You want to know God? Stop running away from Him and realize that He’s waiting for you.
Alright thank you very much. Yes, this is your friend, Dr. Cook, and I’m glad to be back with you and we’re looking into the first chapter of the book of Colossians.
Paul said, “I’m praying for you people in Colossae, that you might know God’s will, be filled with the knowledge of His will”. This involves wisdom and spiritual understanding. Wisdom is the ability to know what to do with what you know. Spiritual understanding is to know what God is up to and why things are happening, and when you’re aware of God’s will, both of these things happen.
Then he says, “That you might walk”, that’s our word ‘live every day’, “worthy of your Lord. That you will be fruitful in every good work”, that’s what we were talking about the last time we got together, “and increasing in the knowledge of God”. Increasing in the knowledge of God.
What does it mean to know God? That of course is a great, big subject that will take a long, long time if we were to take it up in any kind of detail. I tend to oversimplify things, people tell me, and the maybe that’s true, but anyhow let’s just think about it for a moment. Spiritual knowledge, Let him that glorieth glory in this”, we read in Jeremiah 9:24, “That he understandeth and knoweth me”. Now, what is involved in knowing God? “That I am the Lord which exercise loving kindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth, for in these things I delight, sayeth the Lord”. The knowledge of God, to know God.
What is the basis, then of knowing God? Well, first of all, you remember the prophet said, “Can two walk together except they be agreed”? You can’t fight God’s will and know Him very well. So, I think first of all, you better decide whether or not you agree with Him. Are you fighting God’s will on something and are you willing, as the price of knowing Him, are you willing to give up fighting Him and say, “Lord the war’s over, you win”.
See, God doesn’t require you to change your life, He only requires you to change your attitude toward Him. He does the transforming of your life. “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creation, old things are passed away, behold all things are become new”. “The life which I now live”, Paul said in Galatians 2, “I live by the faith of the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me”.
God doesn’t require you to make yourself different. He does require you to come to Him and give up to Him and let Him start making you different. There is a vast differential there between those two points of view. One is reformism which ends in despair. You know, you say, “Well, I’ll be different if you just give me a chance to reform”. Well reform never lasts because you get weary of maintaining a pose of any kind. The only thing that really counts is to be transformed, “Be ye transformed”, says Paul in Romans 12:2, “by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is good and what is acceptable and what is perfect, namely the will of God”. So, you better decide first off it seems to me, whether or not you’re willing to pay the shot here, to pay the price of giving up to God and letting Him actually take over. If you’re not, then don’t expect you’re going to know God very well. You’ll always be remote, you’ll always be a source of fear and awe and dread because you’re fighting Him, and you know it in your soul instinctively, that you’re not going to win, but you’re still fighting His will. Alright?
Now to know the Lord. “Let him glory in this that he understandeth and knoweth Me that I am the Lord”. The sovereignty of God needs to be settled in your life. Is He absolutely God in your life? That’s what we’re talking about.
Then what? “I am the Lord which exercise loving kindness”. Loving kindness. God as a Father who is not about to beat you over the head with some heavenly stick, but whose arms are wide open to receive you. You want to know God, come to Him that way.
The prodigal came back home according to the story that the Lord Jesus told, and he has his speech all rehearsed and ready, “Father I’ve sinned against Heaven in thy sight and no more worthy to be called thy son. Make me as one of thy hired servants”. Well, the father just stopped the speech in midair and he said, “Bring a robe, put on him, take these rags off, put shoes on his feet, put a ring on his finger”, the evidence once again of son ship, the ring, “and bring forth the fatted calf and let’s have a feast. This my son was dead and is alive again, and he was lost and is found”. Welcome home boy, welcome home. You want to know God? Stop running away from Him and realize that He’s waiting for you, waiting for you to come home.
Oh every parent and grandparent knows what that is. At Christmastime at our house all the kids and grandchildren come home and the place is jumping for a little while, as all of the family gathers together. A joyous and wonderful occasion, so satisfying to the hearts of all of us. Welcome home. We stand at the door as different ones arrive. Squeals of delight from the children and shouts of greeting from the grown-ups. Oh my, what a time, welcome home.
Mother the center of it all, has decorated the house. At our house at Christmastime everything that can hold a decoration has one, whether it’s a ribbon or a bow or a sprig of evergreen or whatever it may be, the whole house is decorated. Mother stands there so happy to see the kids and the grandchildren, her arms are open wide as are mine, for those loved ones. Welcome home. Yea, that’s the way it is. Thank God we have that chance as the years go by to enjoy the homecoming. Now, that’s loving kindness, that’s what that means.
Loving kindness, loving kindness, not only is to welcome home, but to take care of things that need love and need kindness. That can include little things, you know, little actions that would otherwise be omitted. Loving kindness. Did you know that God is the God of little loving things? Did you ever pray for a parking space? God is the God of parking spaces in crowded traffic. Oh yes He is. Did you ever pray for direction when you are momentarily disoriented and didn’t quite know what to do next? I did that. In fact, I’ve done it many times.
I recall standing on a Los Angeles street, one day many years ago, nearly 40 years ago as a matter fact, that’s a long time isn’t it, and I’m so young I can’t understand that.- haha, Anyhow I remember standing on that Los Angeles street and praying, “Oh God, I don’t know anybody in this town and I have to somehow make some contacts”, and so on and I was just a new President of Youth for Christ in those days, and I didn’t, I was so dumb I not only didn’t know anything, I didn’t suspect anything as the man says.
I stood there on the street and prayed, “Oh God, guide me”, but I didn’t have any flash of lightning or any heavenly vision, but I did have was the knowledge that I was as we say in among the Swedes and the Norwegians coffee thirsty, thought I’ll go have a cup of coffee.
So I went into the hotel where, where I was staying, I was just standing outside the hotel. I went in there through the dark hallway that led to the coffee shop, I think it must’ve been painted by a man with a hangover because it was all in a kind of a dark, bilious green, a horrible color I remember.
I went through that hallway and out into the coffee shop and as I came into the coffee shop I heard someone call my name, “Bob Cook”! I looked over in the corner and there was a friend of mine whom I hadn’t seen for a long time. He greeted me warmly and he said, “What are you doing out here?”, and I explained to him that I was the new, then newly elected president of Youth for Christ that I was out in Los Angeles, in the area trying to make some contacts. I said, “I’m not having very good luck. I don’t know anybody out here”.
Well he said, “You know this man here”, and he pointed to his companion seated at the table, “might be able to help you”, and he introduced me to a brother whom I’ve never met before and he said, “Ernie, you think you could help Bob Cook?” Ernie looked me over with some appraising eyes. I found out later that he is a very shrewd, understanding brother, you didn’t fool him much, and he looked me over and decided that he could trust me. He said, “Well”, he said, “I might be able to help. Have you got any time today”? I said, “Well, I think I could arrange it”. Time, it’s all I did have.
So he took me in tow. That day we made several calls on homes that I couldn’t have gotten into with a can opener. I’ll tell you, he went up there, rang the bell and the maid or the butler, whoever it was would come to the door and say, “Who’s there?”, you know, he’d say, “Deacon Minty”, and the door would swing open, “Come right in Deacon, and he would come right in, then I’d come right in after him, and we made some wonderful contacts that day. Answer to prayer, answer to prayer.
Do you pray about things, little things, guidance, needs, little hurts that hurt you? Do you pray that God will heal them? Little failings little shortcomings, do you pray that God will strengthen you? He’s the God of loving kindness. You want to know God? Trust Him for the loving and the kind things that He wants to do in your life. Don’t shut Him out of the business of living, okay? Increasing in the knowledge of God.
He says, “I’m the Lord which exercise loving kindness”, then He says judgment, and that means settle things in line with the will of God. Judgment means don’t fool with it, settle it in line with the will of God. Are you willing to face that part of it? Many a person would rather have a prayer meeting then make a decision. Have you found that so? Often times people say, “Oh, let’s not do anything let’s just pray about it”, which is another way of saying, let’s stall around and hope the problem goes away. You know?
Judgment means make a decision based on what you know to be the will of God. When you do that I can promise you that you’re going to know God better. He ties Himself to people who dare to will obey Him. Peter said, “We are His witnesses and so is also the Holy Ghost whom God has given to them who obey Him”. Obedience opens the door to God’s Presence. You’ll know Him better if you dare to obey what you know to be His will. We’ll get at the rest of this the next time we get together.
Dear Father today, help us to do the things that will make us know You better, in Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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