The prophet Daniel lived during an extremely difficult period of time in history. Most of his life was spent in Babylon rather than his homeland of Israel because king Nebuchadnezzar had conquered his nation. No doubt Daniel would have preferred to live his life during a time of peace and prosperity in Israel. Such was not to be the case. The times he lived in were difficult, to say the least. Yet it is in the book written by Daniel that we find these words;
Dan 11:32b … the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits.
All of us are aware that America has come into more difficult times since the terrorist attacks of September 11th. Like Daniel, we would prefer to live in times of peace and prosperity. No doubt America will be victorious against those who would dominate the planet through fear. Yet there is no escaping the fact that the next few years will be more troublesome than we have experienced in recent history. What can we learn from Daniel, the man of God who did so many mighty exploits even though he lived during one of the darkest periods of Israel's history?
According to the verse quoted above, the key to being strong and doing exploits (even during difficult circumstances) is to "know" God! There is a vast difference between knowing "about" God … and "knowing" God. Have you ever noticed what Jesus defined as being eternal life?
John 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.
Eternal life, the abundant life, the overcoming life is found in "knowing" God the Father and Jesus Christ, whom the Father has sent. It is not sufficient to know "about" God. It is not sufficient to always be trying to live on somebody else's knowledge of God, or their faith in God, or their relationship with God. Eternal life is you knowing God yourself, having faith in God yourself, and having a relationship with God yourself.
I well remember the many years I tried to live the abundant life on other people's relationship with God. I would go from camp meeting to camp meeting, listening to preacher after preacher, trying my best to absorb their knowledge of God, their faith in God, and their relationship with God. Thank God for the five-fold ministry whom Jesus has given to mature the body of Christ. We should avail ourselves of their wisdom and anointing, but the mistake I kept making was trying to live on their relationship with God rather than spending the time required to develop my own relationship with Him. Then one day as I was reading through the New Testament again these verses seemed to leap off of the page toward me,
John 14:8-9 Philip saith unto him, Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us. Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? HE THAT HATH SEEN ME HATH SEEN THE FATHER; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father? [Emphasis Mine]
Notice in John 17:3 Jesus said eternal life consisted in knowing both the Father AND Jesus Christ whom the Father had sent. Why both? BECAUSE YOU CANNOT KNOW THE FATHER EXCEPT THROUGH JESUS CHRIST THE SON! Said another way, if you want to know what God the Father is like, you must "see" Jesus Christ. Let me explain what I mean.
I began going through the New Testament again, especially the four gospels, comparing what I would "see" Jesus doing in any given situation with my pre-supposed "knowledge" of God. For example, I had been taught from a youth that God sometimes puts sickness on people to humble them, or to teach them some sort of a lesson. Of course you already know what I found. Not once could I find Jesus putting sickness on people for any reason. Not only so, but everywhere He went, He healed people of the sicknesses they already had.
"If I've seen Jesus, I've seen the Father." I finally came to the inescapable conclusion … God is not the author of sickness! God is against sickness! God heals sickness! This "knowledge" of God has freed me, and empowered me, to do exploits! Sickness is ALWAYS the enemy of God! God's power is ALWAYS available to us through the name of Jesus Christ to banish sickness … ALWAYS!
Before I came to know God in this fashion, I used to walk in timidity and double-mindedness whenever sickness would rear its ugly head. There was always that nagging doubt (and that's the right word for it) that maybe, just maybe, God was sending this sickness to teach a lesson. Doubt is the number one thing that keeps us from doing exploits for the Kingdom of God. Doubt is the opposite of faith!
This time of difficulty for America is an opportunity for the people of God to rise up and do exploits for the Kingdom of God! This is no time to shrink back in timidity and fear! Let us have the same spirit of faith that Daniel had. Let us spend time in the Word and in fellowship with the Holy Spirit so that we can more clearly "see" Jesus! The more clearly we "see" Jesus, the more accurately we will "know" our God … AND DO EXPLOITS!
One of my all-time favorite tapes is titled, "What Is God Like?" Our Father saves, heals, delivers, and prospers. If you do not already have this tape and would like to receive it, just drop me a line and let me know. I'll send it to you free and postage paid.
Your friend and co-laborer,
Gary Carpenter Ministries|
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