“But now, God’s Message,
the God who made you in the first place, Jacob,
the One who got you started, Israel:
“Don’t be afraid, I’ve redeemed you.
I’ve called your name. You’re mine.
When you’re in over your head, I’ll be there with you.
When you’re in rough waters, you will not go down.
When you’re between a rock and a hard place,
it won’t be a dead end—
Because I am God, your personal God,
The Holy of Israel, your Savior.
I paid a huge price for you:
all of Egypt, with rich Cush and Seba thrown in!
That’s how much you mean to me!
That’s how much I love you!
I’d sell off the whole world to get you back,
trade the creation just for you.”
-Isaiah 43:1-4, The Message Version
How many of us actually know the love of God intimately enough to KNOW that He would “trade the creation just for YOU”?
Someone I admire very much once told me “I don’t think faith is just wishful hoping, I think it’s knowing” and that seriously struck a chord in me and hit me right in the chest.
In the Christian world we tend to hide behind our claim that we have hope. But if we were honest with ourselves we would note that what we say is hope is really just wishing.
Because the hope that the Bible talks about is the ability to believe and trust even when everything around us challenges us not to.
Wishing is to want, desire, long for,
while hope is the feeling that what is wanted can be had.
Could you imagine how much stronger our faith would become if we truly understood what it means to hope? That what we want could be had and knowing that we have a faithful God who says the prayers of the righteous are powerful and effective.
How many times do I cry out, pray, or do this or that “hoping” He will change my circumstances , “hoping” He cares enough to hear me, or “hoping” that He is pleased enough with me, when in reality I was just wishing, just longing, and not trusting or knowing.
I think we have to be more aware that we tend to give hope a false name when in reality true hope and faith is KNOWING that we are His.
So how do we obtain this kind of hope?
1. We must know Whose we are.
I believe full-heartedly that our identity is everything. Without knowing who we are in Christ, we don’t know our value, where our security is from, or our purpose! Everything stems from relationship with Him. Not working or earning, but relationship.
Let me challenge you with this…How much easier would it be to seek God and love Him and live out of being His if we knew that the reason God created us was to love us? That He didn’t take us back, out of pity but because He loves us. You see, God is love (1 John 4:8) and love is meant to be shared.
If He loved us enough to die for us then He wouldn’t have created us just to use us, but to love us. At the end of the day what embodies Christianity is His love.
2. But to know who we are in Christ, we first must know Christ.
And not just as a Savior but as our Lord. For someone to be your Lord, He must be over your everything. Not just an overseer but the director.
I know I lived many years as a believer unwilling to relinquish every aspect of my heart, soul, mind, and strength consistently. Sure it was easy to say “You are my everything” in church, but what about when I was in a fun environment that I didn’t belong in anymore. Or when I would run to friends for comfort when I knew deep down it was Him that I needed.
For example, when you become best friends with someone or date them, you want to get to know them and spend time with them, yet we put time with our so called Lord on the back burner. Someone who is the director of everything can’t be your last thing.
We are so willing to run to quick fixes instead of our healer and I think that happens when we don’t know Him as well as we could.
When we have experienced the intimacy of God, we realize that it’s the only fully satisfying and fulfilling thing out there and the beautiful part is that He is ALWAYS there!
His Word says that when we draw near to Him, He draws near to us (James 4:8).
What does it mean to you, to be His?
One of the areas that was hardest for me to trust in was fundraising for mission trips. But this year I received the revelation that as His child, ALL my needs are taken care of, therefore I had nothing to stress about. I could rest knowing that I would be taken care of. Why? Because I am His.
He says to first seek His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be given to us (Matthew 6:33).
But how many of us are too scared to believe this and choose to just wish (claiming its hope) instead of KNOW and receive that when God says ALL He actually means all.
Intimacy with Him is everything.
Intimacy is what makes it personal. But here’s the thing, intimacy isn’t necessarily having to spend 5 hours praying in a closet every day. It’s desiring and choosing to seek a personal relationship with God and being willing to let Him pursue and love you as you learn about Him.
An example you may find silly is the time I prayed,
“Lord, if you are my husband like Your Word says you are, I don’t want the idea of that to creep me out, I wanna understand what it means to be pursued by You because I really don’t get how You can do that. And since I love nature and words I would really love for You to incorporate that.”
Don’t be afraid to pray specific prayers. God isn’t intimidated by specificity, He is a detailed God after-all.
Anyways next thing I know, I go outside and feel wind everywhere and the only thought that goes through my head (which as a woman is rare because I’m usually thinking of a million things) was,
“I love you, Lucia.”
From then on, every time I feel wind that’s what happens! No matter where I am or whom I’m with, it’s a simple way to experience God intimately and a way to bring me back to Him amongst whatever I may be doing at the time.
Intimacy is learning how to connect with God, in your own way.
For me it changes with the seasons I go through. Some seasons I read the bible more often than others, and right now I am in a season where I have asked God to reveal Himself to me in the mundane.
I truly want see and experience Him everywhere.
It is the most amazing and weirdest thing to experience Him through a hug, the breeze, a baby’s smile, and many other things I wouldn’t necessarily be quick to associate with God.
I asked and He gave, because when we ask according to His will He is willing to give it to us (Luke 11:9). It is God’s heart for His children to know Him. He is more than willing to reveal to you what it means to be His.
Being His treasure, His chosen one, and believing and receiving that identity will change everything.
Let me encourage you to get to a quiet place, where there are no voices, no music (not even worship) and ask Him to speak to you and learn how to be still and listen.
We ask Him often to speak to us but don’t tend to position ourselves in a way where we actually have eyes to see and ears to hear. Intimacy is learning how to be and not just do.
You are His. He would trade all of creation for you. He gave Himself for you. I pray this will be the beginning of you no longer just wishfully hoping but KNOWING that you are His and every beautiful detail that this fact entails.