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The people who know their God

Wednesday, 26 March, 2003

Have started reading Knowing God (JI Packer) in preparation for Issue 07 (which, by the way is going to be late but I do promise you I have been thinking about it!) He makes four points about the characteristics of people who know their God:

  1. Those who know God have great energy for God.
    I feel like I have very little energy for God. I'm always tired, always complaining, always failing at living my life with God as no. 1. My energy is being poured into work or into home. Why don't I have more energy for God? Will I have more energy when I start MTS or will I be the same?
  2. Those who know God have great thoughts of God.
    Great thoughts ... great thoughts ... uh ... my God is so big. Hmm. (Not doing too well here either.) Ooh! God is SOVEREIGN! How about that! Um, yes, I think perhaps great thoughts would come about more if I had great energy too ... I need to have great thoughts of God to write for Issue 07. Think great thoughts, think great thoughts ...
  3. Those who know God show great boldness for God.
    My workmates know I'm a Christian but they don't know much about Christ. What boldness have I shown for God? Occasionally taking the plunge and blabbing out little blobs from the Bible amid great trepidation, fluttering of heart and stuttering of tongue ... I'm quiet and I try to avoid conflict. But perhaps boldness can work with quietness ...? When to speak out, when to stay silent. When to act and when to refrain. Need wisdom ...
  4. Those who know God have great contentment in God.
    I like to think I have this but it hasn't been tested yet. Perhaps if I were living in Baghdad right now with all these buildings exploding and people dying in the streets I'd really know what it meant to have great contentment in God. Everything is going well now but maybe in a couple of months when I have no job and we are running out of money I will be shown to have no contentment in God whatsoever.

Does this mean that I do not know God as well as I should? Do I desire to know God? Yes I do, with all my being! Packer writes,

First, we must recognise how much we lack knowledge of God. We must learn to measure ourselves, not by our knowledge about God, not by our gifts and responsibilities in the church, but by how we pray and what goes on in our hearts. Many of us, I suspect, have no idea how impoverished we are at this level. Let us ask the Lord to show us.

Second, we must seek the Saviour. When he was on earth, He invited men to company with Him; thus they came to know Him, and in knowing Him to know His Father ... The Lord Jesus Christ is now absent from us in body, but spiritually it makes no difference; still we may find and know God through seeking and finding His company. It is those who have sought the Lord Jesus till they have found him—for the promise is that when we seek Him with all our hearts, we shall surely find Him—who can stand before the world to testify that they have known God.

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I got knowing God for my birthday and tried to read it…. stopped at chapter 3 smile oh dear :/

Posted by Fuzzi on 27 March, 2003 3:42 AM

Yeah, “Knowing God” can be rough sledding—it’s not a light read. But very rewarding! I’ve been through it a couple of times and probably should read it again. I encourage you to stick with it! Packer gives great insights into the character of God and then ends the chapters with personal application that will rot your socks! For example, when he finishes the chapter about God never changing, Packer calls to mind the wonders God did through the early church in Acts—and then points out that since God hasn’t changed that same power is available to us today. Really, really a life-changing book!

Posted by Lee Anne Millinger on 27 March, 2003 8:10 AM

Yeah, I definitely agree… “Knowing God” is definitely one of those books to persevere reading!

Thanks for the thoughtful summary Karen… I’ve been challenged to think about how well I know God, and how I can grow to know him better…. It hink I’ll pick up Knowing God, to read again! smile

All the best as you finish up at UNSW! God will provide.



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