In these past couple of weeks, God has TRULY been re-teaching me the concept of application in my life. Often times as Christians, I feel like there are a lot of crucial things that we read in the Bible and while we realize they are crucial, we don’t quite remember that these things need APPLICATION. It’s not enough to just read it, because we can read it for one minute and then go and do something and forget about what we just read. It’s not enough to just read & not apply. It’s not enough of just knowing Him. What comes next is APPLYING the knowledge He gives us through knowing Him. Having said all of that, over the past week or so in my studying of different books of the Bible, God has revealed to me some application of things that can take our relationship to the next level after I have come to know Him.
First, I should say that many people may have different opinions and definitions of coming to know our Creator. This is just my personal opinion and what I feel God has been telling me. Knowing Him to me simply means learning of His character and experiencing His character on a personal level. Knowing Him is literally life changing. The deeper we get to know Him, the more we can take on His character for our own. Colossians 3:10 tells us, “put on your new nature and be renewed as you learn to KNOW your Creator and BECOME like Him.”
When I am coming to know Him more and more, I should see the FRUIT of that. It says it right there in Colossians. You start off by coming to know Him and then you inevitably become more like Him. It’s a two fold concept. You can’t become like someone unless you first know them. Taking on qualities of someone else requires DEEPLY knowing them.
Do you find yourself doing or saying some of the same things of an acquaintance that you know? No, because you don’t know them well enough. But I personally find myself saying A LOT of the same things as my best friend. It’s second nature because I spend most of my time with her and know her well enough. We can apply this same concept with God. The more we spend our time with Him and come to know Him, the more we will see our character begin to mimic His.
Maybe you’re not seeing any of this playing out in your life. You have “come to know Him” but you act the exact same as you did before you came to know Him. Well, nothing happens over night. Our relationship with God is ever-growing. It also may be that you’re not truly getting to know Him. Really think about how much time you’re spending with Him, but more importantly think about the quality of that time. You can’t just skim over a couple of verses and devotions and say you’re getting to know Him the way you know you could. We as Christians have to really PRESS in His presence. Give it all you’ve got every time you encounter Him. Satan LOVES to trick us and help us justify mediocrity is acceptable in our relationship with God. The Bible makes it extremely clear that He is always at work in us, “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” -Philippians 1:6.
So what comes after knowing Him? When I was reading 2 Peter, I noticed 3 main concepts that were highlighted in Knowing God.
1. 2 Peter 1:2: ”May God give you more and more GRACE and PEACE as you grow in your knowledge of God and Jesus our Lord.” As we come to know Him more, we receive more grace and peace. I personally think that the reason we receive more and more grace and peace is because we are starting to realize the magnitude of God’s character. We are coming to understand His gracious character more. As we come to learn Him more, we can’t help but to learn that there is NOTHING that we can do that could ever make Him stop loving us (Romans 8:38-39). We are coming to understand the peace He provides more because as we get to know Him we comprehend more that God holds everything in His hands. There is nothing He cannot handle and this opens our eyes to how amazing and possible it is to have peace.
2. 2 Peter 1:3: “By His divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence.” When we come to know Him more, we receive EVERY single thing we NEED to live a godly life. I take that as a promise of God. As I get to know Him more, I am realizing I have everything I need to live this godly life, because HE is everything I need to live this godly life. I find this to be such a beautiful promise of God because He knows this life can seem scary at times. But He reminds me time and time again that He is right by my side in this life and He is all that matters. Colossians 3: 11 simply tells us, “Christ is all that matters.” Numerous verses remind us that God will NEVER leave us, Deuteronomy 31:6, Isaiah 41:10, Isaiah 41:13, Hebrews 13:5, and so much more. God gives us the knowledge that because of Christ’s death for us, we have everything we need to live this godly life when we have Him. He alone is the only source of provision that we should be concerned about because out of Him, everything else that we need can flow (Ecclesiastes 2:24-25).
He alone can be the strength, joy, love and discipline that we need. He gives us all this and more through His Holy Spirit, which highlights the third point that was brought to my attention.
3. 2 Peter 1:5-8: “In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone. The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
This one is SO important to me. There is so much in here that I really didn’t understand until I read it a good 3-4 times. First and foremost, when referencing to God’s promises in this passage there are plenty of promises that I could use to apply. But a HUGE promise that Jesus gave us when He was leaving this world was that of the Holy Spirit (John 14:26). As I look over the things that were listed that we are to supplement our faith with, a lot of them are similar to the fruits of the Spirit. Jesus even tells us in that passage of John 14:26 that the Holy Spirit will teach us everything. This includes just how we are to supplement our faith with all of these challenging qualities. Many times, I truly feel like the Holy Spirit gets put on the back burner in the Christian world. We often overlook the Holy Spirit being an equally important part of the trinity.
The 7 things (notice that the number is 7, the number of completion) listed will supplement our faith. The definition of supplement is “something that is added to something else to make complete.” These 7 things will make our faith (which I believe to be the foundation of our relationship with God) complete. Now we know that we will never be complete or perfect until the day that Jesus calls us home to Him, but we will be working to be closer to having complete faith when we allow the Holy Spirit to do this work within us. So when we respond to one of the biggest promises of Jesus, that being the Holy Spirit, He is able and WILL work within us to complete our faith. The end result of that is us being more productive and more useful in our knowledge of God, which will ultimately glorify Him and enhance His kingdom.
Coming to know Him is SO much bigger than just ourselves. God’s purpose for us to know Him is not just so we can know Him for ourselves. It’s so others can see His glory and know Him personally for themselves. It’s a cycle, that all has to do with glorifying Him, pointing others to Him and enhancing His kingdom.