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”And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.” Jer. 31:34
Wonderful! Isn’t it great, in this New Covenant era we can all know God. It’s not for the elite. It’s not just for the “full-time” ministries or the “super” dedicated. We can all have that relationship that our heart cries for.
When it says “know God” it is not referring to knowing about God or just having a Sunday morning relationship. In the Bible “know” is an intimate word. For example, “And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain...” [Gen. 4:1]. Knowing God is having an intimate, personal relationship with Him.
Sometimes we hold God at a distance. We immerse ourselves in Bible Study or Petitionary Prayer, but we are afraid of that intimate relationship with God. [Now both Bible Study and Petition are necessary, but they are not a replacement for intimacy.]
Why are we afraid to come and know God on the deepest levels of our existence? Are we afraid He will reject us? Are we ashamed of sin in our lives? Are we just too busy living? If you are holding back in your relationship with God, ask yourself why. What is the “bottom line,” after you have stripped away all the camouflage issues, that is keeping you from the joy of full relationship?
God desires that relationship with you. He has totally committed Himself to you - no reservations [you’ll understand this better if you take The Making Of A Blood Covenant]. Fear and shame are tricks of the enemy to keep us from that beautiful relationship.
Sin is no longer an issue. [Now you know, from Master Life, that I believe in righteous living.] Jesus took all our sins - past, present, future - to the cross with Him. The price has already been paid. For the Christian, sin no longer separates us from God. When we sin we run IMMEDIATELY to God for forgiveness, accept it, and grow on in our life with God. Spending days or weeks [or months?] moaning and crying over a failure is a false pride, in effect saying we have do something to “earn” His forgiveness this time. Now I believe in a Godly sorrow over sin, but that brings us to His presence to receive his forgiveness, it doesn’t drive us away from His presence.
The same is true with shame. Jesus Christ was mocked, stripped naked, and hung on a cross to take the shame of sin. We never need to be ashamed or embarrassed to come into His presence. He loves us, He accepts us, He desires us in His presence. The Devil will play on any emotion he can to keep us away from that Presence.
So how do we develop that intimate relationship to know God? There are no formulas! Relationships are intensely personal. I can’t tell you to read your Bible and pray X number of hours a week and then you’ll have it. You have to work it out between you and God. But if you are going move into a deep relationship you will need to [a] make it a priority, and [b] take time to share your innermost thoughts with God. The deeper the relationship you have [even on a human level] the more you are willing to share. Start sharing your thoughts with God. Tell him [out loud if possible and you won’t be overheard] how you feel. Tell Him when you are happy. Tell Him when you are angry. Tell Him what your temptations are and how you feel about them. The more you are willing to share the better it will be...and don’t forget to take time to listen!
So relax. Don’t be uptight. You are unconditionally loved. When you are alone, grab a cup of coffee [or whatever you like to drink], sit at the kitchen table, and talk to Jesus as if your best friend was sitting across the table from you...because He is.
Please note: We no longer have the commenting feature [maybe again in the future]. Joshua Institute students who have questions or comments on their courses can use the contact button and mention the course name and lesson number in the email. Thank you. Glenn