Monday, August 12, 2013

what I'm (re)reading: the first, wonderful chapters of Knowing God - and a cure for worry

My friend told me that her friend told her to start Knowing God half way through.


Or at least take time to read the first 3 chapters. Here's why I love them:
  • chapter 1 taught me to meditate on God's word: to preach it to myself until it makes an impact on my heart and mind (see my quote here)
  • chapter 2 taught me to hunger after true knowledge of God - not just head knowledge but heart knowledge
  • chapter 3 is about the fact that God knows us, which ... well, read on ...
My mind has been a bit "pressed out of shape" by anxiety lately. These words gave me perspective:
Absurdist tapeworms and Antoinette’s fever are ills from which, in the nature of the case, Christians are immune, except for occasional spells of derangement when the power of temptation presses their mind out of shape - and these, by God’s mercy, do not last.
And these words reminded me that there really is no reason to worry, because God knows me intimately and cares for every detail. Read it s-l-o-w-l-y and let the words wash over you.
What matters supremely, therefore, is not, in the last analysis, the fact that I know God, but the larger fact which underlies it—the fact that he knows me.

I am graven on the palms of his hands (Isa. 49:16). I am never out of his mind. All my knowledge of him depends on his sustained initiative in knowing me. I know him because he first knew me, and continues to know me.

He knows me as a friend, one who loves me; and there is no moment when his eye is off me, or his attention distracted from me, and no moment, therefore, when his care falters.

This is momentous knowledge. There is unspeakable comfort—the sort of comfort that energizes, be it said, not enervates—in knowing that God is constantly taking knowledge of me in love and watching over me for my good.

There is tremendous relief in knowing that his love to me is utterly realistic, based at every point on prior knowledge of the worst about me, so that no discovery now can disillusion him about me, in the way I am so often disillusioned about myself, and quench his determination to bless me.

There is, certainly, great cause for humility in the thought that He sees all the twisted things about me that my fellow-men do not see (and am I glad!), and that He sees more corruption in me than that which I see in myself (which in all conscience, is enough).

There is, however, equally great incentive to worship and love God in the thought that, for some unfathomable reason, He wants me as His friend, and desires to be my friend, and has given His Son to die for me in order to realize this purpose.

Magnificent, isn't it? I read that bit 3 times through the other day, just so I wouldn't forget it.

the quote is from Knowing God p 45-46

1 comment:

Meredith said...

I'm with you on this one (and I think I know who your mutual friend is...). Those earlier chapters are very stirring. In my humble opinion the best approach is to just take it slowly. One chapter at a time and be in no hurry. This is a book to savour.
Enjoy the ride.