As I near the completion of “They Will All Know Me,” I offer you the Introductory Chapter to give you a taste of what to expect from this latest book in the ScribeLife Series. The process of writing this book stirred my passion for sharing these truths even more as I reviewed my personal journals and revisited the Scriptural truths that first birthed a hunger and a hope in knowing the Lord now. We hope to publish the book in early June.
They Will All Know Me: An Introduction
Being a Christian, and knowing God, are two very different things for too many people. Does that statement shock you? Or does it seem obvious already?
I am writing this book, adding to the hundreds already out there on Christian living, because as a counselor, teacher and daughter of God, it is clear to me that one can be a Christian by virtue of being “saved” and “baptized” — and still not know God. And as a counselor for over 25 years, it has become abundantly clear that just about 100% of what people need to be a better person, have a better life, receive healing for their souls, and be victorious over sin or depression, is to know God.
As a Christian working with nearly every denomination that confesses Christ, I also witness that a great majority of pastors and churches are programmed to teach people how to be good Christians and church members, more than how to know their God — and again, there is a vast difference between these two things.
The difference is found on every level — such as whether one truly enjoys his relationship to the Lord, being nourished by Him; or one who serves the Lord yet knows no joy. It is contrasted in those who have a continual tug of war with sin and their old nature, and those who are so blessed by walking with God in his ways that nothing much tempts them anymore. It is the difference between one who genuinely worships God as an involuntary response to experiencing the Lord’s power and goodness; and the one who sings worship songs at church because that’s what you do before the sermon. Knowing God versus just “being saved” determines whether the promises in Scripture actually materialize in your life, or always feel like the impossible dream you can never quite reach or make happen.
I write this book because many do not know their God, nor have someone teaching them that they can and should. I write this book because knowing God is everything! I write this book because knowing God is actually His idea, His primary purpose, and His greatest blessing in the New Covenant of Christ.
I write this book because we have got it upside down and backwards: we think we have to become Christlike in order for God come near us. But in fact, God comes near us in order to show us how to become Christlike. Every good father teaches his immature son how to be who he should be. I am a profoundly different woman after 30 years of knowing God, both in character and contentment, and that didn’t happen from just reading my Bible and going to church; it happened through experiencing God as a real Father, Christ as a living savior, and the Spirit as a divine and ever-present friend, teacher, and enabler.
I write this book to build your faith in the fact of knowing God, to tell you my own experience and how it has changed my life, and to reveal the most important things one needs to know in this regard. I write this book in hopes that once you have read it, you will never again settle for what I call “spectator sport Christianity.” I hope that you will come away with a real hunger to know the most amazing Person ever, who not only promised us abundant life, but who IS abundant life to us and in us.
You were not saved to just have your sin forgiven, and left to pray to a God in heaven, whom you cannot know until you die and join Him there. In a fresh and unbiased reading of the New Testament you will not find any language to support this idea. What you will find is an incredible chorus of voices spurring you on to know God, walk with God, hear God, work with God, rest with God, be comforted by God, and along the way, become like God. Because in the end, YOU, child of God, become like your Father by knowing him — there is no other way.
You can know God. You have been brought into a covenant relationship with the Trinity for that very purpose. It doesn’t begin after you die. It isn’t 15% now and 100% later. All the promises of the Bible, everything the Bible invites you to hope in, flows out of this relationship — the experience of knowing a real God in real life.
We have unfortunately accepted the concept that knowing God is only for some heavenly day because for centuries teachers were not experiencing this in their own lives, and rather than change their lives, they changed the doctrine that Scripture clearly puts forward. The further away we have come from the first century church, who knew better, the more it has become normal to assume all the stuff those apostle guys wrote was about some other day, after Christ returns, after we have gone to heaven.
Yet the simple reading of the gospels and letters from the Apostles imply (or even presume we’ll understand) that this an immediate thing! If you read the New Testament from a position of no bias, no preconceived ideas, no doctrine imposed over it, putting aside everything you’ve ever heard, you will encounter the presumption that we can and should experience real fellowship with God from the moment we are saved and have received the gift of God’s Spirit. In fact, that is why we have been given the Spirit: He is the part of the Trinity that makes it possible for us to fellowship with the Father and the Son. To act and believe otherwise is to put your life with God on hold until your earth suit dies.
Yes, there is language that describes a day when there will be no evil, no tears, no sickness, and we are clearly not living there yet. This definitely describes a time when we will be living in the cleansed new heaven and new earth that has been purged of all sickness and evil. But this does not negate the dozens of descriptions of life with God to be experienced while we still live in our earth suits. In fact, the main reason Jesus spent years among men before he gave himself up for our sins, was to be a living demonstration of what life was meant to be as a human being, created by God, filled with His Spirit, sharing life together.
If you still feel like you are on the outside looking in, if you are bored or frustrated with your experience of being a Christian, if you’ve been wearing yourself out to confess and “pray in the promises,” and if you feel like you are the one who has to hold everything together in this Christianity thing — you’re doing it all wrong. If you are to run the race well, all the way, and win the prize, you must quit living as if you have to do it all on your own and will never be good enough.
I want to shout it from the rooftops, because I’ve heard it in the quiet and I’ve tested it thoroughly, and it is true: you are called to know God now. You can know God now. Every promise is fulfilled through this relationship. All comfort, all satisfaction of heart, all ability to forgive, to be wise, to fulfill your creative potential, to live worthy, will come naturally as you live according to your true identity as the beloved child and family member of a very present Father, Brother and Friend.
You might earn a good welcome in heaven because you perform well as a Christian, but you make all of heaven rejoice — and become the 100-fold fruitful Christian — only when you have lived on earth like you really believe God, faithfully seeing, hearing, walking and talking with Him.
He couldn’t wait to share life with you. He couldn’t wait to show off His best Dad stuff. He couldn’t wait to show you off to the world you live in, as He disciples you in his ways. He couldn’t wait to nourish you, then nourish the world through you, and touch His people through your heart and hands.
From the beginning, you were made to share life with God, not just get a ticket to heaven. It is His idea, His passion, and the joy of Jesus the Christ. I pray that this book will stir absolute faith in His passion to bring you to complete joy with Him.