In the book of Daniel we the most vivid presentations of men who KNEW GOD—and through this knowing Him they were strong and did GREAT exploits...
i.e. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the FIERY FURNACE
i.e. Daniel and the Lion's Den
"The people that know their God shall be mighty and strong and great exploits..."
What gave these men such power and resistance over the ungodly ways they were confronted with? The answer is simple: They not only KNEW OF GOD but they KNEW THEIR GOD!
There is a great difference between knowing of God and KNOWING Him. The difference simply put is religion versus relationship. Many know of God. Many know of "church", know of "religion", know of the "bible"... but the difference maker is those that KNOW HIM and have RELATIONSHIP with Him. Friendship with God. Knowing Him as Father God!
Think of Daniel. Prayer was decried as illegal. Prayer was outlawed. Worship of God was outlawed. Daniel's response:
"Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before."
Daniel was unwilling to let the law come between him and his God because God was not an idea, God was his EVERYTHING! Daniel had a relationship with God. Prayer was not about a religious duty—prayer was a natural reflex of his love and adoration for God! Just like a husband and wife must talk (relationship), Daniel KNEW God and talking with Him daily was a MUST!
KNOW GOD'S POWER. KNOW GOD'S RIGHTEOUSNESS. KNOW God'S MERCY & FORGIVENESS.
Daniel Knew God's Power. He knew God was stronger than anything he could face from man. He knew God could overcome anything he could not. What then is there to fear when you really KNOW God and His power?
Daniel Knew God's Righteousness. He knew he was in right standing with God based on God's faithfulness. God always came through. He did it before surely He can and will do it again. What then is there to doubt when you really KNOW God and His righteousness?
Daniel Knew God's Mercy & Forgiveness. He knew that time and time again God was a forgiving God. He remembered the mercy shown throughout History. What then is there to be anxious about when you really KNOW God and His merciful nature?
3 CHARACTERISTICS of people who know their god:
1. PEOPLE WHO KNOW THEIR GOD SHOW GREAT BOLDNESS FOR THEIR GOD. All through scripture, story after story, those that KNEW God showed boldness. People standing up for their beliefs, people fighting for their rights, people going to war for their worship, people laying down their lives for their faith. The great heroes of the Bible, the great martyrs of the Bible, the disciples, the apostles, even Jesus all have this in common. BOLDNESS follows those that KNOW their God.
In a time in our current history where society is trying to muffle Christians and our beliefs—it's more important than ever that we truly KNOW our God!
2. PEOPLE WHO KNOW THEIR GOD HAVE GREAT THOUGHTS OF THEIR GOD. "What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us." — A.W. Tozer
People who really know God know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God will come through. Daniel was unafraid of the consequence BECAUSE his mind was set and clear on this one thought: GOD IS GOOD! When you believe this and think this to the core then you KNOW that your God will get you out of the pit... He will rescue you from the fire... He will save you from destruction... He is too good to leave you the way He found you!
3. PEOPLE WHO KNOW THEIR GOD HAVE GREAT ASSURANCE IN THEIR GOD. You can't talk someone out of what they are sure of! If you can convince someone to stay, someone else can convince them to leave. ARE YOU SURE? Are you sure you are saved, not because of what you did but because of what Jesus did? Are you sure that God loves you no matter what your past looks like? Are you sure you are above only, the head and not the tail, the righteousness of God? Are you sure you are now called a child of God? ARE YOU SURE?!
"But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."
HOW DO YOU COME TO TRULY KNOW GOD?
1. READ HIS WORDS. Read the Bible. Not from a religious standpoint but from a love standpoint. If you love someone you listen. Build a relationship with God the same way you would with anyone you love—LISTEN!
2. TALK WITH HIM. Pray. Again, not from a religious standpoint but from a love standpoint. If you love someone you talk to them. Spill your heart out to God. "Cast your cares upon the Lord for He cares for you..." ( 1 Peter 5:7) Build a relationship with God the same way you would with anyone you love—TALK TO GOD!
3. LOVE WHAT GOD LOVES. God Loves People. God Loves the Church. If you want to KNOW God and Build a relationship with God then simply love what He loves. Become someone who cares for others over yourself. Become someone who makes church a priority. Jesus DIED for the church and gave up his life for her!
In closing simply remember this truth: We are known by God as our WORST yet He still Loves us! DO YOU KNOW HE LOVES YOU? Do you know He cares? Do you KNOW more than His name, do you KNOW His unending and unwavering LOVE for you?
YOU will do GREAT EXPLOITS when you KNOW GOD!
- Pastor Scotty