Christians too often shout “God knows me” but have we ever sat down to evaluate whether we know Him? We are in the times where a basic knowledge of God just won’t cut it…it won’t be enough.
“That I may know him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.”(Philippians 3:10-11)
You cannot have or attain the experiential power of God if you have not yet come into the knowledge of God through the scriptures. By knowledge I do not mean a mere acquaintance or acknowledgement of His existence, I mean having a thorough and experiential knowledge of Him.
Knowledge, especially the knowledge of God, is fundamental for every believer. Why? It is because we cannot understand the scriptures, the world and even ourselves outside Him. Colossians 1:16 makes us understand all things in existence were created by Him. No one knows how to operate a thing better than its manufacturer.
The book of 2 Peter lays emphasis on the importance of the knowledge of God. One, because the knowledge of God caters for all our needs. By it we have grace, peace and all things that pertain to life and godliness (2 Peter 1:2-4). If we already have these, what else is left to ask for?
Two, because we can only avoid being victims of false teachings by coming into the knowledge of God. It gets harder to inform a person wrongly about someone when the person knows so much about that someone. False teachers and teachings are rising in these last days but only those who have an experiential knowledge of God would be able to remain in the truth and withstand the heresies. (1 John 4:1-3)
Furthermore, coming into the knowledge of God enables us to please Him. I know my sister and by implication, I know the things that I can do that will upset her, so I am able to avoid doing those things. Apostle John speaks on love saying “… those who don’t love, don’t know God” (1 John 4:8). Why did he have to say “know”? It is because knowing God would lead you to doing the things that please Him.
How do you know God?
By being intentional. Gaining spiritual things is not as hard as some people paint it to be. What God needs is not really your effort (because by strength shall no man prevail) but your intentionality. When you are intentional about the things of God, He pays attention to you. Remember that He sees through the heart and knows motives. He knows those doing it for fun or for the show of it. Having a sincere crave to grow in the knowledge of God is what counts. And of course, this craving leads you to spend time in studying the word of God (not reading it like a story book), praying and fellowshipping with other believers.
Iron sharpeneth iron so does the countenance of a man sharpen his friend (Proverbs 27:17). Staying away from Christian gatherings would not pay you. You need to be in a community of like minds where you can learn from other people’s experiences and even share the questions that may be troubling your mind.
Prayer, as we know, is communication. Some of us have been in long distance relationships where the only way we get to see the other person is through a video call. Yet, we probably know much more about that person than those who see him/her on daily basis. It is because in the weeks, months or years of constant communication with the person we have grown to learn a lot about them. Same with our relationship with God. While I wouldn’t say we’re in a long distance relationship with Him (since He lives right on the inside of us), we must also understand that prayer is one of the most effective ways to know God more. (Romans 12:12)
The place of personal study of the word can never be overemphasized. We learn of the ways of God when we study His word. Our prayers becomes more aligned to His will when we know what His will is and the Scripture contains that. Also, by studying the word, we fellowship with the Holy Spirit and who can know God better than His own Spirit? (1 Corinthians 2:11)