In Luke 13, when Jesus was asked how many would be saved, his answer was “Strive to enter by the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able. Once the head of the house gets up and shuts the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock on the door, saying, ‘Lord, open up to us!’, then He will answer and say to you, ‘I do not know where you are from.’” (v 24 – 25)
As revealed by these verses, knowing God and being known by Him is key. To follow the greatest commandment, to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind, it is essential we know the person we are loving.
Worship is one way that we can know God. Supplicating ourselves and lifting Him up. Speaking His truth and having His love wash over us.
There are other ways of knowing God. Prayer. Reading and meditating on His word. Serving others. Solitude. Giving. But then there are the less popular methods. Hardship. Silence. Pain. Sacrifice.
We humans gravitate towards the activities that give us the greatest “return on investment”. The quickest and easiest payoff. I believe that is often true of how we choose to know God. We pick the tools that “work” best for us. The ones we feel make the greatest impact or difference in our lives.
Worship can definitely be one of these for many of us. Its emotional payoff is often very powerful. We feel “closer to God” in these moments than in others. It’s why it is one of the most popular and common ways to engage.
The opposite is true of things like silence and suffering. Typically when we don’t hear God’s voice for long periods of time, we often feel like God is distant or disengaged. When we are engaged in challenging circumstances, it is common for us to feel like He doesn’t care.
But if God desires to have a relationship with us, to be KNOWN, then the ability to know Him is always at hand. It is not relegated to only a few preferred activities or specific times in our lives. And maybe at this moment we only know Him in part because we’ve chosen only our preferred activities of discovery.
What if we believed that God was just as knowable in His silence? Just as present in His perceived absence? Just as “for our good” in our greatest pain? And what if we actually sought Him not only in the activities that gave us the best “results”, but we actually stepped knowingly and purposefully into those we don’t prefer, or even try out hardest to keep at bay, for the sole reason that we want to know Him FULLY, and not just in part?
Know Him in your preparation as you meditate on His word and as you give of your time in practice. Know Him as you serve in helping others hear from God. Know Him as He speaks to You individually through worship.
For those of you that find knowing God easiest in these moments, I encourage you to step just as boldly into new and different methods of knowing that may not be as comfortable or easy for you. If the door to the Kingdom is “narrow”, maybe the path to knowing Him is the same.
And for those of you that find it hard to know Him in worship, don’t stop engaging. Continue to embrace it. He is there. He wants to be known. Be patient, and keep seeking….