In “Knowing God, Part 1,” we discussed the need all people have to know and value themselves and to be important to others. We also looked at how only God can fulfill that need and how only He fully knows us. Let’s now explore the journey we get to take toward knowing God.
God is Knowable
God knows each one of us intimately. He formed us and planned our days (Psalm 139:13-16). He gave us purpose (Jeremiah 29:11). All of that is truly astounding, but there’s more.
“Oh, the depth of the riches of wisdom and of the knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!” (Romans 11:33)
God is unfathomable, beyond measure, infinite and unending. At the same time, He is also knowable and approachable.
“I too… do not cease giving thanks for you, while making mention of you in my prayers; that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him.” (Ephesians 1:17)
“Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.” (James 4:8)
Even though God is far too big for us to fully know Him, He invites us to journey toward knowing Him more. He also tells us how to do it. Even more astounding, He actually reciprocates our efforts.
How to Know God
Our faith lives revolve around an increasing knowledge of God. And while it truly is impossible to fully know Him, every day is an opportunity to know Him more than we did the day before. We don’t have to figure out how to do that either. God tells us.
Jesus is the only way to know God.
Any other proposed path to God is preposterous and leads to eternal destruction.
“Jesus said, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.’” (John 14:6)
“And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” (John 17:3)
Only after we admit our sin, believe Jesus died to save us from that sin, and confess Him as Lord and Savior can we begin the journey of knowing God.
Scripture is God’s word and His revelation of Himself to us.
A love for God’s Word is essential in knowing God. The Bible tells us who God is and what He desires of us, what He promises and what His will is. In that, it tells us how to know Him.
“You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is Jesus Christ. All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness.” (2 Timothy 3:14-16)
Reading the Bible fully and regularly is essential for knowing God. It’s akin to how we know our spouse or best friend by spending time with them. Scripture is our training manual for living how God desires. It does this both through clear instruction and through the examples given in the stories about how He interacted with His people.
Obedience shows we know God and leads us to knowing Him more.
Obedience is also crucial to our knowing God better and better. In fact, obedience is proof that we know God and at the same time leads us to knowing Him more.
“He who says, ‘I know Him,’ and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know we are in Him. He who says he abides in Him ought to Himself walk as Jesus walked.” (1 John 2:4-6)
The more we know God, the better able we are to do what He desires. At the same time, when we act in obedience without understanding, out of that flows knowing God more too. In other words, knowledge and understanding of God both fuels and results from our obedience.
All Worthwhile Knowing
The only times I’m ever satisfied with knowing and being known are when that knowledge flows out of knowing God. My marriage and friendships only bring real satisfaction when they exist based on what God desires. When my life’s focus remains on knowing God first and foremost, all other knowing gains tremendous value, purpose and motivation.
- The only way good works have meaning is by knowing God and doing what He desires (Ephesians 2:10).
- The only way I can consistently be light and salt in this dark work is through obedience to what God wants (Matthew 5:13-14).
- The only way to truly love others, regardless of their attitudes, actions and words, is to first love God (Matthew 22).
Knowing God motivates us to live for His desires rather than our own. Knowing Him changes our want to; it changes our focus. Knowing God is the only way to meet the need we all have to know and be known.