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I have come across several Christians, and not many of them, me inclusive, can vouch or say without fear that they indeed know God. And it is not that we do not know God, it is that we do not know Him the way we need to know Him. For example, I find that the kind of things I often think about are those things that Apostle Paul referred to as “dung” (Philippians 3:8). Our preoccupation many times have to do with material gains. We think of how we can make more money in our chosen professions, or how we can move up the ladder and become the main man. We think of how we can become famous. Even in Kingdom service, many are thinking of how to become famous, not because we want to spread the word of God, but so that we will be known as people of note. All these kinds of material gains are the things Apostle Paul said he “considered loss for the sake of Christ”. He considered them loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ. Knowing God changes our commitment and the level of our service to Him.
There are many who know a lot about God. However, there is a world of difference between knowing about God and knowing God. There are people who have entire sections of Scripture perfectly memorized, and they may even be able to do things you and I cannot – but God is not really in their lives, because they do not know Him. Many of us are easily broken when one or two life circumstances happen to us. People who know their God do not brood over circumstances. People who know their God do not become bitter because one thing or the other is not falling in place for them. Those who know their God do not play victim because they happen to be in the valley of life, because they do not forget that the God they knew when they were on the mountain of life is still the same God in the valley.
There are yet folks who think they know God because they have gifts of tongues, gifts of healing, or gifts of the word. And they are very quick to quote Daniel 11:32 that “the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits”, except that the passage is referring to a different kind of exploits. Because, like we read in Matthew 7, on the day of judgement, prophesies and miracles will not give any advantage. This means there are folks who perform those kinds of exploits but still do not know their God. The word of God says “Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ – Matthew 7:22-23. What the Word of God is telling us in Daniel 11:32 is that those who know their God shall be strong in the face of different kinds of life circumstances, and they shall also do exploits for God. There are three main things that will happen when we know God.
Firstly, those who know God will be zealous for God, just like Daniel and his three friends were even in the face of persecution. The Word of God says, “Thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘I am zealous for Jerusalem and for Zion with a great zeal.’” – Zechariah 1:13-14. Those who know their God should be able to say “Come, follow me, and see my zeal for the Lord.” – 2 Kings 10:16. Secondly, those who know their God are bold in the Lord, just like Daniel and his three friends. This same boldness was exhibited by the Apostles in Acts 5:29 when Peter and the other Apostles told the Sanhedrin “We must obey God rather than human beings!” They knew how ruthless the King can be but they stood firm because of who they know. Lastly, those who know their God are always satisfied in the Lord no matter what situation they find themselves in, just like Daniel and his three friends. Even when they were thrown in the fire, they were at peace because of who they know. Apostle Paul, because of who he knew said “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.”
When we know God, we will not be “Cotton Candy” believers – looking pretty, tasting good, but when you bite into it there is literally nothing there!! Lots of calories but empty nonetheless. We all need to be zealots for God, because there is so much work to do. It is in knowing God that this can happen. The peace and contentment that follows knowing Him is an icing on the cake. Are you ready to do exploits?
– Pastor Simbo Odunaiya