If I were to ask you if you know God, chances are, your answer would be yes. But suppose I asked you a second question: Do you know God well? What would your answer be then?
One day Jesus Christ was praying to His Father, and this is what He said: “Glorify Your Son that Your Son also may glorify You, as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him. And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent” (John 17:1-3).
Now, did we all grasp what Christ said? Knowing God is of supreme importance--it is life eternal.
So let’s look as some specific steps we can take to get to know God, and get to know Him well.
We need to understand this; if God is truly working with us, if He has directly intervened in our personal life, we will find that God is easy to get to know.
The first thing we need to look at is one of God’s characteristics: “Paul a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after (or according to) godliness; In hope of eternal life, which God that cannot lie, promised before the world began” (Titus 1:1-2).
Now here is a major characteristic of God: When you and I deal with God, we know He will always tell us the truth, in other words, God is totally predictable.
Jesus Christ said “The very hairs of your head are all numbered” (Matt. 10:30). This statement by Christ is a clear indication of just how well God knows each one of us. God knows us down to the finest detail.
The great men and women of the Bible all knew God, and they knew Him well.
“As for you, my son Solomon, know the God of your Father, and serve Him with a loyal (or perfect) heart and with a willing mind; for the Lord searches all hearts and understands the intent of the thoughts. If thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever” (I Chron. 28:9).
King David knew the importance of knowing God, so he wisely advised his son to build a strong relationship with that great Being.
We can read about the Apostle Paul; that he often talked about his relationship with God. Paul’s desire was this: “That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings (Phil 3:10).
The Apostle Paul cast everything else aside, everything else was worthless in comparison to knowing God.
Moses, too, like David and Paul realized the importance of drawing close to God in a personal way: “Now therefore, I pray, if I have found grace in Your sight, show me now Your way, that I may know You” (Ex. 33:13).
Now as we all know, Moses already knew God, but he wanted to know Him better: “And he said, please show me Your glory” (v. 18). Moses was, in effect saying, “I want to get to know you in a fuller and more complete sense.”
God responded by allowing Moses a glimpse of His incredibly radiant and magnificent body.
How can we increase our awareness of God? One way is to consider some of His unique characteristics. The Bible is full of God’s characteristics, but we will only look at seven (7) of them.
The words describing these seven characteristics of God all begin with the Latin root Omni, this word means “all or fulfillment of.” Omni indicates the completeness or perfection of God’s characteristics.
One word is Omnipotence. God can do anything. Job had been a righteous man, and he knew God. But he didn’t know God as well as he should have. Job had to suffer intensely to learn a vitally important lesson.
Finally Job told God: “I know that You can do everything, and no thought can be withholden from thee” (Job 42:2).
What we can learn from this is: no matter how difficult circumstances may be, we must remember that God can do everything, and that he is working out everything for our good.
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” (Rom. 8:28).
Another characteristic of God we’ll consider is that God is omnipresent: God told the prophet Jeremiah: “Am I a God near at hand, says the Lord, and not a God afar off. Can anyone hide himself in secret places, so I shall not see him” Says the Lord: Do I not fill heaven and earth” (Jer. 23:23-24)?
Wherever we are, we have the opportunity to talk to God and get to know Him, God is everywhere.
God is omniscient which means – the knowledge of everything, everywhere. David wrote this about God: “He counts the number of the stars; he calls them all by name” (Ps. 147:4).
On a clear moonless night, we can see around 600 light years into outer space. (A light year is measured by how far light can travel in one year, traveling at 186,00 miles per second – that would be 5,878,499,817 miles). That means we can see 352, 717, 522, 351, 014, 64.5 miles into outer space.
The Hubble Telescope can take pictures of galaxies thousands of light years away. These scientists looking through their telescopes see things they didn’t know previously existed. But God already knows exactly where all the stars are, not only that He knows their names.
God knows much, much more than human beings haven’t even dreamed about. God knows everything that can be known at this time.
Here is the real thrust of this message; knowing God well should make a tremendous difference in the way we live. To put it more bluntly; if the way we live is not tremendously different from the way of those who don’t claim to know God then maybe we don’t know Him at all. You may want to know Him, but the fact that our life isn’t drastically different from the way it was before God called us, makes a frightening statement. We are responsible for what we know!
Now back to Job: “I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know, I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear (people just sitting around talking about God – of which they don’t know anything), but now my eyes see You” (Job 42:3, 5).
Job thought he knew God well, but he didn’t (like a lot of people today). But when, with God’s help, Job realized this, he was moved to change.
Repentance has been defined as turning and going the opposite way from the way one has been traveling. In effect this is what Job was saying: “Now that I see the truth, I’m changing. I’m going to be different; I’m going the other way.”
Every man and woman in the Bible who got to know God well had to change, go the opposite way from the way the vast majority of the world is going. That in itself is the whole purpose of knowing God, changing, repenting bringing our life into line with the perfect, abundant happy way that God lives.
If our lives have not changed, we don’t really know God. How can we tell if we really know God, know his mind?
Remember that Moses earnestly asked God: “Now therefore, I pray, if I have found grace in Your sight, show me now Your way, that I may know you.”
God answered Moses “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest” (Ex. 33:14). Now notice what Moses said to God: “If Your presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here”
In other words, God if you’re not in it, we’re not going. Can we, as members of God’s true church say that? “God, if you’re in this, I’m in it. But if you’re not in it, I don’t want any part of it.”
When we are making any important decisions, whether its marriage, selling something, starting a business, moving or anything else it’s vital to do what Moses did. Make God a part of the decision.
The more we know God the better we really know Him, the easier it will be for us to be sure God’s will in every situation. We will be using and acquiring the mind of God.
From the time you came to know God, how much change has there been in your life? If we have only been aware of God, like Job was in his former condition, then there won’t be that much that has changed in our lives. We need to be like Job in his latter condition. We have to know that we know God and know Him well.
Another way of knowing God is by keeping His commandments. God’s law represents His mind, character and nature: “He who says, I know Him and does not keep His commandments is a liar and the truth is not in him” (I John 2:4).
Just do what God tells us to do. It is unreasonable to expect that we can have a close relationship with God if we don’t do everything He wants us to do.
Another way of knowing God is by talking to Him. Talk to God about everything. If something is worrying you, threatening you, pleasing you, upsetting you, whatever it is talk to God about it.
Men like Elijah, Jeremiah and Moses prayed to God with familiarity and intimacy.
Jeremiah was upset, and he talked to God about it, “why do you do it like this” (Jer. 12)? After all, we are talking to a friend, not a stranger. If our prayers are heartfelt and sincere, if we boldly approach the throne of grace, we will be heard.
Study God’s Word – The Bible is His revelation about Himself, and the more we study it, read it and talk about it, the better we will get to know God.
Get to know the names of God, because they all illuminate various aspects of what God is and does. God call Himself Elohim – a family name, God Almighty, the God of all the earth, the Lord, the Provider, our banner, the Lord of peace, our righteousness, our healer, the Ancient of Days, the Lord of Hosts and many, many more. Studying God’s names would reveal God’s characteristics.
Mediate on God’s law – David wrote “I will also mediate on all Your works and talk of all Your deeds” (Ps. 77:12).
Even though David was king of Israel, he found time to think on God’s ways, God’s law and God’s plan and purpose. This is what we have to do. It takes time to get to know somebody well, takes time to get to know God well!
Don’t you really want to know God well? Follow these basic principles and you will!