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Knowing God [Part 2]

Alan Wright Ministries / Alan Wright
The Truth Network Radio
August 2, 2022 6:00 am

Knowing God [Part 2]

Alan Wright Ministries / Alan Wright

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Pastor, author and Bible teacher, Alan Wright.

Your rebellion can keep you from sharing in the Feast of the Father, but just as equally, your own attempts at righteousness can keep you from sharing in the Feast of the Father. You can know God. That's Pastor Alan Wright. Welcome to another message of good news that will help you see your life in a whole new light. I'm Daniel Britt, excited for you to hear the teaching today in the series Galatians, as presented at Reynolda Church in North Carolina. If you're not able to stay with us throughout the entire program, I want to make sure you know how to get our special resource right now. It can be yours for your donation this month made to Alan Wright Ministries.

So as you listen to today's message, you can go deeper as we send you today's special offer. Contact us at PastorAlan.org. That's PastorAlan.org. Or call 877-544-4860.

877-544-4860. More on this later in the program. But now, let's get started with today's teaching.

Here is Alan Wright. Relationships are sabotaged when instead of being about knowing and being known, they are about performing and expecting a return. In other words, relationships will either be based on grace, which is gift, and love. Or they will become based upon law, which is I do so that you will do. I give this in order to get this.

I perform in this way, expecting that you will return the favor in this way. And the attack on relationships is an attack to take what is built and founded on grace and infuse it with law. For what law does is it incites the heart to condemnation, bitterness, anger, revenge, everything that destroys.

I've shared this awful vivid picture of a real life story before with you, but I share it again because I can think of no clearer demonstration of what happens if law rules your relationship. In a former church, it was a couple, they had great friction in their marriage. The man had no real experience of grace. He had been through many difficult things in his life and it had caused him to be a bitter person, an angry man. And he and his wife were separated because of his anger.

And they had two little children. And I counseled some with the man and he wanted to know, and I was trying to counsel him, but he was asking the wrong question. He was asking the question, what do I need to do to get my wife back? And we're trying to get away from that question, but this is the way law thinks.

What do I need to do to get her back? That's the wrong question. Instead of a grace question, how can I know God and be known by God such that I'm cleansed and transformed and grow into the ever increasing likeness of Christ himself? But the law mentality always wants to know, I'll do this so that I'll get this in return. And so he just wants to know, what does a good husband look like? What does a good husband do? And against counsel they decided too early in their separation and in their process, too early they decided to have an evening together. And he had been trying to demonstrate all the right things.

Of saying the right things, bringing flowers, treating her with respect, doing everything that what it looks like a good husband should do. And the evening was pleasant together and so he made a further mistake and they weren't ready for this. He spent the night and in the morning he got up and he said, okay, this is wonderful, so I'll go get my stuff and I'll move back in. And she said, no, this is not what this is about. We're not ready for that.

This is not what I meant by this. We had a nice night together, she said, but we're not ready. We've got more healing to do.

We've got a long way to go. You can't come back now. And he walked silently out of the house and went to his pickup truck and got wire clippers and he came back and he clipped the telephone line. And he walked back into the house very calmly and he went over and began to strangle his wife. And he was going to strangle her to death except one of their twins toddled into the room and distracted him and she escaped.

I share this because this is a more painful picture than what we would normally see, but it is the same seed and the same fruit. Because if you're in a relationship and you build it on, if I do this, then you'll do this, then all that you've got working for you is the fear of the law. What I'm saying is the fear of the law is destructive. Fear is destructive in relationships. What does God say about His relationship with us? He says it is a perfect love. And what does perfect love do?

Perfect love casts out fear. The goal of grace and the power of grace is to assure that love is set not according to laws but according to gift. This is the nature of God's love. And what happened to these Galatian Christians is that Judaizers had come in and they had begun to contaminate through false teaching what a relationship with God is all about. In other words, they wanted to take this relationship, the relationship of knowing and being known by God, which is 100% built upon God's grace, and introduce into it laws that say if you'll do this, then God will like you more.

If you'll do this, then you'll be more assured that you belong. And this is why Paul is so vehement about this and this is why Paul says if you go back to this, then you're returning to the same elementary principles and demonic spirits under which you were enslaved before you ever even came to know the Lord. Because everything that's important about knowing what Christianity is all about is this.

It is not knowing about God and doing things for God. What it is all about is knowing God and being known by God. You can know God. You can know God.

It is the greatest delight of all of life. And there's a conspiracy of hell that is against your walk with God to tempt and lure you away from the simple knowledge of God to a performance-based allegiance. I love the words of Tim Keller in his fantastic book, The Prodigal God, which he speaks about the story of the two sons and one who had left for rebellious living and the other stayed home, quite dutiful, that older brother. And as he explains further about how shocking it was, the statements that Jesus is making in that parable, he addresses the fact of why doesn't the elder brother go into the party after the younger sons come home? And Keller writes, he himself, the older brother, gives the reason because I've never disobeyed you.

Listen to Keller's words. The elder brother is not losing the father's love in spite of his goodness but because of it. It is not his sins that create the barrier between him and his father. It's the pride he has in his moral record. It's not his wrongdoing but his righteousness that is keeping him from sharing in the feast of the father. This is why it's a spiritual battle and this is what Paul is identifying in such rash terms here and saying, how can you go back to the weak and worthless elementary principles?

This is what he's referring to. He's saying that your rebellion can keep you from sharing in the feast of the father but just as equally, your own attempts at righteousness can keep you from sharing in the feast of the father. You can know God. The New Testament concept of knowing and being known is rooted in an Old Testament verb, yada, which is a word that broadly means to know and is used in so many variety of contexts but it is a word that is also used in the most intimate of terms even to refer to the way in which Adam knew Eve, his wife, that the very consummation of their marriage together was defined as the knowing of a husband of his wife. And when God speaks of knowing you and you knowing Him, it is of this deep level of intimacy in which He's sharing. He's talking about the kind of relationship that we by human analogy would know involves the sharing not only of information but the sharing of hearts, the sharing of feelings, the sharing of secrets, the sharing of love. The very nature of what it means to know God is something that is deep and personal and it is intimate.

Even though He is the Creator of the ends of the earth and His ways are not our ways, there is a way in which we are invited to be known by God and to know God that is so personal. He is like the dearest friend. He is like a husband to a wife. He is like a father to a son. We have a relationship with God. He's everything to me. That's Alan Wright, and we'll have more teaching in a moment from today's important series. Ever feel like something's holding you back, as if you lack an important key that could change everything?

Is there someone you love who seems stuck? You'd like to help them, but how? What's missing? Blessing. We all need a positive, faith-filled vision spoken over our lives. You can learn how to embrace the biblical practice of blessing through Pastor Alan Wright's new book, The Power to Bless, which quickly became an Amazon number one bestseller after its recent release. Until now, the hardcover book has only been available through retail sales, but this month, Alan Wright Ministries wants to send you the book as our thank you for your donation. Make your gift today and discover the power to bless. The gospel is shared when you give to Alan Wright Ministries. This broadcast is only possible because of listener financial support.

When you give today, we will send you today's special offer. We are happy to send this to you as our thanks from Alan Wright Ministries. Call us at 877-544-4860.

That's 877-544-4860. Or come to our website, PastorAlan.org. Today's teaching now continues. Here once again is Alan Wright. I got to take a little trip this week. It's been way too long since I've done this.

Just the life, you know, life, kids, everything just keeps you, just pulling away at you. Ann and I had not gotten away to just have a day or two by ourselves in a long time, years. We should try every year at least some time away. You with young kids, you know, you know it's hard.

There's always somebody's nose to wipe or milk to clean up or diaper to change or something. But we just said this year we got an opportunity. Both kids, they're growing up now, both were going on a trip the same week. One to fun in the sun at Jekyll Island. The other was at Montreat at a camp all week. And so it was just the two of us, my wife and I. And we said we were going to take a couple of days and get away. And at first we started getting lazy on Sunday because we were going to be gone on Monday and Tuesday. And we started getting lazy and we started looking at not spending money. And we started talking about just staying around the house.

And we had to fight off and slough off the laziness and say no, we're going somewhere. We finally settled and going down to the Pine Needles Resort in Pinehurst close by. And perfect place.

Golf everywhere you look. And just perfect. And it didn't matter where we went because we got to spend two days together. Just been a long time.

It was good. I mean I've known my wife for 28, 29 years. If you said do you know Anne, I'd say yeah I know Anne. But if you asked me what happened after that trip, I'd say well I got to know my wife in a deeper way. I got to know her again.

Isn't that something about a relationship? You can really know somebody. And then just with time, just with time. Just time to listen, time to talk, time not to be distracted.

Time, just time. You can know somebody. It's just wonderful to know and to be known. It's wonderful. It's the number one thing I recommend about marriage.

It's just a safe place to know and to be known. Wow. And one time I opened the door for her, the car. She said I like it when you open the door for me like that.

That wasn't new information to me. But I'd sort of gotten away from it. I'd just been too busy to open the door for her lately. And she said I like it when you do that. And when she said it, it was in the context of two days of just sharing meals together and talking about our hearts and our desires and our gratitude and the challenges.

And sharing the mixing of your lives like that. And then she said I like it when you open the door. And I'm like, you know, I'm going to open the door for you.

Because it wasn't a law. It was like she knows me and I know her. And I realized that for her this is tied up in just a grand sense of a noble thing that chivalry is not something that ever is supposed to die away and that there's a headship of a husband and there's a covering and there's a blessing that can take place that might be expressed in little ways like opening a car door. And I just found myself like I want to open the car door for you. But you see the difference between why don't you ever open the car door for me?

And I was thinking if I just open the car door then I'll pass the good husband list and then she'll be nice to me. And that's law. But what God's inviting you into is a relationship and a knowing and a being known. And it's out of the context of knowing and being known that we serve.

And the more I know God and His heart and what His heart has compassion towards and what breaks His heart then my heart becomes more naturally broken for those things. And what I'm saying is that all of the service and obedience of your life is inextricably woven into knowledge of God. You can know Him.

You can know Him. Your life is not built on your duty to God, but when you know Him and you're known by Him, your duty and your desire start becoming more and more the same thing. John Newton, the author of the famous Amazing Grace Hymn, wrote another hymn that puts this perfectly in the verse that says, Our pleasure and our duty, though opposite before, since we have seen His beauty, are joined to part no more. Now here's what's most astounding about Galatians 4 and verse 9. And that is not that He says you've come to know God, but then He almost as if He's correcting Himself to say, or I should say it this way, or rather to be known by God. The most astounding thing He's saying here is that God wants to be known.

Let's be honest about it. The reason actually that I don't know Billy Graham is because Billy Graham has not ever had the thought cross his mind that he'd like to know Alan Wright. It's not really that I think Billy Graham thinks that he's too good for me.

I don't think that. He seems to be such a humble man. It's just that it hadn't actually crossed his mind. In fact, if Billy Graham really wanted to get to know me, and have me know him, then he could do that.

It's only a couple of hours away. I could drive up there and have lunch tomorrow with him really if he'd just invite me. In fact, really if he wanted to write one last book and he called and said Alan, I'd like you to write the ford. I'd do that.

I'd do that. If he invited me to lunch, I'd say yes. If he invited me to write the ford for his next book, I'd say yes. In fact, honestly, if he called me and said Alan, would you come and mow my lawn, I'd say yes.

I'd mow your lawn. He just hadn't invited me to do any of those things. I was up in Montreat earlier this summer doing a conference and he didn't come to my seminar. But he wasn't thinking about it. He would have liked it, but he didn't think about it. And what I'm just saying is if you could think like that for just a moment, could I just invite you, beloved, just to think about this incredible cosmic truth? God is thinking about you and He is inviting you to know Him. If we really believed that and saw it and heard the invitation, if I'd go mow Billy Graham's lawn, what could there ever be that God would invite me into that I would ever say no to? He made you.

He loves you. And you can know Him. All this is to say is that the knowing God is inextricably linked and in fact preceded by the God desire to know you. He sets forth, the Lord does, knowledge of Himself is the greatest thing in life.

Jeremiah 9, this is what the Lord says, Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom, or the strong men boast of his strength, or the rich men boast of his riches. But let him who boasts boast about this that he understands and knows Me. Imagine meeting someone great. Imagine a queen or president or some superstar that you admire and at first you meet them and you assume that it will be a formal meeting.

Your role is to be courteous and subservient. But imagine that the dignitary then begins to take you into his or her counsel and share important matters with you and personal things and seek to make you a friend. What would happen in your soul? What happened is you would be shocked at first that this was even taking place and there would have to be a process wherein you would become willing to actually be friends with this great person. You would have to have something happen within you that would actually believe that this was taking place. Because if you didn't believe that this was actually taking place and you were being in a relationship with this great dignitary then you would shut off the conversation and sabotage it. But you have to believe that your God who made you is actually wanting to know you and for you to know Him.

And here's what happens. Once you actually see that it just thrills your soul. And what happens is it thrills your soul and it so exhilarates your inward being that the external peripheral things about knowing about this person in comparison that this is God's desire and it always has been that the knowledge of God is what He desires more than burnt offerings Hosea 6.

In fact remarkably God says that for those who think that life is just about doing the religious things in order out of a law mentality or out of some performance mentality that they've so missed the point that in Matthew 7 Jesus says not everyone who says to me Lord, Lord will enter the kingdom of heaven who does the will of my Father who's in heaven. It's free and just a click away at pastorallen.org Ever feel like something's holding you back? As if you lack an important key that could change everything? Is there someone you love who seems stuck? You'd like to help them, but how?

What's missing? Blessing. We all need a positive faith-filled vision spoken over our lives. You can learn how to embrace the biblical practice of blessing through Pastor Alan Wright's new book The Power to Bless which quickly became an Amazon number one bestseller after its recent release. Until now the hardcover book has only been available through retail sales but this month Allen Wright Ministries wants to send you the book as our thank you for your donation. Make your gift today and discover the power to bless. The gospel is shared when you give to Allen Wright Ministries. This broadcast is only possible because of listener financial support. When you give today you receive a special offer. We are happy to send this to you as our thanks from Allen Wright Ministries. Call us at 877-544-4860.

That's 877-544-4860. Or come to our website pastorallen.org Allen, we were talking last time we were together about it. There's a difference between knowing about someone and knowing someone and how true that is with Jesus. Christianity on our mind and even in some sense taught it as a cultural thing but there's a total difference when you talk about a relationship.

Christianity is not a religion it's not a system it is a relationship. And I know that for maybe someone listening now who has yet to come into that beautiful revelation of how real God is that it might sound strange to say it that you can know God but you can know him. And an amazing thing, Daniel is not just that you can know him it's that God wants you to know him. I mean I think of a lot of people right now that I might like to know but the problem is they don't have any interest in me knowing them. You know how much I like golf and I could list several famous golfers right now that I'd like to know them I'd like to spend some time with them but they don't have any interest in that. And God wants you to know him. He wants to be known. And so we might as well take him up on that. you
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-05 15:32:47 / 2023-03-05 15:41:58 / 9

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