Purposing to Know the Lord
| "That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection,
and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death..."
To redeem a fallen, estranged and corrupted mankind, the Son of God came into our world and completely identified Himself with the lowest and most despised people, with notorious sinners and those who were rejected and condemned by everyone. This is why getting to know the heart of God means to become accustomed with a heart of mercy and compassion. God is a God who rejoices with singing over His children. Yet He was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief, accepting suffering and agony to make us His own.
The experience of His saving grace is only the beginning of a journey of sweet friendship and communion. But to walk with Him requires that we know Him and submit our lives to Him as Lord. We cannot walk with the Lord Jesus and claim Him as our Savior if we are unwilling to live as His servants of righteousness by the power of His indwelling Spirit. Salvation is for those who surrender their will to His, follow His compelling call, travel to the outside of the camp, identify with the cross, and, for the prize set before them, despise the suffering and shame of the world, clinging to Jesus. When knowing Him becomes the great passion of our lives, even the fellowship of suffering becomes a precious and sweet experience. To know His mind and His desires, to take upon ourselves His heart of compassion and identify with His suffering, even to the point of giving our lives for Him or for those around us, is the marker of true salvation, the description of and reason for the life of the faithful.
There is no greater calling and no higher privilege in this life than to know the Lord Jesus. He who gave us His life has become our focus as He empowers us to live in this new life by the power of His resurrection. He provides the comfort of His loving presence as we travel through the scorching heat of the boiling trials, hardships and suffering that come our way. And He Himself is the reward that awaits us at the end of our journey. For there is no greater prize that God could have offered us, and no more glorious joy that could have satisfied our souls than God Himself. With all our hearts, let us purpose to be conformable to Him in every way, knowing Him, for "this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent." (John 17:3)