“But to enjoy him we must know him. Seeing is savoring. If he remains a blurry, vague fog, we may be intrigued for a season. But we will not be stunned with joy, as when the fog clears and you find yourself on the brink of some vast precipice.” ― John Piper.
Can you truly know someone is an oft-asked question. It could be your best friend, colleagues, siblings, parents, a trustworthy confidante, or your spouse. Can you truly know them because there is a difference between knowing someone and simply knowing about them. It is more than possible to “really know” your spouse. You just have to “really” want to. It means more than being able to recite their birthday and their favorite color and their mother’s maiden name.
What about God? We have formed a picture of God from impressions we’ve picked up throughout our lives. And yes, we can use our imagination. But God seems unknowable. How can I possibly understand Him? Despite their close physical proximity to God, they had difficulty truly understanding God. Jesus even said to the apostle Philip, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me.” (John 14:9 ESV) Many of us may have spent years in church but find ourselves in the same shoes as Philip – struggling to “know” God on a deeply personal level. Given all our experiences, influences and viewpoints, can we truly know God?
The answer is yes, We can know God to the extent He reveals himself to us. The Bible gives us a source of genuine, compelling, and accurate knowledge of God. That doesn’t mean God is a passive object of study for us to put under our limited microscopes. Scripture teaches that we can have a true and personal knowledge of God, but this does not mean we will ever understand him exhaustively. The Bible is clear that God is ultimately incomprehensible to us; that is, we can never fully comprehend his whole being. One thing is for sure; knowing God is not a spectator sport. Our life and our actions must say to God, “I want to see you. I long to know you.”
Both the Old and New Testaments address this subject: Jeremiah 29:13 says, “If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.” Jesus also describes this process: “And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.” (Luke 11:9-10)
Matthew 7:7 adds, “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.” God promises that when we seek Him, we will find Him. He also promises to give us the Spirit: “But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative—that is, the Holy Spirit—he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you.” Do we want to truly know God? Are we seeking Him? Are we asking? Are we knocking? Are we praying, “God, I want to know you?”
- What do you think God want you to know or learn?
- What are the benefits of knowing God better?