The impact of knowing God
What impact does the knowledge of God have on our lives and how important is this point to God?
Let's look at a couple of verses on this. The first is Hosea 6:6: "For I delight in loving-kindness, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt-offerings." This shows us that God is not primarily concerned with outward worship, but He is concerned first and foremost with us knowing Him as He is.
The more we know about God, the more we will naturally be able to serve and honor Him according to His will. How quickly one gets to the point where one develops (oder: adopts) one's own style of worship and where this is no longer in light of the knowledge of God at all, but where it is all about our will.
When that comes, it has devastating consequences. God told this to the people of Israel back then, and He says in Isaiah 5:13, "Therefore My people are led away captive for lack of knowledge." Hosea 4:6 says, "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge." That is terrible. But the people of God at that time had lost sight of God.
There was still worship, there was still an outward form of worship, but they had forgotten who they were actually dealing with (oder: who they were actually worshipping). So we don't have to think now, "That was so long ago, we have nothing to do with that now." We are in exactly the same danger. Especially about Laodicea it is said that they should ask for eye ointment, in order to see at all which state they were in, and also of course, in order to see who God actually is. We need this today as well.
David was the man after God's own heart. He was really someone who had a heart for God, and God appreciated that. It is quite interesting what David said in Psalm 51:8, "Behold, you desire truth in the inward parts."
David was fully aware that for God it was not about outward things, but first and foremost about the inner man. Man looks at the outward things, but God looks at the heart. This was the great problem of the Pharisees: they had many outward things of which they were proud, but their hearts were far from God. It can be the same with us, and this is quite dangerous.
But David also said in verse 19, "The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise." David also understood that what matters to God is essentially the state of the heart, not only the outward "What?" but especially the inward "How?". How do I stand before God in my heart? How do I relate to my fellow human beings in my heart? With what attitude of heart do I serve? This is very important, and it is all related to how we know God.
The Lord Jesus once told a parable about talents in Matthew 25. He had given five talents to one and two to another and one to a third. He who had received the five talents used them and gained another five. The one who had the two used them and gained two more.
But the one who had the one talent buried it in the ground. Then when he was called to account for it, he said, "I knew you that you are a hard man, (…) and that's why I hid the talent in the earth." Here we see quite clearly that our image of God also has an impact on our service, how we live towards God and in what relationship we live with God in a very practical way.
People may be totally legalistic, because they think, "God is a harsh, punishing God." And this will affect their life of faith. There are others who think God is such a cuddly God, the “dear” God in heaven. Of course, this also has an impact on their life of faith, and both views are extremely wrong.
That's why we have to return to what the Bible actually says how God is like. That God is light and that God is love, what does that mean for me personally? Living in the light of this revelation of God - what does this mean for me personally?
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