Getting to Know God
by Paul Curtas
God wants to radically change you from the inside to the outside.
How does a person know God? You may say, “I know my family and my friends, but how can I come to know God? Must I search for him like searching for a missing person, hoping we will cross paths someday? Could I look at what He has made or done and come up with a good definition of who He is? Or is there information available that God has given about Himself that reveals who He is?”
Some people’s view of God has been derived from what they have heard other people say or do “in the name of the Lord.” Just think about how many things you have seen that are done in the name of the Lord or claimed to represent God. If we mix them all together and deduce our own view of God, it will probably hinder our having an accurate view of God.
For a moment, think of a person whom you casually know. Take a person with whom you work, for example. You know how they work and their attitude at work but not much more. If I asked you to start taking guesses about what this person likes or dislikes or how many members are in their family, probably most, if not all, of your guesses would be inaccurate! That is often what we do with God. If you want to have an interesting discussion in your group or personally with another individual,ask if a person in your group (or the individual with whom you are talking) would give their earliest impression about God. Also, ask if they can recall some of the most bizarre things other people have said about God? More often than not, people derive their understanding of God by such impressions and comments.
Let’s start by asking the big questions: Who is God? What is God like? And how can I get to know Him?
Let’s read Romans 11:33-36, “Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! For WHO HAS KNOWN THE MIND OF THE LORD, OR WHO BECAME HIS COUNSELOR? Or WHO HAS FIRST GIVEN TO HIM THAT IT MIGHT BE PAID BACK TO HIM AGAIN? For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.”
That leads us to ask, “How then can someone come to understand God?” God declares in the Bible two facts about our human ability to know Him:
1. First, there is the "incomprehensibility of God" (Isaiah 55:9,10).
What this means is that the human mind cannot grasp the knowledge of God by itself. We could not go on a personal search and discover God by our own human reason or aptitude.
2. Secondly, God tell us that He has revealed Himself through scripture, in order that we can gain knowledge of God (Deuteronomy 29:29).
This mean that God has revealed certain things about Himself so we can understand. Why? So we can know him personally. Such revelation about God is divine and not a work of humans. It is a work in which God inspired and guided certain writers to record His thoughts so that we would have an accurate view of God (2 Peter 1:20-21; John 5:39).
But let’s talk for a moment about such knowledge or facts about God. Did God give us information so that we could say we know about Him, or that we can know Him personally? If I tell you "I know President Bush!" does that mean I know him personally or could it mean that I have learned a multitude of facts about him, like a historian. There is a difference between knowing President Bush and having facts about him, and yet both are needed for having a healthy relationship. To have facts about a person without personally knowing them would be very limiting and impersonal. The relationship would be non-reciprocal, meaning there would be no mutual sharing or give and take. But on the other hand, to say you personally know a person without having facts about them would be very superficial and shallow!
So, how well do you know God? Is your understanding of Him based only on a list of facts that you were told at church at a young age? Or do you catch yourself trying to "feel God" but really not knowing the reliability of your feelings?
There will be four major parts to our study, in which we hope to gain a better understanding of God and learn in a greater way how to appreciate His work and trust Him more in the everyday details our life. In the next study we will discover what God says about His knowledge and how much He knows and understands.
Get Ready To Start A Journey In Getting To Know God!
To start click on Part 1 The Knowledge of God