The Best Advice Ever!
What is the best advice you have ever received? Maybe it was a certain college to attend, or a job to take, or a stock to buy. Perhaps it was advice in selecting your life partner, or a piece of godly advice on raising children. While there could be any number of answers concerning the best advice ever, only one really matters. Listen to King David’s advice to his son, Solomon:
“And Solomon, my son, learn to know the God of your ancestors intimately. Worship and serve him with your whole heart and a willing mind. For the Lord sees every heart and knows every plan and thought. If you seek him, you will find him. But if you forsake him, he will reject you forever” (1 Chron. 28:9, NLT).
The best advice ever? Learn to know God intimately! Beyond that, nothing else is important. An intimate knowledge of God impacts all the other areas of life – relationships, careers, finances, family, entertainment, physical wellness, and much more. In fact, God’s Word tells us this:
“This is what the Lord says: “Don’t let the wise boast in their wisdom, or the powerful boast in their power, or the rich boast in their riches. 24 But those who wish to boast should boast in this alone: that they truly know me and understand that I am the Lord
who demonstrates unfailing love and who brings justice and righteousness to the earth, and that I delight in these things. I, the Lord, have spoken!” (Jer. 9:23–24, NLT).
In the Old Testament, nobody knew God as intimately as Moses. We read of that intimate relationship in Exodus 33:11 where we read that “the Lod would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend.” In fact, that intimately knowledge of God came into play when God announced to Moses that He would no longer personally lead the people to the land of promise (see Ex. 33:3). Because of the very close relationship that Moses had with God, he boldly asked three petitions of God that God granted. First, Moses asked God to show His “ways” to Moses (Ex. 33:13). God’s ways are the purposes and reasoning behind His actions. Moses wanted to know what God was doing and what He was going to do.
In Psalm 103:7, we read that God answered that prayer– “He (God) made His ways known to Moses, and His acts to the children of Israel.” That is, God revealed His character, His purposes, His plans to Moses. The children of Israel simply saw the acting out of God’s ways in their journey in the wilderness. Moses understood the “why” behind God’s actions. (Side note: To really grasp the “why” behind the exodus event, take some time to study Deuteronomy 1—11. This contains a deep understanding of God’s Ways!)
Second, Moses ask God to rethink His decision not to personally lead the nation in their journey in the wilderness. God had promised to personally go with Moses, but Moses wanted more. “If you don’t personally go with us, don’t make us leave this place. How will anyone know that you look favorably on me – on me and on your people – if you don’t go with us? For your presence among us sets your people and me apart from all other people on the earth (33:15-16, NLT). God’s reply was “I will indeed do what you have asked for I look favorably on you, and I know you by name” (v. 17). Do you see the reason why an intimate knowledge of God is so critically important. Answers to prayer are intimately tied in to knowing God.
Finally, Moses asked God to reveal His glorious presence to Him. And in Exodus 34 God takes Moses into the mountain and appears to Him in a cloud and reveals His glory to Moses. Once again, in an act of worship, Moses asked God to assure him that He would personally lead the people to the Promised Land. God responded by affirming the request would be answered with many miracles along the way.
I don’t know about you, but I would love to come to a fuller understanding of God’s ways, His plans, and purposes. I would love to live in a moment-by-moment realization of God’s presence with me. And I would love to know more and more of God glory in my life. All of this comes from knowing God more intimately every day. So once again, the greatest advice we could ever follow is this: learn to know . . . God. . . intimately.”
Suggestion for deeper study: Get a copy of the book “Knowing God” by J.I. Packer. This might be a book to read at least once each year!