Knowing God

Paul exclaims, “Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!”1  Wait a minute, then. 🤔 If God’s judgments are “unsearchable,” why bother to search for them? If his ways are “inscrutable” are not our scrutable efforts a waste of time? 😟 Does this passage give us permission to remain ignorant and apathetic and to resign ourselves to the old adage that God works in mysterious ways, and leave it at that? I think many believe that is exactly how we are to live our lives—God doing his mysterious thing, and we doing our mundane things, and perhaps occasionally the two things coincide, but when God seems obscure, our response should be to shrug our shoulders and say, Oh well. 😕

     I don’t think that’s how we are to live at all. God does not want to be distant and disconnected from our lives. He actually wants to have a personal relationship with us. He knows us. He has always known us. David proclaimed, “O Lord, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways.”2  God really really knows us! 🙂

     Our response to that knowledge is most significant, for it invokes the question, Do we know God? Because he wants us to know him! It is the essential thing that God requires—far beyond the basic proclamation that God exists, which many people profess (as well as the devil!). Instead, God’s ultimate purpose is this: “For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.”3

     This “knowledge of God” is accessible to us, but take heed. God is not asking that we learn about him, as if we simply need to sit in church and listen to others speak on his behalf. No, God wants us to have “steadfast love” for him! Many people, knowing that they should love God, pretend to!  But since they do not really know God, their “love” is not steadfast at all. And sooner or later, their “love” for God fades because it was not real. And it never was. It was merely their attempt to do a religious thing—like burning an offering—in hopes that God would be pleased with their “sacrifice.” 😕

     So, the question remains: Do we know God? Or perhaps the real question is Do we want to know God? Do we believe that knowing God is important? Our lives will reveal that answer. Knowing God changes us. If our lives are not changed by our knowing him—that is, if we do not seek to know God’s good purpose for us—then we do not know God at all, no matter what we say or how often we sit in church! 😕 Jesus made that very clear. He said, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.”4

     God’s will is that we would do his will!—which is to love him with a “steadfast love”! And “steadfast love” grows out of our knowledge of God. As we get to know God, we will “come to know and to believe the love that God has for us.”5 And ”the love that God has for us” is life-changing! Knowing God is a lifelong endeavor. So, how do we get to know him? We look for him. We seek him. He can be found through praying and reading his Word. When we invite him into our lives, God’s very spirit, his Holy Spirit, enters our hearts. 🙂 God promises that “you will seek me and will find me, when you seek me with all your heart.”6

     God, the creator of the universe and the creator of us, wants us to seek him out and get to know him and learn to trust him “for those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you.”7  The “steadfast love” that the Lord requires resides in the hearts of those who truly know God. It is the natural and overflowing response from those of us who have experienced his love. We who are seeking to know God, know that even though he is mysterious at times, he is faithful, he is trustworthy, and he loves us with an everlasting love. So, “Let us know; let us press on to know the Lord.”8

1Romans 11:33     2Psalm 139:1-3      3Hosea 6:6    4Matthew 7:21     51 John 4:16      6Jeremiah 29:13      7Psalm 9:10      8Hosea 6:3

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