Show me Your ways, Lord, teach me Your paths. Guide me in Your truth and teach me, for You are God my Savior, and my hope is in You all day long. Psalm 25:4-5
We do not have to be Bible scholars to recognize an “act” or “move” of God. We easily testify about His acts or “blessings” we have received. And if the truth be told, we pray more for Him to bless us than we seek to know Him. Simply put, we spend more time praying for what we want than we spend just wanting to know Him. If that happened in our natural relationships, it would not be tolerated. Nobody desires to be in a relationship where the person only comes around when they want something, and never demonstrates any interest in really getting to know us. This is exactly how we treat God; yet, He continues to give us unlimited access to Himself hoping that we will come and get to know Him.
Many of us think we know God because we are Christians – we have confessed and believed in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. That confession and belief opened the door for us to get to know God. Before Jesus Christ, we did not have access to God. However, after accepting what Christ did on the cross for us, we were placed in right standing with God and provided access to the Father. We can now freely go to Him and get knowledge of Him for ourselves. We can hear about Him through others, but the best way to get acquainted with anyone is to be with that person, and to observe and listen to that person. Getting to know God requires a level of intimacy* – getting close and personal; being vulnerable in His presence – naked and transparent. It also requires a willingness to “hear” Him – not what we want to hear – but hear what He has to say; hear what He has on His heart.
If we do not know God, then we will not recognize and understand His ways. Psalm 103:7 states, “He (God) made known His ways unto Moses, His acts unto the children of Israel” (emphasis added). Moses knew God; he knew the ways of God; he knew how God did things; he knew why God did things the way He did them. The scripture states, God made His ways known to Moses. If we take a look at the scriptures, we will see that Moses spent a lot of time with God. At one point, he had been in the mountain with God for so long that the children of Israel thought something had happened to him (Exodus 32:1). Even before Moses returned to Egypt, God spoke to Moses about His plans to free Israel. He not only revealed to Moses that He was going to free Israel, but He also informed Moses “how” He was going to do it. He conveyed to Moses the process by which He was going to cause Pharaoh to let His people go (Exodus 4).
The process is very important. We do not get an understanding of the process unless we spend time inquiring of God’s ways and listening to Him. Like the children of Israel, we are content with just seeing His acts – the blessings. However, as the days get more difficult and even more confusing, we will need to know God’s ways to be able to stand. Even now, many are without hope; many have fallen away from the faith, because what we are seeing and experiencing are not blessings. That is the danger in not knowing God’s ways – when things get tough, we will think God has forgotten us; we lose hope. If we take time to get familiar with Him, we would learn that it is not about how it looks or feels. Isaiah 55:8-9 (MSG) state, “‘I don’t think the way you think. The way you work isn’t the way I work.’ God’s Decree. ‘For as the sky soars high above earth, so the way I work surpasses the way you work, and the way I think is beyond the way you think.’” God does not think or operate the way that we do. Our vision and knowledge are limited, but God is omniscient – He knows all and sees all.
When we know God and know His ways, this causes us to be even more confident in Him. When we are familiar with His ways, we will trust Him until we can see His hand; His act; His blessing. Daniel 11:32(b) states, “. . .but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits.” Know in this verse refers to an intimate* relationship where we see not only God’s hand, but we also recognize His ways. Standing strong through adversity necessitates knowledge of God’s way. With all of the ills in this country, knowing God’s position is essential for our peace and for direction. Therefore, we lift our voices in prayer and say, “Show us Your ways, Lord, teach us Your paths. Guide us in Your truth and teach us, for You are God our Savior, and our hope is in You all day long.
*For more on intimacy, please see my previous article titled, “Intimacy With God” published August 2016.