It is a conviction among people that one ought to experience to know. Every person has to go through multiple experiences in his life to gain knowledge about anything. This is how people grow to become men. If not, how does one know what is good for him? How does one know whom or what to believe in or know what is good for his body? Is it not by experiencing in this life that he makes a judgment as to what is suitable for him? Why do people wear their same best clothes often or why do they go to the same restaurant often? Is it not because they have learned by experience that it is suitable and presentable for them?
People often spend much time in investigating what is good for them; this is good, because it makes them feel better about themselves. Knowledge always necessitates experience, because this knowledge leads us to become a better person and even a respectable person. However, it is only the working of the knowledge of God that makes a complete man. How are the children of God using their knowledge of God? How can we know that God is good and that His love is forever? Is it not when we experience Him in our life? It is a disappointment that we almost forget this in our daily life and yet, continue to remember to search and know about the worldly things that are less needed in our lives.
We are to invest ourselves in God to know who and what He is to us. What can we give to God except that we fear Him all the days of our life and to bow down and worship Him in reverence? This is what God expects from us that we humble ourselves before His presence and receive His loving kindness. Even the godless Gentiles spend much time before their mute gods hoping to receive something in return, but only in vain. We who have a better knowledge of the true God should put our knowledge of fear and reverence into experience to receive things pertaining to life. Then we will truly know that He is good and His loving kindness is forever. “All the sons of Israel, seeing the fire come down and the glory of the Lord upon the house, bowed down on the pavement with their faces to the ground, and they worshiped and gave praise to the Lord, saying, ‘Truly He is good, truly His loving kindness is everlasting’” (2 Chron. 7:3).
These days children of God are like widows and orphans. They lack His blessings and loving kindness in their lives. This is primarily because of their sin. When we do not revere God, we become arrogant and in arrogance we commit sin. When we sin we are caught; we are caught not by our neighbors or family members, but by the Almighty God, who can catch us even in the dark and is able to destroy both our body and soul. Therefore, we ought to be careful concerning everything in our life – our speech, the kind of schemes we make, the lies we use to stumble others and even all the corruption that is in our hearts. All those who are against God will surely be punished and “On account of the sin of their mouth and the words of their lips, let them even be caught in their pride, and on account of curses and lies which they utter” (Ps. 59:12).
O what a terrible thing to fall into the mighty hand of God! Instead of receiving blessings, people are willing to be destroyed in their foolishness, because they do not know how to use their knowledge. How long shall God be patient concerning the wretched lives? Shall He not make a judgment to save His righteous, to bless those who revere Him and to show His loving kindness to those who humble themselves before Him? Therefore, the Lord says “And the pillars of Egypt will be crushed; All the hired laborers will be grieved in soul” (Isa. 19:10).
You, who call yourselves the men and women of God, listen, do not commit sin and do not lead others into sinning against God. Do not be a stumbling block to those who desire to come to God. Do not humiliate your brothers before God by holding them in bondage to sin. Is it not the shepherds, leaders and teachers that ought to pull people out from sin and present them to God? You who think that God is blind know that God wants you to let go of His people, “…so that no one should keep them, a Jew his brother, in bondage” (Jer. 34:9).
Therefore, know for certain that God is alive and that His judgments are true. Do not give people evil when they seek for help. Do not teach them wrong when they are searching for God and His loving kindness. We ought to remember that we reap what we sow. However, if we neglect the commands of God, He will not hesitate to give us what we deserve. It is not difficult for God to destroy in a twinkle of an eye what you acquired in all of your life. You might even lose your family and all the things that you deemed so dear to you. You will be put to shame among your people and even before the godless Gentiles. “Behold, I am going to rebuke your offspring, and I will spread refuse on your faces, the refuse of your feasts; and you will be taken away with it” (Mal. 2:3). All this is because you have rebelled against God and did not know how to put the knowledge of your God into experience.
God desires that ‘all should repent and come to the knowledge of Him.’ How can we repent when we cannot put our knowledge of God into practice? But the man or woman who comes to God with a contrite and broken heart will be received by Him. God will not only forgive such a person, but will receive him in much delight, because that person has humbled himself before God and bowed down before Him. He will announce to the world that you are His child. What a blessing it is to be known by God and to be blessed by Him! “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).
Therefore, dear brethren, know for certain that when you have come to God and surrendered yourself, you no longer belong to yourself, but to God who gave you a new life. Live as free men, as those who are just born without a corrupt heart and with a pure conscience. If this is your condition, you will not do anything contrary to His will, but will keep all things for His sake who has begotten you. You will become ‘all things to all people’ because you have loved your God and feared Him. You will not murmur or grumble against your God nor will you even dare to test the Lord your God, because “He who observes the day, observes it for the Lord, and he who eats, does so for the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who eats not, for the Lord he does not eat, and gives thanks to God” (Rom. 14:6).
In this is the truth of our Lord Jesus that we sacrifice ourselves to Him who rescued us from sin and sickness that we may receive His goodness and loving kindness. When we observe all things for the Lord and in the Lord, we carry the truth of our Lord in our bodies. Then the Lord will truly be good to us and truly His loving kindness will be everlasting. Therefore, we become a living sacrifice to Him and a light to the nations. What a splendor it is to be known and found as the carriers of His truth! “For I was very glad when brethren came and testified to your truth, that is, how you are walking in truth” (3 John 1:3).