So how do we keep our focus on God and not the circumstances? How can we use those circumstances to turn ourselves to God (know Him) and turn others to God (make Him known)?
- We need to see that God's greatest desire is for us to know Him in deeper ways. (1 John 5:20, Job 26:14, Psalm 73:25-26, 28) You know this, but do you live in a way that displays this truth? I find that in the midst of challenges, I want to pray selfishly for a particular result or for the change I desire. But recognizing that God desires for me to walk with Him more deeply changes the way I pray. Praying isn't about changing the circumstances, but positioning my heart so that God can change me. Are you praying that God would help you to experience Him in deeper ways?
"Do I know Him where I am today?" Oswald Chambers
This is not a trite "Do I know God is with me?" type of question. It is much deeper. Do you see how He as at work where you are right now? Do you see areas He is wanting to refine in you? Conviction of His Spirit? Do you know how, practically, you can make God known in your current circumstance?
- We need a greater realization of God's presence. (Psalm 70:4, Col. 1:27) If you had an important friend and counselor, someone who had poured much into your life, wouldn't you be inclined to introduce everyone you know to them? What about Christ, the one who took on your sins and cloaked you in His righteousness? Who demonstrated His love in that while you hated Him, He loved you? Who through His abundant mercy regenerated you and justified you and still continues to sanctify you? This infinite, righteous, sovereign, trustworthy, faithful God has graciously given His chosen children the gift of His presence in us. Do we remember that His Spirit is with us as we deal with difficulties?
- We need a deeper passion to know Him and make Him known. (Psalm 96:3, 67:4) If you know Him, your deepest desire should be to know Him more, and then share that joy and passion with others! Do you represent Jesus well as you speak of Him to others, or does your lack of interest in Him and His Word reveal that He really isn't your life, He's an addition to your life? You can't help others see their need for God and make Him known to them if they don't see that you are convinced that your greatest need is to know Him more. Do others grasp a passion from you that God is your greatest treasure?
- We need to surround ourselves with people who have this same passion for Christ. (Heb. 3:13, Heb. 10:24, 1 Thess. 2:12) We need to spur one another on towards lives of holiness and godliness. The Christian life was never meant to be lived in a vacuum. That is why God created the church, the community of believers to press on towards the goal of knowing Christ together. Do you have to have other godly people in your life that encourage and exhort you in your faith and help you see your need for God?