“Let not the strong man boast of his strength or the wise man boast of his wisdom or the rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight.” Jeremiah 9:23-24
Over the past couple of months, God has been repeating to me, “Know Me better, Sarah. Know Me more.” I heard Him, but the repetition meant I wasn’t listening very well. A couple of things happened that gave me the kick in the pants that I needed to move from hearing into action. The first was ‘week one’ of our current series at Ada Bible Church, Learning to Follow. With Jeff’s description of “the chair” as daily, carved-out, set-aside time, I heard the Holy Spirit nearly screaming to me “Listen to this! This is what I have been trying to tell you!”
The second moment was while reading in Jeremiah 2. The picture is of Judah and her unfaithfulness to Jehovah being compared to a she-camel and a donkey that are wildly running around in heat, frantic in their pursuit of the wrong things. My first thought was “Wow, that is quite the picture of this rebellious nation.” It was immediately followed by the gentle voice of my Savior saying, “Wow, that is quite a picture of you.” And do you know what? He was right. I had been wildly running through the busyness of my days, taking care of business and getting everything done. But, I had unintentionally placed my First Love somewhere down the list. Yes, I had daily communication with Him, chatting throughout the day, asking for guidance and lifting people up to Him. But, what I had let drift was daily sitting at His feet, daily feasting on Scripture and daily being quiet and still in His presence.
I love this quote by John Scott… “Holiness is not a condition into which we drift.”
It is active and intentional. It is a pursuit. It is selfless.
But this active pursuit of Christ-likeness is not necessarily fueled by the sacrificing of activities and things. Instead, it is fueled by a constant surrender of the heart and its desires.
It is a continuous shifting of our eyes from everything and everyone that bombards our days and screams for our attention to the heart of the Master. From our busyness to moments of stillness. From the demands of a relentless job and deadlines to the peace of communion with the Word. From the pressing call of textbooks, notes and study to the quiet beckoning of “Take my yoke upon you and learn of me” (Matthew 11:29). From the endless needs of children, schools, playdates and schedules to those precious moments (and often they are only moments) of calm. “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 40:10).
Becoming like Christ requires an active, daily feasting on His Word. It demands the intentional carving out of time and it may mean a change of habit, ritual or timing. Knowing God is not for the passive. I love what James says in chapter 4 verse 8. “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” This verse is one that God has used time after time in my walk with Him. I firmly stand on the promise that if I am actively pursuing Him, I will be drawn closer to His heart. I will know Him better. I will become more like the Christ.
The picture I have is of the Father strolling through an English garden while the sun is just starting its ascent. The mist is beginning to clear and His hand is extended behind Him like a parent who wants his child to take his hand. He is waiting for me to join Him, to grasp His fingers and walk beside him. And so I do. We move slowly through the early morning hours simply talking, listening, sharing and loving.
“I love you, my child. Know me.”
- Sarah Bennor