To desire God is to desire the knowledge of Him. By it God reveals Himself. It appears through many things, beginning from the creation we see. But, what does it precisely mean to desire the knowledge of God? It means to desire the knowledge of His ways. He who has known them has desired Him and has found His ways. To simply say that the God of heaven and earth exists cannot be the complete knowledge of Him; it is only the beginning of knowledge. What we see in creation – the sun, moon, stars, etc and the mountains, valleys, forests, animals, etc – tell us that there is a heavenly Power over the creation we see. They remind us of who we are – the created beings.
The godly are always aware of their Maker. They have come to know Him by yearning His ways. But, the worldly are not so. “They say to God, ‘Depart from us! We do not even desire the knowledge of Your ways’” (Job 21:14). What do they essentially deny when they say to Him, ‘depart from us?’ They deny His will, works, thoughts, righteousness, guidance, provisions and judgments for them. All these appear from His ways. When He told Paul not to set foot in Asia, it was His way; when He told Peter by a vision to eat from all kinds of animals it was His way; when He asked Abraham to offer Isaac and told Moses to lead Israel through the wilderness to take them to the Red Sea, it was His ways. In all of them there was an insurmountable effect that benefited His people. It was His glorification.
It must come as indigenous for His people, now Christians, to yearn His ways. For there are many things in this world that escape their notice; they pose great harm to them, not only for this life, but also to the life to come. And, it is only in the ways of God to constantly provide them an escape. To remain faithful to the end, as Jesus asked, is only possible by walking in His ways. There lies the glory, joy and peace. But many lack them, because they neglect to desire His ways; still others that blatantly deny them. They make it indigenous for them to reproduce the nature of the worldly. Every Christian ought to remember the reason God called him. It is for His glory. If the creation that will vanish away gives glory to Him who created it, how much more glory are we, His sons, must give to Him for whose sake we are created? “For thus says the high and exalted One Who lives forever, whose name is Holy, ‘I dwell on a high and holy place, And also with the contrite and lowly of spirit in order to revive the spirit of the lowly And to revive the heart of the contrite’” (Isa. 57:15).
To desire the knowledge of God’s ways is the work of a humble spirit and a contrite heart. They do not work on their own or for their interests. Their sole aim is to glorify God. Therefore, in whatever they do they prosper. They know who God is and where His dwelling is and know that He chooses to dwell in them. They are constantly revived by His ways. A constant revival, nurturing or strengthening is needed for every Christian to fulfill what Jesus asked of them. God does not send His revival to anyone, but to those who do not possess the heart of the worldly. Our words, actions and thoughts must not represent the nature of the worldly, if God is to continually revive us. If He must strengthen us by His ways, we ought to strongly desire them. There is no defeat in them. For they do not know darkness; they will be to us the light of God through the valleys, mountains, high times and low times. They will not allow anything to separate us from the holiness of God. For we are not naïve, brethren, of the judgment pronounced on those that are without His holiness. He said, “Behold, I will make you small among the nations; you are greatly despised” (Obad. 1:2).
The primary reason Christians come short of God’s holiness is present in their neglect for His ways. They become the cup that is half empty. They did not incline their heart and spirit to search how God works. But, when they seek Him as to why He worked in such and such a way and how He works in such and such a way, they indeed receive the knowledge of His ways; they grasp the authority He has to do what He pleases. God also will be pleased with them seeing that they yearned to see His capability and to understand the perfectness of His working nature. To possess the knowledge of His ways is the key to receive His ways. This is how our predecessors thrived in Him. This is exercising godliness. So, unless they receive His ways they cannot work out their salvation; much less possess the fear and trembling that accompany it. To secure His holiness must be of paramount importance to them. For then the joy they give to Him is insurmountable. “And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has received him back safe and sound’” (Luke 15:27).
A great number squander their privilege of fellowshipping with God, because they continue to walk according to their interests. This was in fact their right before they entered Christ, but not after. Hence, before they know they lose all communication with God; the word seems ordinary to them. By what they inclined their spirit and heart to do, the power in the word does not cohabit with them. They become foreign to the knowledge of the ways of God. Though they at one time entered into a covenant with God through Christ, they now live in parallel ways with the worldly. Anytime a Christian squanders his relationship with God, it causes grief to the Holy Spirit; God is sorrow stricken. However, the knowledge of God’s ways is with power to keep us from causing Him sorrow. They give us His will; give us His works and provide us with the thoughts of His Spirit. They help us realize His judgments and show us the paths to His righteousness. They guide us to make the right choices and lead us to the provisions that are not soiled by sin. If we know how and why God works according to His wish, we have the knowledge to grasp His ways for us. Therefore, “when he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go into Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them” (Acts 16:10).
There are numerous ways for God to reveal Himself. It is for us to grant Him the opportunity to unveil them to us. As long as we do not search them out, they remain privy to us. It was Paul, who elsewhere spoke of the varieties of ministries, gifts and effects, and of the same Spirit and the same Lord. So, do not panic at the hearing of the knowledge of His ways. Yet, incline your spirit and heart to possess it that you may be ready when He calls you for His glory. It will be a true indication for your desire to know of His ways for you. And, He who sees you yearning His ways will surely grant them to you. For it is only reasonable to say that there is more honor and blessedness in obtaining His ways than be unaware of them; much worse, blatantly deny them. Paul was not illiterate like the twelve. Yet, his mental power was not what God considered for His glory; instead He chose the knowledge of His ways. And, Paul too was not illiterate of God’s ways that are appointed for the fulfilling of His promises and prophecies toward the sons. He yearned what appears through Christ more than anything else.
Once we are totally consumed by His authority, it becomes possible for us to witness His ways. “So they were willing to receive Him into the boat, and immediately the boat was at the land to which they were going” (John 6:21). If God through Christ is willing to work in ways to which His word does not oppose, what godly man can deny them? They are a constant revival to him. God, who envelops us with His love dearly yearns we submit to Him that He may glorify Himself through us. I am hard pressed to say that Christians denying His unfathomable ways are in fact filled with the knowledge of their own ways; they are a guide to themselves and will not let God come to them. They live for themselves selling their words and works for a life that glorifies them on this earth. But, the godly are not so; you and I are not so, if we continue to submit to God. “For not one of us lives for himself, and not one dies for himself” (Rom. 14:7).