Knowing God - Jeremy Thom

This fall, we have been going through a teaching series on Sunday mornings called “What’s Next?” It’s a series in which we are asking….well, you know. More specifically we are being reminded that whether we are stuck in the past, anxious about today, or worrying about our future, God will meet us to lead us into the next chapter of our lives.

Now, I fully believe that God will meet me, but I have found myself asking another tough question, “am I willing to meet God?”

My quick and easy answer is an astounding “YES!” Like when somebody offers Cookies n’ Cream Ice Cream. Of course I want to meet with God and see something good, see a cool miracle or sign so I know He’s there; or maybe just have a quick meeting where God can loudly tell me what to do next. However, for most of us, our idea of meeting with God and God’s idea of meeting with us, are pretty different.

My idea of a meeting involves accomplishing something significant. I don’t want to waste my time, or anybody else’s. Let’s put our goals on the table, brainstorm some ideas and come up with a plan. Let’s achieve something great, and God, I could use your contribution to the conversation.

And although we could talk about a number of different ways that God meets us, it sure does seem like most often His idea of a good meeting is, “Hey, come over here for a few minutes and just sit with me.”

Just sit?? What does that accomplish?

Last Sunday, the Rooted small groups participated in the Rooted Prayer Experience. And at this gathering, which happens during every Rooted session, we don’t just talk about prayer, we actually spend most of the time in prayer. Some of this time is dedicated to praying in groups, and even more of the time is set aside to pray alone. Each Prayer Experience does have some unique experiences, but there are also some comments that are often pretty similar. People usually talk about how they have never set aside that kind of time, with nowhere else to go, to just sit with Jesus. To just sit with Jesus, read some Scripture, and let the words of the Holy Spirit invade you. It changes you. It really does accomplish something.

When you simply sit with Jesus, you get to know God. You get to know who our Father is. You feel the Father’s love and grace and mercy and more. You learn of the Father’s ways and you begin to see the contrast between the world’s ways and God’s ways. You find yourself becoming more like God and because you sat with Him, you want to be more like Him. Sitting with God is actually a pursuit of God, and it changes who we are.

How do we know if sitting with God, pursuing God, is actually changing us?

In Isaiah 32, the prophet Isaiah is speaking about the future kingdom of God and all of its glory. But even though he is speaking about the future, I think we find something that we can experience today, not perfectly, but beautifully.

Isaiah 32:17 - The work of righteousness will be peace. And the service of righteousness, quietness and confidence forever.

When we pursue a right relationship with God, being with God as He is with us, we will experience peace. When we learn the ways of God, righteousness, and follow in these ways, we will experience quietness (calm) and confidence. Of course, until the perfect kingdom of God comes; peace, quietness and confidence will often be interrupted. But, in those moments God again says, “Hey, come over here for a few minutes and just sit with me.”

When you sit with God through reading scripture and listening, you may not get the “what’s next” answer you think you’re looking for, but you will get something greater!

Peace. Quietness. Confidence….and throw in some Cookies n’ Cream ice cream.

Jeremy Thom
Campus Pastor | Hope City Church

P.S. If you've been on the fence about joining Rooted, or if it didn't fit in your schedule for this Fall Session, we'd love to invite you to join us for the Winter Rooted Session starting in early 2024.