can . . . fully abiding in Him, our life-giving Vine, as John 15 shares.

    Thank you so much for sharing these thoughts as they were a great blessing to me!

    On a different note, what an amazing experience it must have been to be able to visit Israel! It seems like that would really make the Bible come alive to be able to see in person some of the places spoken of.

  2. Thank you, Sarah! And, yes, it was so wonderful to visit Israel! I can visualize the locations now of so many places in the Bible. It was especially nice to get to spend my birthday there – on the Sea of Galilee and surrounding areas on that particular day (location of the blog header). I don’t know if it will be a once in a lifetime trip or not but if so, I am very thankful to have traveled to the one physical location on earth that God especially set His love upon The first night we were there (in Jerusalem) I enjoyed looking out across that special city and just pondering that fact! The Bible describes it as being “beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth…Mt. Zion on the sides of the north, the city of the great king” Though I know He dwells in the hearts of people now, I believe that location is still under His watchful eye and protection. How thankful I am to have walked there!

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