HOW TO EXPERIENCE KNOWING GOD
The words and promises of the Eternal One found in Jer 29:11-14 declare "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me and I will hearken unto you, and ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. And I will be found of you, saith the Lord." The thoughts of God toward you are thoughts to give you a peace filled end. God promises when you pray He will respond, and when you seek Him He will be found of you if you search for him with all your heart.
In the context of what we are talking about, which is how to experience knowing God, one of the keys in the foregoing text is, (and I am quoting) "go and pray unto me", and, "search for me with all your heart." The question now is what is meant by the command "search for me with all your heart"? Our understanding of the command "go and pray" is clear and sufficient enough for now.
In the gospel according to Luke 14:26,27,33 we find the principle that unlocks the meaning of "search for me with all your heart". Beloved, before we look at the unfolding of this principle clearly illuminated through these texts, let us first state for the record what the principle is. And remember, the Master's own lips spoke these words recorded by His Disciple Luke. The principle is as follows; the only way to receive anything of eternal worth is to first give all. With God it is either all or nothing at all. It is impossible to be half the Lord's. It is impossible to halfway serve Him. One is either all the Lord's or they are all the Devil's. To be almost saved is not to be almost saved, but altogether lost. To be almost a Christian, is not to be almost a Christian, but completely the child of the Father of lies-Satan. There is no middle ground. But Satan working through false doctrines would have all believe that there is some acceptable middle ground.
Let us consider the words from the Master's lips "If any man come to me and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple". In these texts are found the unfolding of what is meant by "search for God with all your heart." Verse 26 of Luke 14 uses a very strong word. It uses the word hate. But when we research the meaning of this word hate as used in this text in the Greek, we find that it simply means, "to love less." In plainer words, in comparison with all other concerns, ones love, respect, devotion, loyalty and service to God stands first and alone in relationship to all their actions, thoughts and affections. Not even the closest human relationships, or our own person or concerns, have the right to be any where near where God alone should and must be, which is first in all we think, are and own. It is only then that we have the capacity and ability to truly love others and our own selves aright. Searching for God with all your heart starts with searching for God alone. God alone is first, last, and best in all things, at all times.
And in harmony with this foundational principle, is the natural and necessary result. In plainer words, when one puts God altogether and absolutely first, they will as an inescapable result bear fruit of that relationship with God!! Verse 27 of the gospel according to Luke chapter 14, the Master declares, "whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple". If God is absolutely first in ones life, then will they by nature fulfil the command to bear their cross and follow in the lifestyle of Jesus. There is no such thing as a genuine Christian that fails to bear his cross and follow the self-sacrificing, self-denying life of Christ. People are not saved merely to be happy that they are saved. Faith works. Christians live like Christ lived. One of the best deceptions and tools of the Devil is a person who claims to be a Christian and is not. They misrepresent God, and are the best tools Satan has, because, by their lying profession they mislead others. Christ commands those that are His disciples to bear their cross and follow Him. Note here Beloved that the cross is an instrument and symbol of suffering. Following Jesus includes much suffering for righteousness sake. All of those other gospels that are rampant in Christendom today are lying gospels. For thus saith the Lord "Yea, and all that will godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution." 2 Tim 3:12. Again in Ps 34:19 it is recorded, "Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all." Such was the life of our Saviour, and such will be the life of all who are His - all who are true and genuine Christians, and who have God within, and put God alone first. In verse 33 of Luke chapter 14, we find these words spoken by the Light of Life, "So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple." Verse 33 of Luke chapter 14 is an expansion of verse 26. Not only must one forsake giving first place to themselves or any other human relationship, but further, all that I am and own must be forsaken by submitting it to God's ownership and control!!! Nothing less will be accepted. My time and efforts, my talents and money, and all of my possessions are to be placed on the altar as an offering to God to be given up or to be used directly in doing the will and work of God. Anything short of this is a compromised, sin-loving, earthly minded, lying gospel. Professed modern-day Christians claim to give all to Christ, yet they use what they are and all that they own primarily for themselves and their own concerns. Thus, they live a lie in the name of God before a steeped in darkness lost world!
In conclusion, the way to experience knowing God is to search for Him with all your heart. Or in plainer words search for God with all your mental abilities and deepest affections. Seek God and God alone, putting everything and everybody else secondary. Purpose to do more than profess the name of Christ. Purpose to live the life of Christ. Commit your life moment by moment to living the self-sacrificing and self-denying life of Jesus. This alone is bearing your cross. Devote all you are and especially all you own to God, to be given up or used specifically in the will and work of bringing God's Kingdom to this earth. Do you want to know God? Just give to Him your all, not in theory but in reality and practicality!! The truth is, when you give up all, you have only given up that which prevents you from having all power and wisdom in heaven and in earth!! For those who make a covenant with God through sacrifice, and thus overcome sin and this sinful world, your Saviour makes to you this promise "To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame and am set down with my Father in His throne." " He that hath an ear, let him ear what the Spirit saith unto the churches." Rev. 3:21-22.