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The God I’ve Come to Know – Blog & Podcast

June 29, 2018

Good relationships grow over time. The more we get to know someone, the more time we spend together, the joys in the good times, and the learning how to negotiate the difficulties all help us to grow closer to people. Many of us have had the experience of having our spouse or a special friend that we have that special connection with. Maybe a certain glance or a facial expression brings to mind some experience that we’ve had together in the past.

I can say the same thing about my relationship with God, can’t you? I mean, the God I’ve come to know is still the same, yet much different than the God I met when I got saved over 35 years ago. The God I’ve come to know is more personal, less distant and sweeter than the God I first met.

I was thinking about that recently when I was reading in 2 Chronicles about one of the good kings of Judah named Asa. Asa had a lot to deal with. He followed a number of kings were not God-fearing, who allowed a great deal of idol worship, and destroyed the altars of God.

It seems God brings encouragement and affirmation right when it’s needed. In 2 Chronicles 15, He brings a prophet named Azariah son of Oded. We don’t see Azariah anywhere else in Scripture. Let’s look at the affirmation God brought through Azariah.

2 Chronicles 15:1-7,The Spirit of God came on Azariah son of Oded. So he went out to meet Asa and said to him, “Asa and all Judah and Benjamin, hear me. The Lord is with you when you are with him. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you abandon him, he will abandon you. For many years Israel has been without the true God, without a teaching priest, and without instruction, but when they turned to the Lord God of Israel in their distress and sought him, he was found by them. In those times there was no peace for those who went about their daily activities because the residents of the lands had many conflicts. Nation was crushed by nation and city by city, for God troubled them with every possible distress. But as for you, be strong; don’t give up, for your work has a reward.”

You see, Asa didn’t just know who God was, he KNEW God. He had an intimate, growing relationship with Him. The God Asa came to know was very real and personal.

I’ve had a similar experience to King Asa, as I hope you have. I want to tell you three aspects about the God I’ve come to know.

First, the God I’ve come to know is…the God of faithfulness. He is the God who is true to His Word, the God who will never leave or forsake you. As our text says, “The Lord is with you when you are with him. If you seek him, he will be found by you.” The God I’ve come to know is the God that Abraham trusted when he was told to sacrifice his son on the altar. The God I’ve come to know is the God that told Joshua to march around the city 7 times, with trumpets, and the walls fell. The God I’ve come to know is faithful when I’m faithful, and faithful when I’m not. The God I’ve come to know is my rock, my refuge, my ever-present help.

Secondly, the God I’ve come to know is…the God of my returns. Throughout the Old Testament history of Israel, God’s children would start out faithfully, then turn away, perhaps even turn to idols, get into distress, then turn their eyes back on God. Asa surely found comfort in Azariah’s words, “but when they turned to the Lord God of Israel in their distress and sought him, he was found by them.” The God I’ve come to know is the God that delivered the children of Israel from Pharaoh even when they doubted God. The God I’ve come to know is like the father who RAN after the prodigal son when he turned his eyes toward home. The God I’ve come to know is the God who receives me with open arms every time I fall on my knees after I’ve failed Him and turns my sorrows into joy.

Finally, the God I’ve come to know is the God of my distresses. Our text tells us that nation was crushed by nation and city by city, for God troubled them with every possible distress. Don’t think for a moment that the God of my distresses only troubles us when we have misbehaved. The God of my distresses uses trials and tribulations, even when I’m faithful, to shape and mold me into the man He desires me to be. God is the God of the mountain and the God of the valley. He’s not a genie in bottle or a coin in a wishing well, but He IS able to move mountains at His command. He uses my distresses, that are all under His control, to teach me that all things work together for good for those who love the Lord.

The God I’ve come to know is different than the God I met – He’s more than I ever dreamed of and more. The God I’ve come to know is more full of love, more full of grace, and more awesome than I first thought. Isa. 43:1b-3a, “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; you are mine. I will be with you when you pass through the waters, and when you pass through the rivers, they will not overwhelm you. You will not be scorched when you walk through the fire, and the flame will not burn you. For I am the Lord your God,

Let’s pray, “Dear God, I’m so thankful that the God I’ve come to know is so much more than the God I first met. You’ve proven yourself faithful time and again. You’ve shown grace and mercy for my failures and the times I’ve wandered away, always welcoming me back. You are firmly in control of my blessings and my distress-ings, and I trust You completely. Amen”

Tony Watson
Senior Pastor
First Baptist Church
Palestine, TX

From → Blog Posts, Podcasts

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