We know that we have come to know Him if we keep His commands. Whoever says, “I know Him,” but does not keep His commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. But if anyone obeys His work, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in Him. – 1 John 2
How can we know for sure that we are saved and that we know God? I don’t know about you, but it was a long time before I was certain. I was constantly answering altar calls to be saved for years. I just wanted to know that I knew Him. I’m guessing that John wrote 1 John after he had been a follower of Jesus for quite a few years. He had a lot of experience. I imagine when he wrote these verses that he had a lot of experiences under his belt where he obeyed God. I believe it is these experiences that give us confidence in our salvation. If you or I never do anything hard for God, how can we know without a doubt that He is in us? I’m not saying at all that these experiences save us, but I am saying that these experiences provide the confidence and assurance that we are truly in Him.
When I look back, my mind always goes to this t-shirt that I saw. On the front, it said “If you died today, where would you go?” On the back, it said, “It is the burning question,” with flames all around this verse:
But the fearful, the unbelieving, the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death. – Revelation 21:8
I went straight home and looked up Revelation 21:8 to make sure that was in there. The word “liars” really scared me because that is what I was. I immediately knelt next to my bed and repented. The next morning, I had to work, so I prayed and told God that I would not lie today and asked Him to help me. All was fine until I wrecked a golf cart being stupid. The front end was caved in, and I had to take the walk up the pro shop to tell my boss. Absolutely everything in me wanted to tell a lie. I had plenty of good ones. Just before I walked in, God reminded me of my promise. I took a deep breath, said “Ok God, here goes,” and told the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. My boss ended up respecting me for being honest. I thought I’d have to pay for the damages and that I would lose my job. I did neither. On the drive home, I could not thank God enough. I knew in that moment that He could be trusted with my life. It is one of many stories that provides that assurance that I know Him. I would never have told the truth if I hadn’t been saved and been learning from His Word just how He wants me to be.
What I’d like for you to do is think back over the course of your Christian life. Is there a story of obedience that gives you confidence today that you know Him? Is there a hard decision that you have made simply because you knew it was what God wanted you to do and not at all what you wanted to do? Take the time to write it in the comments. If you write it here on WordPress, I may cut and paste it onto my Facebook thread.
Lord, thank You for working in my life and giving me stories I can look back on to strengthen my faith and my obedience. I pray that You prompt many to write and through their stories You will inspire others to simple obedience. Help us who say we are Your followers to truly be the light that shines before men. Amen