This is the part my mind has settled on over the last couple days. Think about that moment. If you have given your life to Christ and are looking forward to an indescribable eternity in paradise with him, let me ask you this question. Do you really know him? I was pondering this on my way home from work yesterday, reflecting on if I have really sought after him lately; if I have spent any intense, intimate time with him that would grow our relationship. I started thinking about how I have loved him for as long as I can remember, how I am constantly learning and longing to completely trust him, and how he has been so faithful to me...and how I think I know him. Then I was convicted. I imagined being on my knees before him, in a speechless awe of his great love and even greater glory, and feeling like a stranger. Not because he didn't know me. But because I had neglected to use the few, short years he has given me on this earth to really get to know him. And there is nothing that would break my heart more.
Matthew 7:21-23 says, "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!"
Never, ever do I want to see the day when God would say, "I never knew you." Yet one thing is for sure. He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. He remains who he is and his pursuit of me will never cease. He invites me in to know him and experience the fruitfulness of a lifetime of following him. He promises that it won't be easy; that the pain and difficulties will be certain. Following God rather than cheering for him like a mere fan will always be the harder road. But he also promises that the joy of walking with him offers so much more than any short-term happiness and comfort we so desperately try to attain here on earth. Still, I must choose to follow him and seek after him. I must choose to delight in him, pour over, and be changed by his living and active Word. I must choose to call on and access the power of the Holy Spirit inside me. I must be quiet, get alone, listen for his voice, and receive the love he longs to pour out all over me. And I must submit to what he wants for me and the way he calls me to love, even when my selfish pride, narrow plans, and defensive ways make it incredibly difficult. Not because I have anything significant to share on my own. But because Christ in me has much to share for his glory.
Then, on that beautiful day, I hope and pray I will stand before him, tears spilling down my cheeks, recognizing a peace I have only longed to know, as I will lean into his wide, open arms that have been waiting for me since the day he made me. Fully realizing that the most important relationship I have ever experienced is now before me. And I will know him...not because I have devoted my life to him and tried my best to love him...but because I will have walked with him, and talked with him. And I will have been in those arms before.
God wants you. He is seeking after you. He so passionately loves you and wants you to call on his strength. He knows you. Do you know him?
"For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him." 2 Chronicles 16:9