~By: Arlene Alicea~
What it is to KNOW GOD…
“Is not my word like fire” — this is the LORD's declaration — “and like a hammer that pulverizes rock? Jeremiah 23:29 CSB
Some people are contentedly living their lives only being acquainted with God. It may be from a lack of knowledge or a lack of faith, or sometimes both. I started from that place.
I was raised knowing about God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. I knew the stories of Adam and Eve and Moses and the Ten Commandments. I learned the basics from Sunday mass (when we actually got there) and from what I saw on TV and in movies. So, I was ‘acquainted’ with God. But, I always felt I was missing something and there had to be so much more to all those stories in the Bible.
I was actually missing out on my connection with God, and the fact that knowing who God WAS should have been knowing who God IS.
It took a long time for me to realize God was knocking at my door. Things were just not going my way anymore, and my struggles were real. My loneliness was tugging at my heart. I always had a little spark in my heart that there was so much more to God than I was seeing, and I hungered for that ‘more.’ That’s when I started my personal journey to get to know our Lord and Savior.
I started to pray more and attended service on Sundays. I signed up for Bible studies and women’s conferences. I stayed in fellowship with Christ followers and anything else that kept me in the presence of our Lord.
But ultimately, it was reading God’s Word that transformed my relationship with Him! That is how my spark lit the fire! Being in His Word showed me all His truths, promises, and sacrifices. I saw how ALIVE His words are and how they still apply to us today. I came to understand that if I surrender to Him, follow His commands, and stay faithful to Him, I can inherit so much from His Kingdom.
[Jesus speaking] “Everything the Father has is mine. This is why I told you that he takes from what is mine and I will declare it to you.” John 16:15 CSB
And so it happened…the fire started to rage. I could not get enough of His Word. I read and I studied. My hunger grew each and every day. I watched it all come alive in me, in my journey, and in my relationship with Him.
Then, the hammer came down…
My sorrow turned into joy, my pain turned into peace, my depression turned into belief, my blindness turned into faith, and my loneliness turned into surrender.
His Word tells us, “Haven’t I commanded you: be strong and courageous? Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9 CSB) I have such a sense of peace knowing He is always present. The Lord sees my heart and knows what I need before I even have a chance to speak, before I can ask Him for favor, and that fills my heart with hope.
Struggles will continue to come to show us what faith really looks like. Overcoming those struggles will make our faith stronger. Jesus tells us, “You will have suffering in this world. Be courageous! I have conquered the world.” (John 16:33b CSB)
Don’t wait until your suffering is too much to bear and you feel defeated and lost before you seek God! You will never know how strong your fire is and where your journey is going to take you until you seek God to know Him and truly understand what He wants from you.
Pick up a Bible and start to spend some time with Him. Learn His commands and stay in His presence. Ask Him for the answers that you seek, then be still and listen. He answers those who believe, have faith, and stay in His Word!
Surround yourself with like-minded people so you will always have the guidance and support of those who walk with Christ. Those were the people who continued to fan my fire and ignite my spirit with joy, belief, trust, faith, hope, and surrender.
“As the Father has loved me, I have also loved you. Remain in my love. If you keep my commands you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love.” John 15:9-10 CSB