For many of us, knowing God is a matter of the mind. But really knowing God is always a matter of the heart, and that’s because God is not merely an idea we agree to, but is first and foremost an experience we share in.

This is why today and every day we must prepare ourselves to receive the gift of God before we ever say anything about God.

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Moses replied, “If you won’t go yourself, don’t make us leave here. Because how will anyone know that we have your special approval, both I and your people, unless you go with us? Only that distinguishes us, me and your people, from every other people on the earth.”

The Lord said to Moses, “I’ll do exactly what you’ve asked because you have my special approval, and I know you by name.”

Moses said, “Please show me your glorious presence.”

Exodus 33:15-18

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We all want to know that others approve of us. This is probably why we spend so much of our time trying to be the kind of person others want us to be. The desire for approval is so strong that some of us will do whatever it takes to get others’ attention and affection. Because if other people think we’re attractive, smart, funny, or interesting, then maybe they’ll want to hang out with us, want to be in our presence.

But when we’re in the presence of God, there’s nothing we have to do or say to get attention, and there’s no one we have to be in order to receive affection — we already have God’s approval.

The Lord said to Moses, “I know you by name.” In other words, God knew Moses, all of him — the good and the bad, the beautiful and the ugly, the visible and the hidden. And God still approved of him. The same is true of us, so rest in God’s presence and know that you already have all of the approval you need.

Chris Robertson

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God, I don’t want to let others down. But I often feel the pressure to be better, and it’s really stressful. So I’m glad you love me just as I am. Thank you for your approval. Amen.

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Near the end of the Sermon on the Mount Jesus says, “Ask, and you will receive. Search, and you will find. Knock, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Whoever seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door is opened.”

So may each of us keep asking and searching and knocking.

May we keep yearning, reaching, wanting, and watching for something more.

And regardless of what we’re doing or where we’re going, may we come to every moment with the expectation that God wants to know us, and we can know God.

Chris Robertson

Rev. Chris Robertson is a stay-at-home dad who spends most of his time dispensing cheerios, changing diapers, and taking long walks in the park in an attempt to get his son, Shane, to take a nap. But he also loves Jesus, books (all of them), and golf. 

Wondrous Love: I Am Thine, O Lord

Mark Hayes

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