Shownotes: Knowing God and your Call
God called you. Does that mean that you know God? You must know God well enough to hear God’s call. How then, are you continuing to grow in your knowledge of God? Since you heard and heeded, how have you been relying on God on your journey as you answer this call, engage in ministry and live your life.
When God first calls you, you are excited. This excitement is coupled with a sense of inadequacy. Thus, at the beginning your journey to answer the call, you know enough to know that you need God. You stick close to God, depending on God to get you through.
Moving into your call can get complicated. So complicated, in fact, that you face the danger of over relying on these human guides that you need to help you navigate the journey. When that happens, guess who could get left behind? That’s right. God.
Moreover, you know that you don’t know enough. You know that you need to be equipped. That’s where it gets trickier.
You embark on the equipping journey. It is rough. You are still praying but . . . somewhere along the way you learned so much, especially learning that you did not know much, that your dependency shifted again. You are depending on something rather than the One who called you to get you through. Your solution to problems and situations that arise becomes, know more. If I could only know more, things would be better and I’d be more effective
Know God or Know More?
The danger of relying on knowledge is that it can become idolatrous, displacing the God who called you.. God is no longer your focus. Instead you zero in on the tools and what you have learned and will continue to learn. You consume knowledge but, do you have a corresponding desire for God? You have learned to rely on your ability and knowledge and it is absorbing you for as long as you continue with this imbalance.
In the midst of it all, little by little, the spark within you slowly diminishes. In exchanging the desire for God for knowledge, the unspeakable joy and enthusiasm that are fueled by your deep connection with God are slowly diminishing.
Will you let the spark go out completely? How well do you know God?
3 Things that Will Happen with your Call without the Knowledge of God
- You will lose your moorings. You are disconnected or at best have a tenuous connection with the God who called you. You are doing anything and everything.
- You will lose your compass and be direction-less. You no longer know God well enough to go to God to find out what God wants. You have lost the art of waiting on God in prayer. You seek all solutions except God’s. You forget to intercede.
- You will lose power. The form is there in the ministry, but the power is not there because the power comes from the Spirit. This is the power to reach deep inside and change a person from the inside out., there is change when you pray in the name, and it breaks through barriers as people are convicted by the holy Spirit and surrender their lives to God.
What it Means to Know God Well
- Start by recognizing that God is infinite, omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent and so there will always be limits as to how much we can know this God.
- It is a privilege. The intimate way in which we can know God now, however, came with a heavy price—the blood of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, through whom we come to God. What love! Don’t you want to know God well.
- Tend your relationship with God. It is to nurture it by spending time in God’s presence—unhurried time.
Experience the heart of God so that God’s desires become your desire; God’s concerns become your concerns and you receive the strength to follow through on these so that all that you do is pleasing to the Lord.
- Dwell with God and learn the specifics of your call. In other words, know God well enough to receive them.
How well do you want to know God?
The “Risks” of Knowing God
Knowing God, having your moorings, compass, and power carries some “risks.”
- You might have to give up the ministry dream you came up with on your own.
- There’s seeming insecurity for those who want to control every aspect of their lives, for, when you know God, you will want to do what God wants and God has a way of disrupting, changing, moving.
- When you know God, self is put in its place in subjection to God. You have to decrease and to know God well, you have to give over control of your life.
- Knowing, following the leading of the Holy Spirit, allowing God to be in control to the giving up of those dreams that were not of God can leave you isolated because you are not following what everyone else is following.
Make Your Choice
You can continue as if God is a punctuation mark, a reference guide that you pick up as needed and go along doing your ministry, fulfilling your call, living your life as if you alone matter; you and the opinions of those with whom you surround yourself. Seeking knowledge as if knowledge by itself would suffice, would get the ministry done. Well, if it is your ministry, it will. However if it is God’s ministry, God’s call, this will not do. Only God will do. Only God will bring true increase to the ministry; to your life.
How well do you know God? Do you know God well enough to trust God, to do what God says regardless of the outcome, of the opinions of others? Well enough to see God’s power at work through you in the ministry to which God has called you?
God is. God is right there. God is gracious, allowing you the opportunity to know God well enough to savor and delight in God’s presence, to know which way to go, what to do, how to live, how to conduct your life and ministry. God is merciful and loving you enough to entrust this work to you. Will you continually delight in God and seek God always, learning to know God more and more until you see God in Christ Jesus face to face?
Yet whatever gains I had, these I have come to regard as loss because of Christ. More than that, I regard everything as loss because of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and I regard them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but one that comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God based on faith. I want to know Christ[f] and the power of his resurrection and the sharing of his sufferings by becoming like him in his death, 11 if somehow I may attain the resurrection from the dead (Philippians 3:7–11).
To know Christ is to know God for they are one and it is through Christ we enter and rest in God’s presence, growing in knowledge of the Triune God.
Set a side a minimum of 30 minutes each day to spend time with God. If you don’t have it on the surface, maybe you need to cut something out. Start with 15 minutes if you must, and then build up to 30.
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Unless otherwise stated, Scripture quotations are from the New Revised Standard Version.
New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Music: “A True Friend” by Josh Molen
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