I have a difficult time reconciling the concept of “knowing God” with anything other than based on a first hand experience, especially given all that the bible shares. From its opening pages, the “knowing” was an intimate and personal experience of God. It wasn’t an intellectual knowing that came from reading books, or writings of another, but first hand experience with God.
That is also the “knowing God” (eternal life) that Jesus speaks of in his instructions to his disciples. They too had heard of all the personal experiences that others had before their time with God… what God told them… what they seen come to pass… and they were living their lives based on that knowledge of God (second hand, if you will), but didn’t “know God” from a deep, personal, intimate level arrived at through personal experience.
If we carefully examine what the bible says Jesus taught, we see that Jesus said that one is to know whether his words are of God by seeing if they bring about what it was that he says they will. It was a “common” understanding that a prophet or anyone that was sharing with another thus saith God” … the measure for knowing whether it was God saying those things or not was in them coming to pass, and people being able to see it and experience it for oneself personally and directly.
So when we see Jesus telling his disciples that they must forsake all to be a disciple…and things like “God knows what they have need of before you ask”, that God feeds the birds and the flowers and will feed them….. and then tells them to go out without any provisions and do what Jesus said God had given him to tell them, … it was to KNOW GOD.
It was to see for themselves first (personally experience) if Jesus was speaking the words of God… if what Jesus said would happen…. so that they would know Jesus was sent of God, and speaking the words of God to them. It was about having a personal experience with God the point of each of them “KNOWING GOD”, and Jesus Christ whom God sent. This is what “eternal life” is defined in the bible as being….
|Jhn 17:3||And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.|
So those that did so… and had a personal experience with God, God confirming the words Jesus spoke to them and the power that Jesus said God had given to them, are those that “knew God”. They knew God in such a deep and intimate manner as a result of that… that whatever God spoke to them or revealed to them, was trusted in and followed, without having to have any “experience of it” afterwards, just as Abraham had.
Abraham, was told several things by God, and they came to pass as God said. He had a first hand, personal, intimate relationship with God and knew the power of God to bring about whatever God said. So once the “personal experience” of God consistently established that “knowing” … that “trustworthiness” in God…. Abraham then, as the bible states, knew God and whatever it was that God said would come to pass, even if he didn’t see it first hand. There was a “knowing and trustworthiness” in God by Abraham from that point forward….that no matter whether Abraham seen it or not… Abraham knew that whatever God said would happen… without wavering in any doubt or unbelief. Not because of Abraham’s ability to believe… or to have “faith in God”.. but based on a consistent first hand experience of seeing God time and time again speak to Abraham, and bring it to pass just as God said.
So when we look to the bible…. it outlines for us what “knowing God” means… as well as the basis for how one was able to know God. It began with hearing what God said, following what God spoke, and seeing it come to pass as God said it would. That is the means for establishing a personal and intimate relationship with God and having such a personal experience of God, that one has a “knowing” in the heart far beyond whatever it is that ‘knowing in the head” can ever bring to a person.
It is the same manner in which we can know also that what is in the pages of the bible, are the words of God spoken to Jesus Christ as well. If one believes them to be, then following them, will bring one to KNOWING GOD as a result as well.
Knowing God is not to be about reading writings in books, or having others share with us their personal experiences with God and about us “believing” what they say about such things or the bible says … its about KNOWING GOD.
That is the “eternal life” that the bible states Jesus came for man to have… so be encouraged today to know God!!