Can We Know God Personally & Intimately ?
There are many people these days that believe that God does not exist. There are many others that believe that God is some far away, impersonal spirit that takes pleasure in punishing people and making their life difficult. Sometimes if a person has had a bad experience with their own father, or had a father that abandoned them, they will have a hard time seeing God for who He really is. And it will then be difficult to personally know God.
The Bible tells us that God is not some far away impersonal spirit. God can seem that way to some people, and it is more challenging to many because God is not visible to us. Acts 17:27 says “that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us.” The Bible promises us in many verses that if we will seek to personally know God, then we will find Him and ultimately know Him.
GOD IS LOVE RELATIONSHIP ORIENTED
God is a loving and caring personal love-relationship oriented father. He loves us and He very much desires to have a restored relationship with us. “God desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” – I Timothy 2:4. God wants everyone to be saved… to first have a restored relationship with Him, then close fellowship with Him, and ultimately eternal life with Him in heaven when our life here is done.
The first important thing in order to begin to know God for who He really is, and have close fellowship with Him and personally know God: You have to have a restored or reconciled relationship with God. God’s Word the Bible clearly shows that we all have a broken relationship with God because of our sins, and that we need to have this taken care of. Many people try to solve this problem of sin and separation from God and a broken relationship with Him themselves. People try many things to try to reach out to God and personally know Him… they try Religion, or Philosophy, or Church, or doing good things, or giving money to charity…
Also, we are all created with a built in need to personally know God and have a restored relationship and fellowship with Him. When this need is not met, then we will have a void in our life. Many people do not know what it is, but they will know that something is missing in their life or that something is not right. People will try all types of things to try to fill this void in their life… Relationships with people, Sex, Drugs, Alcohol, Pleasure, Recreation, Money, Career,…
WHAT DOES “TO KNOW GOD” MEAN IN THE BIBLE ?
What does “to know God” mean in the Bible ? Is it possible to know God intimately and be His friend ? It means much more than just knowing about God. God wants us to know Him and His love & mercy & goodness,… in very personal and real ways. He wants us to enjoy His presence in our lives, and to see and join Him in His activity & work around us.
It is possible to know God personally. Our hearts have to be right towards God. We need to seek Him and spend time with Him, in order to know God personally.
- “This is Eternal Life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom You have sent.” – John 17:3
- “…. So that you may know and believe Me (God), and understand that I am He.” – Isaiah 43:10
- “Teach me your ways so that I may know you and continue in your favor.” – Exodus 33:13
The Hebrew word “yada” is used in the Old Testament and is translated in English as the word “Know” or “Knowledge”. What does yada mean ? The Hebrew word yada has a much wider sweep and meaning than the English word know. The Biblical Old Testament word for Know God personally means the following. Know God means:
- to Perceive
- to Learn
- to Recognize
- to Believe
- Accept His Claims
- to Conform
- to Be Willing
- Perform or Live
- to Obey
- to See or Experience
These words that all come out of the Hebrew word “yada” all hold important keys to getting to know God the way that He wants us to know Him. The opposite of knowing God is not ignorance or a lack of knowledge, but is Rebellion.
The Greek words “oida” and “ginosko” are used in the New Testament. They have the wider meanings as the Hebrew word “yada”, but in the context that they are used in the New Testament, they also have the following additional meaning: to know God means:
- to Believe & Accept Jesus
- Know Truth
- to Know Jesus is to Know God
- to Respond in Faith
- “O, the fullness, the pleasure, the sheer excitement of knowing God on earth.” – Jim Elliott
- “Teach me Your ways, so that I may know you, and continue to find favor with You.” – Moses (Exodus 33:13)
- “I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things.” – Paul (Philippians 3:7-10)
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