How do you know a person? Have you ever been asked to give a reference for someone, or have you ever been asked if you knew a person? It may have been no problem to say, oh yeah, I know Tom; he is a very respectful young man. Alternatively, have you ever been faced with saying, yes, I know Jane, but I would not hire her because she is too lazy or has improper behavior.
In Matthew 16:13, Jesus asked his Disciples, who do people say the Son of Man is. They responded with various answers that they had heard different people say, such as John the Baptist, Jeremiah, or Elijah. The people did not know who the Son of Man was because they had not spent any time with Him. Then Jesus asked them a question. He didn’t say who you think the Son of Man is. He asked, who do you say I am. Peter spoke up quickly and said, you are the Messiah, the Son of the Living God. The response that Peter gave was a response of relationship. The Disciples spent not just time but intimate time with Jesus. They got to know Him on a different level than anyone else, and this had to happen because later, Jesus charged them with going out and spreading the Gospel. How can you talk about someone that you know nothing about? How can you share the Gospel of Christ when you don’t take out time to read it? How can you put God’s Word into the atmosphere if you don’t take the time to study it? Reading and studying God’s Word is how we get to know Him. There is no way around it. As we read His Word, it changes us from the inside out, which brings me to this point.
Who do people say you are? If someone were asked to give a reference for your work, what would they say? Who do your co-workers say that you are? Who does your supervisor say that you are? Who does your wife say that you when something rubs you the wrong way? Who does your husband say that you are when things don’t go your way? Who do your children say that you are behind closed doors? Who does your neighbor say that you are? What does the store clerk see when they see you? What does the Fast Food Restaurant worker see or experience once you get to their window after waiting in the line for 15 mins? We must make sure that we are spending time with God every day. We are supposed to reflect Him in everything that we do. Genesis 1:27 talks about God creating mankind in His own image. Make sure the image that you are portraying reflects who God is.
Reading God’s word allows us to see who God says that we are. God says we are the healed in Psalms 30:2, Isaiah 41:10, Isaiah 38:16-17. God says we are blessed in Psalms 118:26 Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD. From the house of the LORD, we bless you.” God says that we are loved. Galatians 2:20 says, “I have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” God understands us. Psalm 139:1-2 says, “For the director of music. Of David. A psalm. You have searched me, LORD, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.” God says that we are His special possession in 1Peter 2:9-10, which says, “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy,” and in Exodus 19:5 it says, “Now if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, you will be My treasured possession out of all the nations–for the whole earth is Mine.”
There are so many other things that God calls us, but we have to spend time with Him to find out what they are. January 1st will make twelve years my husband and I will have been married. When we first began getting to know each other, we spent time together walking around the track and talking. That is all we did. In just spending that time with him, I was able to see potential in him. Once we took our friendship to a dating relationship, I got to know him more intimately (not sexually). How did this happen? When we started dating, the time we spent together increased, which meant the conversations grew. When we got married, the dialogue and learning about each other didn’t stop; it increased more because we lived together. It is the same with God. Your level of intimacy with Him should be increasing; it should be growing. We have grown to know God as our healer, provider, peace, sustainer, protector, and so much more. We know God, but I believe there are deeper levels to Him. There is a level of intimacy with God that has yet to be experienced. Don’t be comfortable with just knowing this level of God; go deeper.
Pray and ask God to give you a hunger and thirst after him. Matthew 5:6 says, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.” Ask yourself the question, “Do I want God.” Your Pastor or leaders can stand before you and give you the keys to living a Victorious life. They can pray for you every day, but it won’t do anything if you don’t want God. As a parent, you tell your children the truth and live a life before them that is right, but they have to decide if they want God or not. God is a gentleman, and He is not going to force Himself on you. In a relationship, a person can get the hint when they are not wanted. Guess what, so can God. I encourage you to make sure that God is your ultimate desire and spend time with Him daily to deepen your relationship.