Pressing on to know the Lord

cheetah-world-speed-record-set_57554_600x450Hosea 6:3: “So let us know, let us press on to know the LORD. His going forth is as certain as the dawn; and he will come to us like the rain, like the spring rain watering the earth.”

The prophet Hosea lamented the lack of the knowledge of God in the people of Israel and challenged them that what they needed more than anything else was to know the Lord. He affirmed that the Lord would respond to their efforts to know him by coming to them as the rain watering the earth. It means they would experience refreshing. Peter said repentance (a change for seeking the wrongs things to seeking what is right- the knowledge of God and pleasing God) would lead to times of refreshing coming from the presence of God (Acts 3:19) . What Hosea was calling for was repentance, a change of direction. He wants the people to move in the direction of God.

One thing that causes a gap between man and God is sin. God through prophet Isaiah told the people that it is not that God does not want to hear their prayer but sin as an entity is blocking the way (Isaiah 59:1-13). We need to bridge the gap of sin by repentance and commitment to obeying God.

We cannot continue to call him Lord (act as if we are truly seeking him) while we don’t do what he says (Luke 6:46), thinking that we have a better perspective of things. But that is wrong. No matter what, God would always be right. He has a scope of vision, knowledge and understanding which is better than any.

Sin results from seeking other things order than God. Eve was definitely seeking other things when she chose a path different from what God has originally outlined for him.  She set out to fulfill her own will. We therefore need to be careful about willfulness on our own part.

God said we would seek him and find him, if we seek me with all our heart (Deuteronomy 4:29, Jeremiah 29:13). Seeking God should be with all our heart, without any hidden agenda or playing to the gallery.  The Pharisees were masters at playing to the gallery. Jesus described them as being whitewashed tombs full of dead men bones but only clean on the outside (Matthew 23:25-28). They wear religious clothing, say the religious words but they are not interested in the kingdom of God only their own kingdoms.

But Jesus Christ affirmed that we should seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness (Matthew 6:33). If you are not seeking the kingdom of God, then you are seeking your own kingdom. But all other kingdoms are destined for destruction, while it is the kingdom of God that will stand forever.

From the dream of Nebuchadnezzar which Daniel interpreted, after a series of kingdoms on the earth, God by means of a stone, which is Christ, sets up a kingdom that swallows up all other kingdoms (Daniel 2:1-45).

In the confrontation of Moses with the magicians of Pharaoh, both sides threw down their rods (Exodus 7:7-13), which is a symbol of authority. All the rods turned to snakes but by the end of the “show” only the rod of Aaron (Moses’s brother who was with him, the other snakes, rest where nowhere to be found because the snake of Aaron had swallowed up those of the others. The authority of Christ swallows all others.

Don’t seek to establish your own authority; you should live in God’s.

There are several things that we press against as we seek to know the Lord and walk in his will. There are things within and without that we need to contend with.

Paul is a man committed to pressing on into the will of God. Several circumstances stood against him, opposed this intention.

His past stood against him, those he associated with in the past stood against him, those he wanted to associate with were suspicious of him.

He was a man who severely persecuted the church and after his conversion, had a hard time being admitted into the church (Acts 9:1-27). He needed to realize that he must not let his past hold him from pursuing God. He bounced back from his past immediately preaching that Jesus is the Christ soon after his conversion. He made a clean break from it starting out in the will of God for him. If he did not press away from the past, he would not press into the future, into the will of God.

The children of Israel instead of pressing on with God in the wilderness many complained that where they were (Egypt) was better than what they now have in the wilderness; they looked back to where they were coming from and at a time decided that they needed to choose a leader to lead them back (Numbers 14:1-4).

We need a clean break from the past. We can’t have it pulling on us. The writer of the book of Hebrews mentioned the need for us to lay aside every weigh (Hebrews 12:1-2). A number of times the past or the memory of the past can constitute a weight that drag us back. Drop that weight!

Paul said one of his strategies for his pressing on into God (Philippians 3:1-14), into the call of God in his life is that forgets the things which are behind. He can’t keep recycling the thoughts of his presiding over the death of Stephen and other atrocities that he had committed against Christians before become one.

But here you are lamenting about the abortions you committed, the lies you told, and thereafter allowed yourself to buy the lies of the devil; allowing yourself to be derailed from the will of God for your life. (You lost your confidence in yourself but have not replaced it with confidence in God, and now you feel empty.)

This is not advocating permissiveness, but you should realise that the mercies of God are new every morning (Lamentation 3:22-23). We need to learn to receive his grace and mercy and not disqualify ourselves by our non compliance with the truth of God in time past, receiving his healing-forgiveness through Jesus.

But what about the issue of the Israelites who would not press on, who allowed the difficulties that they faces in the wilderness to pull them back, at least in their minds? There problem is that they have no gotten the vision of a new pace God is taken them.

That is why the writers of the epistles always tell the people that they should endure whatever hardship they are facing and become focused on the glory that will be revealed. The glory we’ll share with Jesus at his second coming. They see difficulties, as being short-lived (2Corinthians 4:17); they do not rate it so high as to make them change their mind away from pursuing Christ, because of the reward in eternity

Hosea, also said that we should break up our fallow ground for it is time to seek the Lord (Hosea 10:12), who will come and rain righteousness on us. Breaking up the fallow ground is a sign of expectation. We need to seek God with expectation.

God will rain on those who seek him, “raining” his presence and righteousness. We can’t press on without that sense of expectation, without realising that the sacrifices needed in time, energy and focus would more than anything would.

What we gain is the Lord’s presence power and passion and we are able to line up with him in his purpose. The blessings are eternal in value. Whatever you invest in pressing on in time will count for eternity.  That an investment worth it, to say the least. It is the best investment ever.

 

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