Have you ever wondered if you could be able to know God personally? Are you wondering what it takes to begin a relationship with God? Must you become a better person so that God will accept you?
Don’t be surprised, God has made it very clear in the Bible how we can know Him.
1. God Cannot Be Completely Understood
Scripture reveals two truths about God. First, because of who He is, we cannot completely understand Him. This is spoken of as God being incomprehensible – that is no one can fully understand Him. Scripture asks the question.
Can you fathom the mysteries of God? Can you probe the limits of the Almighty? (Job 11:7)
The prophet Isaiah says that nothing can compare to God.
To whom, then, will you compare God? What image will you compare him to? (Isaiah 40:18).
He Can Be Known
Although we cannot know everything about Him, we can know some things about Him. Therefore the Bible says that God is knowable. Jesus said.
If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him (John 14:7).
Jesus also said.
Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent (.John 17:3).
We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true – even in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life (1 John 5:20).
Although the Creator of the universe is all-powerful and incomparable, He is knowable. We may not know everything about Him, but He has revealed enough about Himself so that we can understand some things about His character. Furthermore, individuals can have a personal relationship with the living God through Jesus Christ.
Paul prayed for God to increase the believer’s knowledge of Him.
And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ – to the glory and praise of God (Philippians 1:9-11).
He also wrote.
For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding (Colossians 1:9,10).
God Himself Is Our Only Source Of Knowledge About Him
God Himself is the source of knowledge about Him. Nature can be misunderstood. Our human reason is inadequate and experience can be misleading.
It is possible to know facts about God without knowing Him personally. Knowing facts about God is not the same as knowing God. God revealed facts about Himself so that human beings can have a personal experience with Him.
One Must Experience The Need For God
For a person to know God, they first must feel the need. Jesus said.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled (Matthew 5:5).
The prophet Jeremiah wrote of wayward Israel.
You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart (Jeremiah 29:13).
God wants people to desire to know Him.
Believers Must Exercise Faith
Once a person realizes the need, the need step is to exercise faith. It is only by faith that a person can know God. The writer to the Hebrews stated.
And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him (Hebrews 11:6).
2. God loves you and offers a wonderful plan for your life.
“God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”
[Christ speaking] “I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly” [that it might be full and meaningful].
Why is it that most people are not experiencing the abundant life? Because…
3. All of us sin and our sin has separated us from God, we can’t know God personally as a sinner.
We Are Sinful
“All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
We were created to have fellowship with God; but, because of our stubborn self-will, we chose to go our own independent way, and fellowship with God was broken. This self-will, characterized by an attitude of active rebellion or passive indifference, is evidence of what the Bible calls sin.
We Are Separated
“The wages of sin is death” [spiritual separation from God].
4. Jesus Christ is God’s only provision for our sin. Through Him we can know and experience God’s love and plan for our life.
He Died in Our Place
“God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
He Rose From the Dead
“Christ died for our sins…He was buried…He was raised on the third day, according to the Scriptures…He appeared to Peter, then to the twelve. After that He appeared to more than five hundred…”
He Is the Only Way to God
“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me.’”
This diagram illustrates that God has bridged the gulf which separates us from Him by sending His Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross in our place to pay the penalty for our sins.
5. We must individually receive Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord; then we can know God personally.
We Must Receive Christ
“As many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name.”
We Receive Christ Through Faith
“By grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast.”
When We Receive Christ, We Experience a New Birth
We Receive Christ by Personal Invitation
[Christ speaking] “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any one hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him.”
Receiving Christ involves turning to God from self (repentance) and trusting Christ to come into our lives to forgive our sins and to make us what He wants us to be. Just to agree intellectually that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that He died on the cross for your sins is not enough. Nor is it enough to have an emotional experience. You receive Jesus Christ by faith, as an act of the will.
How you can receive Christ
You can receive Christ right now by faith through prayer
Prayer is talking to God. God knows your heart and is not so concerned with your words as He is with the attitude of your heart. The following is a suggested prayer:
“Lord Jesus, I need You. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life and receive You as my Savior and Lord. Thank You for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Take control of the throne of my life. Make me the kind of person You want me to be in Jesus name.”
If this prayer expresses the desire of your heart, then you can pray this prayer right now and Christ will come into your life, as He promised.
God is knowable. Scripture assumes that we can understand His commands and obey Him. Knowing the living God is the greatest thing that a human being can experience. Consequently it must be a priority in a person’s life. To begin with, a person must want to know God. After that they must come to God in faith. Finally, they must continue in faith as they grow in their knowledge of Him.
Footnotes: (1) John 3:16 (2) Isaiah 53:6 (3) Romans 6:23 (4) Titus 3:5 (5) John 3:16 (6) John 10:30 (7) John 14:6 (8) John 7:37,38 (9) John 1:12 (10) Ephesians 2:8,9 (11) John 3:1-8 (12) John 10:10 (13) Revelation 3:20 (14) Revelation 3:20