~ Agathos Church is a non-denominational Christian Church in Columbus, Ohio. This blog post is an adapted excerpt from a sermon by Peter DeWitt. You can hear the whole sermon, Discipleship (part 7), by clicking here.
David said “One thing I have desired of the Lord, that will I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in His temple.” (Ps. 27:4) To have a relationship, to know Jesus, to know God, that’s the one thing! But what does it mean to be known BY God?” In Jn. 10:27 Jesus gives the definition of what it means to be a follower of Christ. “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” So if you are one who follows Christ, there are two central things that you do: you hear His voice and He knows you. When you hear God’s words, you Know Him; when God hears your words, He knows you.
If you want to be known by God, the first thing you should do is to ask Him to know you! We may think “why would I need to do anything to be known by God if He already knows everything?” Great question! Ps. 139 makes it clear that God knows everything about our times, our places, our words, and our activities. Where we have been, He was there. Where we are going, He is already there! That said, note that while David says in verse 1 of Ps. 139 “you have searched me and known me” (past tense), in the last two verses of the psalm David switches to a present tense invitation to the Lord: “Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxious thoughts; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” The reason David was so well known by God was because David had asked God to know Him!
Is God all powerful? Yes! He made the universe with words. Is that power available to us? Yes! Because of the blood of Jesus all that authority has been given to us as believers! What do we do? We pray. We ask. Ask and you shall receive! Is God omniscient? Yes! So what do we do? We ask Him to know us! Is He perfectly capable of knowing us? Yes. How do we experience His omniscience in practical terms? We ask Him to know us! Being known by God is not a relational auto-pilot experience it’s a two-way partnership in which we play a pro-active role with a very willing and very loving partner! James 4:8 is a great New Testament scripture that communicates the exact same principle. “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” We have some responsibility for our intimacy with God! The veil between mankind and the presence of God was torn while Jesus hung on the cross. It was torn top to bottom. That means that man did not tear the veil from the bottom in order to get to God, but that God tore it from the top because of His great love for man so that man could come to God. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.
When the Israelites were in the wilderness Moses pitched a tent outside the camp where people could go to meet with God. This is a key point in knowing “how to be known by God”: go on dates with God. What constitutes a date? Special time. Special place. No interruptions. That’s a date. God wants to have special time with you. God does not need your dates with Him to look just like everybody else’s special time with Him. If we are committed to having a time with the Lord we will do something like Moses did. Moses was a busy guy. Life didn’t stop when he went to meet with God, but he went out into a tent of meeting anyway. Special time. Special place. No interruptions. The presence of God came to that place and Moses talked with God face-to-face as a friend. Moses had an AMAZING relationship with God. If we pray for a time and a place to be with God, He will fulfill that prayer!
There is another major takeaway that we can glean from the story of the tent of meeting. Moses is face-to-face with God and Joshua is there too. But where’s everybody else? At their own tents. There’s a tent of meeting where they were supposed to go to meet with God but the Israelites were back at their own tents. Here’s the take-away: I’m sure that we all know that in the natural there are unfortunately some men that don’t believe they can have an intimacy of their own so they watch the intimacy of others. Let it not be so with us and God.
We live in the most privileged era in Christian history. We can access the best sermons from the best teachers in the entire world instantaneously. You can watch the most anointed live worship sets from many places. But please, brothers and sisters, let us not be lulled into some sort of complacency through living vicariously through someone else’s intimacy with the Lord. Your High Priest is in place. He’s Jesus. There’s no one else that you need to go through. You may see someone worshiping and find yourself thinking “man I wish I could give myself to the Lord like that!” Do you know what? God wants you to give yourself to Him like that! He wants you to have all of that with Him! He does not want you to somehow become vicariously satisfied in living through someone else’s intimacy with Him. It’s inappropriate.
It’s too easy to look up to someone who has something with God and think “if I could just be like that!” and you end up never going after the thing they have for yourself. And that is the great example of Joshua in the story of the tent of meeting – Joshua stayed in the tent longer than Moses. Joshua was a young man and he was needing to develop his relationship with God. The idea that Joshua was more holy or seeking God more because He stayed longer than Moses may very well be erroneous because Joshua was a YOUNG MAN. Moses was the one that went to pharaoh and said “let my people go.” That’s a history that Moses had with God. Moses was the one that said “stand still and see the salvation of your Lord this day” and the Red Sea parted! Moses was the one that dealt with the people in the wilderness. Moses was the one that received the 10 Commandments on the mountain. That was all Moses’ history with God! We think “oh Joshua is more holy because he is spending more time.” No – Joshua needed more time! We have to make our own history with God and it takes time to make history!
If you want to get encouraged by an anointed leader in the body of Christ, study their process. If the fruit’s good, now look at the root! Study the roots. Where are those roots coming from? How have they grown? For example, Reinhard Bonnke’s ministry has led more than 70 million people to the Lord in the last 10 years. Amazing fruit! But the “greater works” that we are seeing in his ministry are not a coincidence -they are because of a series of historical decisions that he’s made day-in and day-out. We have to make our own history with God. We can’t assume that we don’t have the anointing available to us that someone else has. They developed it through the history they have with God. If you want revelation from scripture, start sharing the revelation that you have with anyone that will listen! If you want to have more experience with the power and presence of God during worship, do it in your bedroom! When we are faithful with little we are given more! It’s all available to all of us! The question is “will we build the history with God in order to walk in those things?” Jesus increased in favor with both God and man. What does that mean? He developed a history with God. We sometimes want the favor pre-maturely but the favor comes through faithfulness. God wants to know you personally Be pro-active. Talk with the Lord. He wants to make history with you!