I think a lot of things. I have a lot of opinions about a lot of different things. Most people do. (Or at least I think they do!)
Thinking is a good thing. We weren’t created to be robots or automatons. We are unique, thinking, feeling creatures. We all ought to learn to think critically and we all ought to learn to think for ourselves. It is good to be a thinking person. At least it is until you start to confuse what you “think” …
With what you “know”.
There is a difference. We don’t actually know that everything we think is true–but sometimes we act as though we do! Never is this more evident than in areas of religion and spirituality.
A lot of people think a lot of things about God. A lot of people think a lot of things about the Bible. A lot of people think a lot of things about how we should interpret certain passages of scripture–and they also think a lot of things about how we should apply them. I think a lot of those things are good. I also think a lot of those things aren’t so good.
But that’s just what I think.
And, whether you realize it or not, a lot of your own dearly held beliefs are just that: your own beliefs and thoughts. They’re not always what you know–sometimes they’re just what you think.
But here’s the deal — when life gets hard — when life gets messy — when life seems to be spinning out of control — it’s not your opinions that matter…
It’s what you know.
What you think often changes with time, but once you know something — once you’ve experienced it — once you know that you know that you know — it endures.
Many years ago I latched onto a simple but profound spiritual truth that I’ve returned to again and again in times of doubt and confusion:
Hold fast to what you know to be true.
Holding on to what you think to be true doesn’t do much of anything for you when you’re being tossed to and fro in a sea of confusion, contradiction, disappointment, and doubt. But holding fast to what you know to be true pretty much changes everything. What you truly know–what you know that you know that you know—is the anchor that always holds firm.
Philippians 3 is one of my all time favorite chapters in the Bible. One of my very most favorite verses in that chapter is one of the simplest. After Paul lists all his (very impressive) religious and intellectual credentials, he tosses all that aside and summarizes his life’s goal in this one heartfelt cry:
“That I may know Him …” (Phil 3:10).
That’s been my cry too. I don’t just want to know a bunch of stuff about God. And I don’t just want to think a bunch of things about Him–even if they’re good and true and amazing things.
I want to actually know Him.
The word Paul uses in Philippians 3:10 is the Greek word “gnosko” (which, by the way, is the same word he uses in Ephesians 3 when he prays that we might “know the love of God that passes knowledge”). Gnosko has very little to do with intellectual knowledge (thinking) and everything to do with revelation and intimate experience. Gnosko is knowing that you know that you know (that you know that you know that you know!).
Fortunately, God planned to answer my cry to know Him long before I ever uttered it. Here are a few of the ways He’s revealed Himself in my life — a few of the things I gnosko — a few of the thing things I know that I know …
- I know that I once was lost but now I’m found–I looked to everyone and everything before I knew it was Jesus alone who saved me
- I know that at the cross it was finished–I am forgiven, healed and delivered by the blood of Jesus–I’m perfect and complete in Him
- I know that I am a child of God–fully accepted and delighted in by a loving Father
- I know that He made a way for me to enter the most holy place and that I’m invited to boldly come before Him anytime, anywhere, and in any condition–I’m always welcomed with open arms–there is NO separation
- I know the love of God that passes knowledge–and I know nothing will ever separate me from His love
- I know the peace that passes understanding and that in His presence is fullness of joy
- I know I will gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and dwell in His house–forever
These are some of my anchors.To me, they’re not fairly tales or wishful thinking. They’re not contingent upon what anyone else thinks or what anyone else says. I feel no need to prove or defend them to a single soul. I don’t care whether or not they make sense to anyone else and I don’t care who “thinks” they can challenge the intellectual integrity of any of these statements. That’s because they’re not just statements to me.They’re not just thoughts …
This is my enduring reality. This is what I know. And whenever the things I “think” are being shaken (which they often are) …
I’ll continue to hold fast to what I know to be true.
What about you? What are the things you know to be true?
6 thoughts on “The things I KNOW to be true …”
Oh I needed to read this today Cindy. Been having some doubts and confusing thoughts recenly that have robbed me of peace. Thanks be to God I know that I know the Lord loves me and knows me and I won’t to know Him more and more. Sometimes that’s all I need to know. The thoughts…well I will bring them captive to the obedience of Christ and I know the peace of God that passes all understanding will be mine. Thanks for sharing and giving me opportunity to respond. Hugs and blessings to you.
I’m so glad it blessed you Glenda. It really is so much more simple than we make it at times–the trick (for me anyway) is learning to stay in that place of simple, perfect peace! Praying for you, my friend–may His love abound to you more and more as your peace and purpose are refreshed and restored in His presence. Blessings and hugs back!
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Love your prayer, that my peace and purpose can be restored…yes!
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I not only do I think this is an awesome post, I know it is! Amen!
I would say that the primary experiential knowledge that has changed me forever is that my life, my joy, my delight and desire is literally found inside of Christ. When I thought I knew it, it was a positional statement…like “I’m in Christ.” It meant very little to me in the “real world” of my experience. Now, it’s a vast ocean of liquid love that continuously permeates my soul. Not that I’m always aware of it, but I “know” that I can jump into and have it overflow my heart, again and again, any time I want! It overwhelms me now just to say it! It’s more real than anything I could ever believe with my mind, for it transcends human thought. Truly, fullness of joy and pleasures forevermore are found in His presence. And now I know it. 🙂
Ha ha, that’s funny Mel 🙂 And yay – for the vast ocean of His love. Once you KNOW you can jump right in (or back in) anytime, anywhere it IS a game changer. Well, it’s a life changer, really. That is so so true that His love is so real and overwhelming that it is SO much more than our minds could ever conjure up! It’s what keeps me praying, like Paul, that all would KNOW the love of God that passes knowledge. Blessings to you!