A Joyful Knowing--Gnosis

“My heart is confident in you, O God; no wonder I can sing your praises with all my heart!” (Psalm 108:1) Confident, joyous praise is a result of gnosis. It comes not just from faith that God is love, but from a personal knowledge that God can be counted on. When one knows, they can be confident.

Knowing something is different than hoping for something. Have you ever had a relationship where you “hoped” someone really loved you and was interested in you? This reflects a different stage of relationship than when you “know” someone loves you. We are usually hoping in the earlier stages of a relationship that the person likes us as much as we like them. If the relationship deepens, we eventually know.

This is also true in our relationship with God. If we are merely acquainted with God, if we only read about God, if we only hear about God from other people, then we “hope” and we have faith that God really loves us. When we know God, when God is living within us, when the Spirit dwells in us, we have moved from hoping to knowing. This is the path of gnosis.

This brings great joy and confidence into our lives. It causes us to sing and talk about the goodness of God. The Apostle Paul tells us that the Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that indeed, we are God’s children. When the Spirit dwells within us, we know personally that God is love. The Spirit testifies on behalf of God that we are a precious child of God.

What we do with our life experiences shapes our experience of God. When we struggle with difficult life circumstances we have two choices: we can either search for the meaning in the trial and look for the lesson that can be learned or we can blame someone or something for why our life is difficult.

It is in learning to find meaning in our daily walk that we ultimately learn to find meaning in our relationship with God. When we stop blaming others for our life it opens a door of honest inquiry in our hearts. As long as we blame others for our life, the path to true knowing is closed to us. We cannot move forward and hold onto blame at the same time. This is true in all relationships whether in relationship with oneself, with others, or with God. Honesty and openness of heart are needed in order to know and be known.

The reason we are often not closer to God is that we keep God on the outside. We draw a circle in which to contain God and it is often a very small one and frequently encompasses only a small portion of the larger circle of our lives. It is hard to be confident and joyful in a relationship with such small dimensions.

True joy and confidence grow in a space that is spacious and expansive. True knowing is intimate. It is the realm of lovers. You never have to suggest to two people in love that they should try and spend more time together! Just try and keep them apart!

God wanted to be our lover so badly that the Son was sent to woo us to God. Yeshua Messiah, Jesus Christ, is the Beloved. He courts us through nature, the sacred word, and the Spirit. All that is needed to truly know God is to open your heart to the sound of the loving, lovely voice of God.

It is in the quiet that we can hear that still, small voice. It calls to us today, just as it called to the psalmist David so long ago. Turn down the volume of your life long enough to listen. You might be amazed to know how much you are really loved. This will give you much confidence and joy with which to sing and give praise.