Summary: Beginning through Henry Blackaby’s Experiencing God, these are 3 qualities about God that will help us to follow His will.
1 John 2:3-6 – It’s All Who You KNow
Of course most of you know that country legend Johnny Cash died early Friday morning. Famous for such songs as “I Walk the Line”, “Folsom Prison Blues” and “Ring of Fire”, the 71-year-old entertainer died of complications of diabetes, just 4 months after his wife, June Carter Cash, passed away. His climb to success was not perfect – he struggled with a drug addiction in the 60’s. Yet, through the influence of his wife, he found Christ in 1968.
You know, I can give all kinds of details of Johnny Cash’s life, but I never met the man. I can say all that I have read and watched over my lifetime about the Man in Black, but I can’t say that I ever really knew him. I don’t even know someone who knew him. I know the facts, but I don’t know the person.
Many people who come to church are in the exact same position. Oh they could say that they know what the Bible says. They could say that they know who Jesus was or is. They may even say that they met Jesus once. But they cannot honestly say, “I know Jesus. I know God. I currently have a friendship or relationship with Him.”
If we were honest, we all could look back over our lives and see that there have been times when the rules and religion aspect of our faith was stronger than the relationship in it. That is, haven’t we all stumbled and lost our focus at times? Haven’t we worried more about what people would say rather than what God would think? Haven’t we all been caught up with doing things for Him instead of spending time with Him? Have we not all lost our focus at some time or other and thought, “If I just do this, Jesus will love me more”?
The descent from relationship to rules is fairly common. Some shake out of it, but some put themselves into some box and never shake free of the slavery. From bondage of sin to bondage of rules is not a step-up. Yet because its easier to gauge your faith by how well you follow a set of rules, instead of how well you keep in step with where the Spirit wants to lead you, the natural tendency is to stick with rules. And sooner or later, our “faith” becomes not knowing God, but knowing the tricks of the trade. Instead of knowing a person, it’s knowing the laws and rules and taboos.
Over the next few weeks, we will be looking at knowing God and being led by the Spirit. I’m working my way through a book that impacted me a lot several years ago, and I want to share its biblical truths with you. It’s called Experiencing God, written by Henry Blackaby, who pastored out in Saskatchewan for many years. In this book, the author leads us to know God better by letting Him speak to us and use us. I hope that the next few weeks will be profitable for us.
Today, I’d like us to look at 1 John 2:3-6. This passage speaks of knowing God, and walking as Jesus did. Read 1 John 2:3-6. This passage seems to indicate that obedience is a sign of a genuine faith in Him. Apparently, walking where Jesus leads us is proof that we know Him. But, just thinking about this passage, sometimes it’s hard to know where God is leading us. Sometimes God’s will is as clear as “yes” or “no.” But often, we are not sure exactly what God wants us to do. Sometimes the preconceived rules and laws don’t fit in neatly with a walking, talking relationship. So what do we do then? How do we walk with God? Since obeying Him is a proof of our faith, what do we do if we aren’t sure of His exact will for us?
These are tough questions, so let’s proceed with caution. Let’s stand on the truth of the Bible, what the Bible says about who God is. The better we know who God is and what he is like, the better we can walk with Him. The first truth about God that will help us walk with Him is that 1) God is love. 1 John 4:8 does not say that God loves. It says that He is love. Whatever love is, that’s what God is. His very nature is love. He will NEVER act toward you in an unloving way. Everything He does to you and for you is out of love.
So, even when He is chastening and correcting you, it’s because of His love for you. Hebrews 12:6 – “Because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son.” Another verse reminds us of His love: 1 John 3:16 – “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.” That means, no matter what this world throws at us, we can be confident of His love for us.