Episode 2: How can we Know God?

I made two personal, practical resolutions this year: to read the whole Bible and Beeke’s Reformed Systematic Theology in one year. Now, when I said we’ve got to know God urgently, does that mean we’ve got to read the Bible, theology, and other Christian books all the more and all the more urgently? That’s not quite all there is to it. How do we know God?

See, we’re so used to the phrase ‘knowing God’ that we’ve lost what that actually means. To be sure, knowing God is different from knowing maths or organic chemistry. We can know what’s inside a molecule by taking observations, by doing experiments, by reading what great chemists have discovered in the past. We can’t dare to do the same thing with God. Joel Beeke says, “We must never study God as we do other subjects that we seek to master. Rather, this great subject must master us.”

Two Weightier Thoughts

Here’s a few weightier thoughts.

First, God is the infinite creator and we’re finite created beings. We could never comprehend God for who He really is. Isaiah 40:28 says, “Have you not known? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable.”

Second, we’re sinful, God-rejecting people who are blind, whose inclination is to run away from God. God is holy and confronts vile sin with His awesome wrath.

Only frantically reading the Bible and many theological books cover-to-cover won’t bring us to a true knowing of God. How then are we to know this God?

The Only Way

Robert Reymond, a 20th century theologian said, “Our knowledge of God is totally dependent on revelation.” We can’t know God if God does not reveal Himself to us. But here is the good news! God has revealed Himself. Isaiah prophesied long ago, “And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together, for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.” (Isaiah 40:5). This prophecy was fulfilled when God Himself gave up His glory and took on human flesh, Jesus came as both God and man so that we could know God.

But here was the irony. The Pharisees who had been waiting for the God-man to come mocked and scorned Him. The Jewish crowds followed and idolised Him, but not as God who came to make Himself known to His people. Instead, as a potential political leader who would free them from Roman colonisers.

The same is for today. Ask someone on the street who they think Jesus is, and they would say a good teacher, a moral man, a compassionate person. But not God the LORD who they must know and worship.

Sin separates us from God and blinds our hearts to the truth. John 1:10-11 says, “He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him.” But then John continues, “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God” (John 1:12-13).

Jesus died for our sins so that those who would believe in Him and put their faith in Him might be able to know Him. We can’t know God if we don’t want to entrust our lives to Jesus. Only by the free gift of faith will we be able to see Jesus for who He really is.

To Know God is to Trust Him

To know God is to trust Him. There is one key verse in Psalm 9:10. “And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek you.” If you want to know God, you’ve got to trust Him with your life. You’ve got to surrender everything and make knowing Him your ultimate purpose. You’ve got admit to Him that you’ve done life wrong in every way, seeking sin and selfishness over God. He’s going to heal you and make you new and He’s paid the price for that on the cross. But you’ve got to surrender everything, your lusts, desires, goals, ambitions. It’s different for all of us but God will want us to give up our idols. That could be our friends, boyfriends or girlfriends, grades, image, achievements, gaming addiction, the list goes on. He wants the priority in your heart and He wants you to trust Him that giving up everything and seeking to know Him will give you exactly what you need, and will return you to your original design as a human being.

Have you entrusted your life to God? Pray to Him now. Ask for forgiveness for all our selfish priorities and lack of trust in Him. Surrender everything into His hands and earnestly ask to know Him. God won’t close the door to those who diligently knock and seek for His will. Let’s get to know Him together.

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