I am reading “Knowing God” by Jim Packer with my ministry trainee. These notes from chapter 2 show the essence of Packer’s faith; the knowledge of God must make a real difference to the way we cope with life situations.
Lots of orthodox evangelicals can state the gospel clearly, and can smell unsound doctrine a mile away. If anyone asks us how men may know God, we can at once produce the right formula – “though Christ, his cross, his word and promise, by the power of the Holy Spirit, personal exercise of faith.” Yet the gaiety, goodness and unfetteredness of spirit which are marks of those who have known God are rare among us.
A little knowledge of God is worth more than a great deal of knowledge about him.
Can I say “that because I have known God the unpleasantness I have had, or the pleasantness I have not had, through being a Christian does not matter to me.”
1. Those who know God have great energy for God. (i.e. Daniel)
2. Those who know God have great thoughts of God. (i.e. Daniel)
3. Those who know God show great boldness for God. (i.e. Daniel)
4. Those who know God have great contentment in God. Full assurance in the completed work of Christ for believing sinners.
We must take time to ask God how impoverished we are.
Do we desire such knowledge of God? Then-
First, we must recognise how much we lack knowledge of God. We must learn to measure ourselves, not by our knowledge about God, not by our gifts and responsibilities in the church, but by how we pray and what goes on in our hearts. Many of us, I suspect, have no idea how impoverished we are at this level. Let us ask the Lord to show us.
Second, we must seek the Saviour. When he was on earth, He invited men to company him; thus they came to know Him, and in knowing Him to know His Father.
I’ll blog next week on how this affects Christian leadership types.