The Life of a Disciple: Acknowledging

Acknowledging God is recognizing that you aren’t alone, that you haven’t done what you’ve accomplished on your own, that you need help from God, that you are thankful to the Lord, etc.

Acknowledging God is an act of humility. It’s recognizing you need God. It’s recognizing you are nothing without Him. God knows the proud from afar (Psalm 138:6). We don’t want that. We want the God who is near!

Deuteronomy 4:7 For what great nation is there that has a god so near to it as the LORD our God is to us, whenever we call upon him?

We’re to set our hearts on Him.

Psalm 14:2 The Lord looks down from heaven on the children of man, to see if there are any who understand, who seek after God.

We’re to always be thanking God, acknowledging that everything is from Him.

Ephesians 5:20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

We live as representatives of God. We acknowledge that we are His and are doing His work for His glory.

Colossians 3:17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Acknowledging God should be about God, not you; but it does have benefits.

Proverbs 3:6 In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

Psalm 16:8 I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.

We also have warnings about forgetting God and not acknowledging Him.

Romans 1:20-22, 24, 28-31 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools,… Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves… And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind [lacking morals] to do what ought not to be done. They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless.

But even in our rebellion and pride, God is still who He is.

Nehemiah 9:17 They refused to obey and were not mindful of the wonders that you performed among them, but they stiffened their neck and appointed a leader to return to their slavery in Egypt. But you are a God ready to forgive, gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and did not forsake them.

We acknowledge the Lord by thinking about Him and talking to Him all the time.

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

I like to say that God is the only one that fits the full description of what we should be thinking on. We need to think on Him. We can always give thanks because God is always good. We can always rejoice because God is always great. We can pray without ceasing because we need Him for everything!

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

Giving thanks and praise acknowledges God. It keeps you from ignoring Him. It keeps you from thinking you “got this.” You don’t want to have this. You want Him to have this. Acknowledging Him reminds you that you don’t know anything, don’t have anything, can’t do anything, etc. It’s all from Him. All things are from Him and through Him and for Him! He gets the glory forever and ever! Amen!

It takes a lot of discipline to learn to acknowledge God in all your ways. Start practicing and you’ll get better at it. When you miss it, just get back to it and keep going. A good place to start is by giving thanks as much as you can think to. Thank You for this morning, Lord. Thank you for the blue sky. Thank you for this warm meal… When you come across a problem, don’t try to solve it. Acknowledge God is there with you and is ready and able to help. Ask for help. And give thanks. And praise! And just keep going.

Lesson Point: We should know that God is with us and act like it by praising, thanking, and praying. We can look to Him and think on Him.

Challenge Question: What part of acknowledging are you most apt to do? What part are you most apt to forget? Confess. Ask for help acknowledging Him.