To know God is to know yourself.
I have written before about my experience 20+ years ago in which I promised God that I would “seek to know Him”, and He responded in spectacular fashion, “Game on!”
I highly doubt that I would be writing this right now if I weren’t continuing to keep my promise to seek to know Him. Obviously, on that cold, dark November morning in West Jordan, Utah, I embarked on an eternal journey. It has led me into and out of the LDS Church. It has led me from the comfort of a new West Jordan rambler, through a series of apartments and an almost-paid-for bungalow in a nice Salt Lake City neighborhood, to the wooded mountains of “almost Canada” Idaho. My journey has always joyfully included my beautiful best friend, wife, lover, and eternal companion. Through this journey, I have gone from an initial state of ignorant innocence through a constantly evolving state of ignorant innocence as it pertains to “knowing God”, which truly encompasses all knowledge. All along the way, though, I can see now that He has led me lovingly and wisely through a maze of falsehood, partial truth, eternal truth, and wisdom to the state of comprehension, still incomplete, that I have today.
And what is that state of comprehension? It is that:
- I am truly created in His image. Every attribute of God is part of me. Therefore, to know Him is to know myself.
- Since we were all created in His image, to know Him is not only to know myself, but it is also to know every other person in His creation. It follows then, in chiasmic fashion, that to know others is to know myself…is to know God.
- There is no such thing as a doctrinal box. Any such thing is, at the very least, a lie in that any box is by definition incomplete. All doctrinal boxes, though, contain that previously-mentioned mix of falsehood, partial truth, eternal truth, and wisdom.
- A box cannot define God, because God is infinite, and a box has boundaries, or it would not be a box. God is infinite and has no boundaries, or He would not be God.
- I cannot know God if I continue to let fear rule my life. God is love. There is no fear in love, so there is no fear in God. Fear will rule my life if I do not actively reject it. That is the condition of the fall.
- Fear fosters judgment, guilt, jealousy, and pride. These things are not of God, and if I am to know Him, they cannot be part of me. To the extent that they are, I am limited in my ability to know Him.
- God’s love for me, and you, is sooooo accessible and knowable. All I need to do is learn how to accept it. It is never withheld. I can reject it, and most of us do, but it will never be withheld. To believe that it would ever be withheld is a lie. However, we make it impossible to comprehend and receive God’s love when we separate ourselves from Him by allowing fear, and all of its derivatives, to define us. Thus, we make it impossible to know Him.
- I am the reason that I do not yet know God fully. I am the ONLY reason that I do not yet know God fully.
- I will know God fully when I have allowed myself to become love and joy by rejecting fear.
I still constantly query God, and in doing so, I query myself, asking if I am pure before Him. I do this because I want to be pure. I don’t have to be perfect, but it is my desire that my desires be pure. Ultimately, that’s what He sees in us; that’s what He focuses on – our desires.
I gain great peace from the response to these queries, these prayers, these sincere, humble communions. Sometimes I bring a little fear or guilt to the party, but I’m learning to leave them behind. The result when I do?
Peace. Trust. Confidence. As a result of these constant queries, I have come to understand that I truly do have pure desires. I desire to be one with Him and with my neighbor. I desire to harbor no secrets. I desire for every relationship I engage in to be completely trusting, loving, open, honest, with nothing hidden. I desire to encourage everyone I meet to be the most beautiful version of themselves that they can imagine, and to, in doing so, expand that ability to imagine until they, in turn, know themselves, and thus know God. I have come to understand that God is pleased with such desires. Why? Because those are His desires, too. In sharing the same desires – well, this is how we become one, and this is how we “know” each other.
These desires, the ones that surface when I am able to cast away fear, these are truly righteous desires. These are attributes of God. These are the fruit of the tree of life. It’s the desires that make us who we are; who we truly are…created in the image of God. Created in the image of each other. These desires are the manifestations of the Christ within us, our true nature, put there by a loving creator; put there in each of us, for each of us to discover, nurture, and cherish. These desires, fully realized, are the glory of God.
His desires. My desires. Your desires. To discover them, to nurture them, to cherish them, and then to share them is to be Zion.