Over my sabbatical I am going through a Bible saturation plan. I felt the need to get back into the scriptures for some much needed insight. Currently I am going through the gospel of John. I was going through John 17 last week and came across this verse that I sat and thought about for most of the day.
John 17:3 (NIV), Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.
This is an offer of life. I wondered how many people are searching for the life described in this verse and yet not finding it.
Earlier in John 10:10 I read, “The thief comes only to steal, kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
Obviously this theme runs all throughout the gospel of John. Someone once told me “eternal life” is “the quality of the life of the kingdom of God that a person can enjoy right now. Eternal life is exchanging self-worship for God-worship.”
This word “know” in John 17 refers to personal knowledge of God, and experiential knowledge of God, an intimate knowledge of God. As we grow in our knowledge of God, we grow in our enjoyment of this life spoken about in John 17.
The practices of solitude and reflection have helped me “know” God more intimately. I love a good worship night; getting my emotions and feelings all revved up but as I’ve gotten older the practice of quieting my soul to come present to God has allowed me to be real with Him about my heart with all of its fear, anxiety and pain. Yet this just isn’t for my own need for life but also for the life others are searching for in these desperate times.
I’ll close with this story from my time in Rocky Mountain National Park last week. I sat with a friend by a lake and enjoyed the peace and quiet of the place. We were around 9000 feet and the air was wonderful and the surroundings were magnificent. No distractions and thoughts for God were coming in loud and clear. The Spirit spoke a word clearly for me to pray over my friend and he received it with great joy.