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Knowing God

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The foundation of almost anything from buildings to business models lays the groundwork for what that structure will become. A company with a weak foundation of ethics will inevitably fail. A building with a weak foundation sags and collapses under its own weight. Starting with a solid foundation gives us the reason "why" in a process and allows us to move forward with confidence and hope. This is the same with our relationship with God. When our relationship is rooted in knowing God the Father, not just knowing about him, our foundation has the strength to endure.

Over the years I have lived in many different houses. Each house was built during different times with varying building standards. Our current house was built in the late eighties. When we first moved in several years ago I noticed a slight bow in the first floor. It soon became clear that there was a slight problem with the foundation. At first you don't notice everything that a foundation problem impacts. Over time you begin to notice things like windows and doors that don't close correctly or at all. Cracks develop where they shouldn't. These may seem like minor inconveniences but over time they can become big problems. Our relationships with God and others are much the same. If we do not start out at a place of trust, living out of a strong foundation, the cracks begin to develop and what once may have seemed solid begins to crumble. 

In school or training for a job or any lesson we learn it is important to experience the whole process. In recent years I have found that an instructor or mentor can talk to me about a process at work repeatedly, but until I actually walked through it myself the process remained abstract. Our relationship with God is similar. We can read His word or listen to sermon after sermon but until we truly enter into a deep intimacy with God we are just scratching the surface. When we experience this intimacy with God we are building the foundation for our life. The impact can be seen in the slightest detail, even aspects of our lives that we wouldn't suspect. 

Knowing about God and knowing God are two very different things. We can read biographies about historical figures. We could even be considered an expert about that particular person, but we would never know them like their families or loved ones did. With God we can read about him, but until God the Father is revealed to us through the work of the Son by the Holy Spirit, what we know about God are simply facts.

Knowing God in deep relationship impacts every aspect of our lives. It is foundational to who we are. When we begin to see cracks in our lives, it could mean that we have some foundation work to do.  

 

 

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A Peace that Surpasses All Understanding

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At some point in life we all experience anxiety in some form or other. I remember as a student worrying about upcoming tests and sporting events. At the time they seemed like the most important events in the world. No amount of study or preparation could relieve the anxious feeling in the pit of my stomach. As I got older the worry associated with big tests or sporting events shifted to job opportunities, the health of family members and the birth of children. But it wasn't until I met Jesus that I realized that the all the worry, all the anxiety over these things couldn't change the outcome. Before, the worry would often build to seemingly unmanageable levels sometimes causing the inability to act. With Jesus, I now had a loving lord and savior who cared about these worries and assured me he would see me through. 

Sadly, Jesus is often not the first person I go to with worries and anxiety. It seems like it is human nature to seek advice from others or to even bare our problems alone before we seek God. We don't like to feel weak, and while it is a good thing to seek wise counsel from others, our first interaction on worry should always be the Lord. I have been blessed with peace and comfort in any number of worry inducing situations when I first go to God in prayer. When I labor over these same situations only later going to God I always come to the conclusion of why did I not take this to God first? Pride is so very hard to overcome. 

In Philippians 4:6-9, Paul states how we are to approach worries and anxieties.

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by

prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request 

be known to God. And the peace of God,

which surpasses all understanding,

will guard your hearts and your minds

in Jesus Christ." Philippians 4:6-7

Paul speaks of the peace given by God that surpasses all understanding. I've seen this peace in the passing of my father-in-law several years ago. People who have not met Jesus are often dumbfounded when they see an acquaintance or friend experience a hardship and handle it with a sense of peace that doesn't make sense to them. I would be willing to say that it is that very peace that God gives us that attracts those who may have been dumbfounded. 

I know when something is bothering me if I take that worry to God it will be put into perspective. He will give the peace and comfort only he can. If I try to carry the burden alone it festers. It grows into something it never should have been. I pray that we would always seek God first in thanksgiving, praying for the worries that will arrive in life. We already know the outcome. 

 

 

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