Do you remember the challenging statement of the youthful Charles Spurgeon when he challenged his 5000 strong congregation in Victorian London to make it their top priority to study God, and to find out from the Word of God what He is like, assuring them that such a study would be of great blessing to them. And this is what we have been doing, so far, in this series of biblical principles. But we have also seen that understanding truths is only the first step and that we need to apply these truths to our lives and act on the basis of that understanding.
In our last study we saw that the first application based on these wonderful truths of the sovereignty, wisdom, goodness, faithfulness and holiness of God, and the first step we should take as a result of our understanding of these truths, is to worship God on the basis of these truths. But a second application, and a second step, is also needed. Our next step is to get to know God better, and in a more and more personal way, and to do so on the basis of these truths about Him. We must always remember that God does not just want us to know about Him; He wants us to know Him.
Our life’s goal and our first priority should be to know God.
The ultimate goal of every Christian is to get to know God and many verses in the Bible make this very clear. “This is eternal life that they may know you the only true God and Jesus Christ whom You have sent” (John 17:3). “Let him who glories glory in this – that he understands and knows Me” (Jer. 9:24). “That I may know Him” (Phil 3:10). Other key verses include Daniel 11:32,John 14:7, Phil 3:8, Col 1:10, 2 Peter3:18 and 1 John 5:20.
It is interesting that the Holy Spirit uses the word “know” many times in the Bible to explain the relationship, and responsibility, which God requires of us. The Bible teaches us that God wants us to KNOW HIM. “Know” is a word used so often in human relationships. The dictionary defines it, in this context, as “to be acquainted with”, or “to be on intimate terms with”. It is possible for us to get to know people, to become acquainted with them and to become intimate with them. How do we do this? How do we get to know people we have not known previously? How do we get to know people we already know better?. As we understand this process on a human level, the Holy Spirit helps us to understand what we must do to get to know God on a spiritual level, and how to get to know Him better. We must, however, always remember that getting to know God better is, as in human relationships, a gradual, and even a life time, process which requires time, patience and, above all, sincerity.
Imagine that you want to know and become acquainted and friendly with a certain person you have never met; or imagine that you want to increase your knowledge of, and intimacy with, someone you already know. What steps would you take?
- Read about Him. You could find, read and study any information which is written about your future friend. So to know God you need to study what the Bible says about Him. Your knowledge of God will be based on the truths you learn.
- Look at Him or at pictures of Him. Seeing your friend or seeing pictures of him will help you know what he is like. You can never see God the Father because He is spirit (John 1:18; Col 1:15); but Jesus Christ is the “express image” of God (Heb.1:3) and He says “He who has seen Me has seen the Father” (John 14:9). God has revealed Himself exactly and perfectly through His Son. So as you look at Jesus Christ as He is portrayed in the Bible you can see God and learn many truths about Him
- Meet Him and spend time with Him. Meeting your friend and spending time with him will really help you to know him. As Christians we need to set aside a special time each day to meet with God the Father, (without distractions), to be conscious of His presence, and to spend time with Him and His Son Jesus Christ.
- Talk to Him. You will never get to know your friend if you do not communicate with him. As you worship God and tell Him how much you love Him, and as you speak with Him in prayer and share with Him your problems, joys and requests, your relationship with Him will deepen.
- Listen to Him. You will get to know your friend much better if you listen to what he says and how he expresses his desires. God has given you His Word, the Bible, through which He speaks to you and expresses His desires and commands, and the more you listen and understand what He is saying to you the more you will get to know Him
- Fellowship with Him. Knowledge of your friend and intimacy with him will grow as you as you just enjoy being with him.
Lesson 7 – As you take time to be with God, to meditate on His word, and be quiet in His presence, your knowledge of Him will grow and He will give you peace and strength.