Has anyone ever asked you how well you know the Lord?
How did you answer? And, how did you feel about your answer?
When we accept Jesus as Lord and Savior, we begin a journey with Him that is one that passes from this life into eternity. That journey is one of the means that helps us to become better acquainted with the Lord. The ups and downs and twists and turns of life on this earth give us more than one or two opportunities to be clear we are not in Eden.
If we are fortunate after that initial encounter with the Lord, we experience sound biblical teaching and discipleship to anchor our commitment to Him. That biblical teaching becomes the foundation and directly influences how we grow and what we believe about life with Him and it is of critical importance.
Life will test us, tempt us, try us, and leave us spinning, absent a strong mooring in the truth of his Word.
His Word provides understanding, comfort, historical context and information, encouragement, hope, and more. Most of us know it is divided into an Old and New Testament.
The word testament refers to a person’s will, the part relating to personal property and something that serves as a sign or evidence of a specified fact, event, or quality according to the dictionary. Consider that as you pick up your own Bible and what He wants you to see that He has left for us.
When I recall the wills of my parents’ as an executrix following their deaths, I am aware the wills represented my inheritance and also pointed direction to provision for my future. They addressed the tangible assets representing their life’s work (with interest). What they passed on was now my responsibility to steward.
His Word was meant in part at least to represent the same things and more in a much broader and bigger context. The Narrative books (sometimes called historical books) tell us where we came from and how our relationship with Him as mankind began and developed. (They tell us the story.) There is the Poetry portion that includes Psalms and other poetic books that communicate ideas, but especially express emotion and show us life in all its fullness. There are the books of Wisdom such as Proverbs, Job, and Ecclesiastes meant to shape our moral and ethical lives and these cover many practical topics about our lives.
There is also a section of both Old and New Testament devoted to Prophecy that include what are known as major and minor prophets. They point to warnings to those people with whom God is in covenant and are meant to help us prepare for what lays ahead. These same passages reveal much about God’s mind and character.
The Gospels appear to be and are narrative, but additionally they serve as a proclamation of who Jesus is, his life and his teachings. The letters in the New Testament written to a specific person or specific group are known as Epistles. They provide encouragement and questions and guidance for the Christian life. One additional portion is known as the Apocalypse. This refers to Revelation and parts of the book of Daniel that are in some ways like other prophecies, but employ a great deal of symbolic language.
Together they tell us much and round out the picture and understanding of who God is and the functioning of the Trinity and how we can connect with Him
One passage often used to comfort our hearts (especially during times of sorrow) is found in John 14:1. It’s a fitting passage because we see the words of Jesus spoken to his disciples just prior to his crucifixion. Read again John’s words in 14:1 (NIV):
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me.”
When I read Jennifer Dukes Lee’s book, It’s All Under Control, she pointed out the significance of the original Greek for the word “believe” which is pisteuete. She shared this insight that is important to include in our understanding:
“But pisteuete belief is more than being convinced of God’s existence – so much more. Pisteuete belief means to “have trust in.”
When we pause to consider challenges on our faith journeys in trusting Him when ups and downs or twists and turns disrupt all we hold dear and love, I think it may reveal a great deal about our relationship with Him.
Our level of intimacy is deepened in any relationship by how well we know the person and at what level we have shared our deepest thoughts, ideas, and passions.
Our level of intimacy with the Lord impacts how well we trust Him, especially in those most difficult spots in our lives. That intimacy can only grow by spending time with Him, not only reading but also understanding his will, his testament to us, so that we recognize his heart.
When you consider your most intimate human relationships, what do they look like and how did they develop?
Should not our relationship with the Lord be even more intimate than those relationships?
Consider these words:
“We cannot always trace God’s hand, but we can always trust God’s heart.” Charles Spurgeon
“Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.” Corrie Ten Boom
“God won’t light your second step until you have taken the first one.” Woodrow Kroll