Saturday, June 04, 2005

A Heart to Know

What is it that we most need in these chaotic and troubled times? Is it financial or emotional security, or perhaps good health and protection from various potential disasters? I think what we need--most essentially and even most urgently--is what the Lord promised to those who would turn to Him: "I will give them a heart to know that I am the Lord" (Jeremiah 24:7). Even that chapter and verse are significant, because that's how often our hearts need to be turned to Him!

To know that He is the Lord implies much more than I can share in this small space. But it basically means that we can have peace through trusting in Him, hope through believing in Him, and everlasting life through fidelity to his word and his will. For He says in the same place: "I will set My eyes upon them for good... I will build them up." How wonderful it is to know that it is "for good," that is, for blessing, that God has set his eyes upon us. We can add to this the other meaning of "for good"--He has set his eyes on us permanently!

Yet there is more. For all of its benefits, it is still not sufficient to know "that" He is the Lord. As other Scripture passages invite us, we must have a heart simply "to know the Lord," to know Him personally and with love. This has been made much easier and more fruitful through the incarnation of the Word of God, our Lord Jesus Christ. We can know the Lord because we can know Jesus, who has revealed to us the Father, and who has sent us the Holy Spirit. Now we can know and love each Person of the Most Holy Trinity. "This is eternal life: to know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom You have sent" (John 17:3). To complete the revelation: "You will know Him [i.e., the Holy Spirit], for He dwells with you and will be in you" (John 14:17).

On top of all this, the Lord is so generous that He even anticipates and foresees our repentance and full conversion: "They shall return to Me with their whole heart" (2nd half of Jeremiah 24:7). Given the Lord's benevolent designs upon us, we should not postpone our repentance, but rather hasten to discard our idols and return to Him who loves us so much.

So before bringing to God all of our legitimate and perhaps even urgent needs, let us begin by praying for the most important thing, that which will be our hope and blessing in the good and bad times of this passing life: a heart to know Him.