Knowing God in All Our Ways
By Michael Wodlinger
By Michael Wodlinger
Knowing God in all our ways … This is an interesting concept.
Usually, we are encouraged to know Yahweh, God, in all His ways. This comes most clearly to us, first from Jeremiah 31:34 (“For all will know me, from the least of them to the greatest.”) and also from Philippians 3:10-11 – (“That I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death.”)
The command for us to know Him, Adonai Elohim, Adonai Yeshua and Ruach HaKadosh, is very clear. However, what we are told is to know Him in all Hisways. I suggest we also need to know Him in all our ways. What do I mean by that?
First, what is meant by all our ways? Interesting concept this. Proverbs 3:6 provides us with a hint: “In all your ways acknowledge him; then he will level your paths.”
Is acknowledging Him the same as knowing Him? Well, sort of, but not fully. I am able to acknowledge your existence without knowing very much about you. The word used here in English, acknowledge, is not the same used in the Hebrew text. In the Hebrew text the word da’yahu, know Him, is used.
Remember that Hebrew is mainly a language of action, rather than concept. Thus, the imperative is to develop knowledge of our God, our Lord, our Messiah, through the many ways in which we live.
The verb to know, in Hebrew, yadah, is the root of the word da’yahu. This is a most intriguing verb – as are most biblical Hebrew verbs – and has a variety of meanings. One of these is sharing love. We find an example in Genesis 4:1, where we read: “The man (Adom) had sexual relations (yara) with Havah his wife; she conceived, gave birth to Kayin.” However, the understanding of yara goes far beyond sexual intimacy and has the finer meaning of committing ourselves to others, so we may absorb ourselves with them with love and affection.
Another meaning is showing mercy. We find an example of yada in Proverbs 12:10, “A righteous man takes care of his animal, but the wicked? Even his compassion is cruel.” Thus, to display yada is to show authentic compassion to and for those with whom we share relationships.
Finally, a third meaning of yara is to act justly, as we read in Jeremiah 22:15-16, “’Your cedar may be excellent, but that doesn’t make you a better king. True, your father ate and drank, but he also did what was right and just, so things went well with him. He upheld the cause of the poor and the weak, so everything went well. Isn’t that what knowing (yada) me is all about?’ says Adonai?”
How does this work in our daily lives? We don’t come to know someone by thinking of them. We come to know by doing, through interacting with them. We speak with them, we observe their emotions through their actions, we gain insight into their moods and their desires. The same guideline applies to Adonai Elohim. When we talk with Him, we feel (action) His love; when we obey His commands, we receive and accept (action) His blessings; as we work/witness (action) for Him we receive (action) understandings of His plans for us, as they unfold. Thus, through our thoughts, language and actions, we develop knowledge of our Holy Yahweh, as we reach out to Him and He responds to us.
Beloved, in developing knowledge of our dear Abba, we draw closer to Him. Through knowing Him more, as we continue to obey His commands, especially “Love your neighbour as yourself” (Leviticus 19:18, Matthew 22:39), we imitate His actions and we take on more and more of His mantle of love. By speaking out against injustice and sinful actions, especially amongst our brethren, we take on more of His mantle of justice. Through extending ourselves towards those who need our help, we take on more of His mantle of righteousness.
Isn’t this where each of us wishes to be?
CONSIDER: Through how many of your ways do you know God – your mind, your heart, your emotions, your fears, your pains, your actions, your desires . . .?
ACT: Begin today by seeking Him through as many of your ways as possible; take the time to deliberately focus on Him, whenever you have an experience, physical, emotional, psychological, etc.
PRAY: Abba B’Shamayim, Father in Heaven, I wish to know You through all my ways; I wish to draw closer to You through my thoughts, my words and my actions. I wish to take on more of Your love, Your justice and Your righteousness. Knowing I cannot do this myself, I boldly step forward and ask for these blessings to guide me as I walk along Your path. B’Shem Adonai Yeshua. Amein.