Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Passion To Know God

That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His suffering, being made conformable to His death” - Philippians 3:10

I chose this verse as my life verse many years ago and now I have a deeper understanding of it because of my personal struggle with a disease called sarcoidosis. It is God’s plan for every believer to know Him through a personal relationship to Jesus Christ. God does not design painful experiences without a purpose. One purpose is to draw us near to Him and to know God more intimately. Paul identifies that we can know Him through the power of the resurrection, and we can fellowship in His suffering. This speaks of knowing Christ beyond head knowledge and really getting to know Him. This is knowing Him intimately where we understand and value the depth of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Paul writes the epistle of Ephesians to teach them doctrine (chap. 1-3) and then to encourage practical Christian living (chap. 4-6). He states in his prayer for the church: ”I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus . . . may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better”(Eph 1:17).

It is not enough to know about God, but you need to have an intimate, personal relationship that is authentic and real. Why is it that when we go through trials we seem to develop that type of relationship? Perhaps it is because we take time to go to Him and spend time in earnest and heartfelt prayer. It may be that God gets our attention, and we realize there is sin and disobedience in our lives. The Holy Spirit must be active and working due to our living a Spirit-filled life. God reveals His truth through the Word, and we can discern and comprehend that hope that we can have because of Jesus Christ. It is God’s design that we know Him and have our “eyes enlightened so that we could know the hope to which we have been called” (Eph. 1:18). The hope for the believer is the expectation that better things are ahead for us. For me that blessed hope is the reality of spending eternity with God.

I have a new understanding of eternity and how fragile life is on the earth. God is teaching me that my trials enable me to identify and understand in a new way the suffering that Jesus went through for me when He died for my sins on the cross (I Peter). Life is often described as a series of valleys and mountain tops. We usually live in the valley and experience the mountain tops once in a while in life. I believe life is more like railroad tracks that run parallel where we always have trials and we always have Christ to enable us during life’s difficulties. We can depend on God at all times, and yet we are in the middle of a trial or will face a trial in the future. God wants us to know Him personally, and it is often through hardships that we depend on Him and develop greater intimacy with Him.

A friend recently came by to visit, and he shared the tragic loss of his daughter at the age of six when she was hit by a car crossing the road. He said that God used this tragedy for his spiritual growth and that it was a pivotal time in his life. I want to learn all that God has designed for me through this trial with my illness. It is my quest to know my Savior genuinely and intimately so that my relationship is alive and real. My prayer is that I will always be teachable and will grow and develop a deeper relationship with my heavenly Father.

Dan Currie

1 comment:

ana schrader said...

Hi pastor Dan! Many hugs and blessings from Spain! :) Joel and I are so inspired by your faith in this time. We just read your most recent blog. Thank you for bringing us back to what is most important and pressing--that we only have one life to make an impact for Christ! Thank you for your example of faith and choosing to trust God and rejoice in the midst of the trial He has you in. At times we have been tempted to get discouraged (our daughter was diagnosed with a tufted angioma, a benign vascular tumor --praise God it's benign!). But in the midst of the many treatments and doctors we have been seeing, God has been and continues to be so faithful--truly giving us His grace. I feel like never before have i experienced the reality of God's grace and how He lavishes us with it at the moment we need it. Thank you again for pointing us back to Him, and for bringing us back to loving others well! we will continue to pray for you! we love you, ana, joelito and olivia :)