In my most recent post I posed the question, “How do I know you?” I shared a bit about how we learn to know one another by observing patterns that often evolve into signature moves that we automatically associate with a particular person. They are usually small things, but they become such an identifiable representation of the person that even if that person is at a distance or we have not seen them for quite some time we will recognize them by that signature move.
The powerful quote by Esther Meek about how important it is for us to know God so well that we recognize His signature moves bears repeating here:
“Study God’s ways as the relationship unfolds, not so you can predict the future, but so that you will recognize God when He shows up. Expect to be surprised, but also expect, if you have attended to Him in love, to recognize Him. The Bible is the unfolding drama of the covenant relationship between God and his people. When you read it, you attend carefully so that you get to know God, so that you will know his signature moves, so that you will experience them in your own life.”
As I have been reflecting on her words, another question became evident. How do I show that I know Him?
The question resonates with me because I have been writing my first book. In doing so I am reminded that I need to not only tell the reader what I want them to know, but show them. As a result I have been wrestling with the question of showing for many months now. Showing conveys something more powerfully than simply telling.
Often when I was in school I was reminded when taking a test in math that I needed to show my work, not just put down an answer. I had to demonstrate I didn’t just know a fact or answer but how I arrived at or understood the answer.
Throughout the universe God is clearly showing His work. We can see it when we look up into the night sky and see the cascade of stars strewn across the heavens. We see it in the grandeur of the snowy mountain peaks that reach above the clouds. We also see it in the miracle of the birth of a new baby, in the song a robin sings outside our window. As a matter of fact Paul reminds us of that in Romans 1:20 ESV:
“For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.”
If you have visited my website and looked at some of my photography, you will likely conclude that I am captivated by what He shows us in creation.
The harder question is how do I show that I know Him in my daily life.
How do I show my work of knowing and understanding the Lord?
It can be easier to tell the story of the Gospel and quote the scriptures that inform my claim of knowing Him. Showing or proving that I know Him requires more of me.
Before my retirement as a professional clinical counselor I would often remind the person I was meeting with that if the words and actions did not match, the actions most reflected the truth. That is a true statement because our actions flow out of what is inside of us. Our words can be feigned, phony, practiced, and used as we see fit to present our ideas or ourselves. Actions expose the truth and show us more of what is truly in the heart and mind of the person.
So, the thorny question is how I prove (AKA show) that I know the Lord? I think it calls
for more thought than a quick answer. You see, I don’t think going to church proves that I know Him. Many of us went to church before we actually knew Him. I don’t think carrying a Bible or having a Christian bumper sticker proves that I know Him either. Being able to tell you a lot of stories about Him or take you down the “Roman road” does not prove it necessarily.
I think to show it requires the evidence of His work on my heart to be seen in any and all contexts of my daily life.
Bible reading would point to how I love my neighbor as the litmus test. We talk a great deal about love, but to be loving is quite another matter.
If by the Lord’s grace, we have times we succeed (by His measure) and we love, perhaps that is when we show that we know Him. Some of our signature moves will look a lot like His signature moves.