For by grace you have
been saved through faith,
and that not of yourselves;
it is the gift of God.
Ephesians 2:8 WEB

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Our God in the Heights

Knowing God

Really knowing God is a lifelong journey.[1] Assuming that you have “met” Our God through faith in Jesus, now you know that to know Him is to love Him.[2] Knowing by faith that you have a Savior in Jesus has brought you peace, confidence in God and an effortless joy in loving Him. Feelings come and go, but a true knowing of God will always restore you to peace, confidence and joy no matter what your circumstances. If ever your love for God wanes, or you yearn for it to wax brighter, seek to know Him better…

 “And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” John 17:3 ESV

Knowing God Better

Think of knowing God as part natural curiosity, part love-desire, and part raw, naked need! Spiritual rebirth through faith in Christ awakens us to the awareness that God is truly with us and that A Worshipper Drawing Near : God Desires Intimacy of KnowingHe can be known. This launches us on a quest to learn everything we can about Jesus. We want to “love back” the One who first loved us by worshiping Him and by being a pleasing child. Naturally enough, now that we know Him, we study the Bible to learn more about Him and we celebrate the faith-revelation which introduced us to Jesus in the first place. Take care, there is much more to knowing God than this.

The main thing to know about our God is that you always need to know Him better than you do (even if you already “know” Him) and that He wants to help you get to know Him better. Truly knowing God is never a “been there, done that” proposition. How well do you know Him right now and in your current situation? Is He capturing your heart, or is something else? Are you entering into His peace and joy, or drifting further away? Knowing Him better changes everything—if He’s what you’re looking for. But if you aren't looking for Him as the answer to every need, you really don't know Him like you need to. See how that works? It's a perfect circle—with you in the loop.

The other thing to know is that what you need is not nearly so much knowledge about Him, as knowledge of Him. Intimacy is the name of the game where the knowledge of God is concerned.  Never settle for head knowledge alone or make too much of times close to Him in the past. Be glad for those gains, but the real test of knowing of the Lord comes through how we respond to Him now. We are meant to take our life in His Hands personally, “pressing in” to know Him as well as He has already pressed in to know us.[3]

“Let us know; let us press on to know the Lord; his going out is sure as the dawn; he will come to us as the showers, as the spring rains that water the earth." Hosea 6:3 ESV

One of the ways our God helps is deep down. The desire to know God comes from God. It is a genuine sign that He is drawing us. Even as an unbeliever He placed “eternity” in your heart, making you aware of a void that only God can fill.[4] Now, as one reborn through faith in Christ, He has given you a new heart, already “pre-packaged” with desires to seek, love and serve Him, sustained by no less a Helper than His own Holy Spirit.[5]

Beyond Name Recognition

Knowing God begins with knowing His name, or in reality, some of His many names: Father, Son, Holy Spirit, for instance. But that is just the beginning. You are being invited to know Him far more personally, first of all, by discovering that Jesus is the Savior of your soul. That’s where our journey of faith with the living God begins—with the revelation of Jesus Christ as our resurrected Lord. When this happens, people readily say, “I know, that I know, that He is alive and that He is Lord.

Jesus, in turn, wants to immerse you to overflowing with His Holy Spirit through The Baptism of Power. This second revelation can be as intensely personal as the first. For those who receive it, the activity of the Holy Spirit is often more readily identified and cooperated with in daily life. Beyond this, may come a time when Jesus more fully reveals His Father to you. These “enhancements” aren’t necessary for getting us to heaven—faith in Christ is all that is required for that—but they certainly can make life more heavenly down here. Intimate revelations don’t have to come in any particular order or by any identifiable pattern. Just know that God can be known in these ways and keep pressing in. (For more on this see Passover, Pentecost and Booths.)

Don’t stop there. Intimacy means “in-to-me-see.”  This goes both ways. The more we open up our secret, often shame-filled inner life to His probing attention, the more He opens up His grace-filled heart to us. The more we let Him “see” into us, the more we get to see how merciful, kind and patient He really is. The more willing we become to obey Him, the more we get to see how faithful He really is.

How to “Press In”

How do we go about seeking to know God better? There are three main questions that will press you to Him and help you discover endless revelations of God and His will for you which no text book could ever convey (see A "Quick Start" Guide for a fuller description of these questions):

1) Jesus, what do you want me to do today?
2) Father, what are You trying to show me?
3) Lord, how should I respond to this?


These questions are guaranteed to lead you into a life-time journey of seeking to trust God (with all He allows) and obey Jesus (in all He asks). Our true knowledge of God is put to the test in daily life. Do we know Him well enough to realize (in one situation after another) that we want to stay united to Him above all else? Do I know Him well enough to trust Him? To keep clinging to Him and calling on Him no matter how things seem? To keep obeying Him? Any lack of joy and peace indicates that there is something about the Lord that we don’t know as well as we need to in that situation.

It is a good rule of the spiritual life to take everything that happens personally from the Hand of God. This will exponentially increase your conversations with Him. He never desires or does evil, but He chooses to allow it. Why? Let this question press you into the scriptures and into the Lord in conversation. Don’t turn your questions into demands for answers or hold them as charges against God that He has done something wrong. He will patiently work with you to get you over any false ideas about Him, but it will certainly delay getting the answers you seek. Let Him reveal things to you at His pace.

It is also a good rule to see every moment you don’t like as an opportunity for Spiritual Growth. Yes, we are being “field tested” all the time, but it is truly in a kindly way. God by the way has no need to learn how we will handle the test—we do! Trials, troubles and temptations are meant to reveal to us how much we need to rely on God, rather than on ourselves. If we think we only need God a little bit, we are definitely in the dark, knowing neither the Lord, nor ourselves.

The Shame Blocker

One of the greatest barriers to knowing God intimately is shame. Because of their inner sense of guilt and shame, both Adam and Eve instinctively hid from God. They felt too exposed and naked before His “jeweler’s eye,” choosing fig leaves as a covering, rather than coming clean. They also tried to deny responsibility for their sin in futile attempts to cast the blame anywhere but on themselves. Know that Adam’s nature will still try to make you run and hide from God due to an inward sense of guilt and shame over sins, weaknesses and failures. Yet, God has fully remedied this!

The Blood of Jesus covers our sins so completely that we who are “in Christ” have been forgiven, justified and accepted—just as we are.[6] This means we can go “boldly” to our Father at any moment of weakness or need, fully expose our shame or failing to Him, and have faith-confidence that He will work to rescue and restore us.[7] We are set free by the grace of the cross to be absolutely honest about any sinful disposition we see in ourselves. God already knows the worst, has utterly forgiven us, and wants to help us.

In practical terms this greatly expands the conversational intimacy we can enjoy with the Lord. In God’s grace-filled presence we don’t have to “dress up,” pretend we are doing better than we are, and fight to stay on our best behavior (as we might in Church on Sundays). We can be ourselves and have honest conversation with our Great Friend about those sides of ourselves we would “die” of embarrassment from, if they were exposed to anyone on earth.

If you really want to know Him well, don’t be afraid to get “buck-naked” before your God, confessing everything to Him with the confidence of a child. He has the love and patience to talk over anything with you that is troubling you in any way, whether it is your incorrigible weaknesses, your sins, or your endless need for His encouragement and help. Don’t hold back! He loves it when you give Him everything you’ve got. This clears the way for Him to transfer His grace-gifts to you.[8]

More to Explore about Our God

The God of Grace  It is a good thing that our God is a God of grace. We need grace more than the air we breathe! Our need for God to supply us everything necessary for life and right living is endless, because we will certainly need Him to go on supplying all things to us throughout the endless reaches of eternity.[9] Yet, this is apparently what God loves to do: give freely. He gives without measure, without reserve, apparently without our qualification and often without our cooperation. He gives until there is no need left to fill, and then He overfills—just to make sure that our joy begins to match His.[10]

The Three In One  Get ready for Enigma, Riddle and Paradox. These aren’t exactly Biblical names for God, but they might as well be. Solomon wrote that it is the glory of God to conceal things and the glory of kings to search them out.[11] In seeking to know our God better we all hope to be “crowned” with true understanding of all the “hidden” things about Him. Be forewarned: just as often as you may feel that crown upon your head, you will want to throw it down at His feet in humble submission to Someone you really don’t know as well as you think you do. Now multiply that Mystery by Three…

Scriptures on Knowing God

"You are my witnesses," declares the Lord, "and my servant whom I have chosen, that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor shall there be any after me. I, I am the Lord, and besides me there is no savior." Isaiah 43:10-11 ESV

“But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, 'Know the Lord,' for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more." Jeremiah 31:33-34 ESV

Philip said to him, "Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us." Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.” John 14:8-9 ESV

“And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” John 17:3 ESV

But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. Philippians 3:7-8 ESV

And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. Whoever says "I know him" but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected.1 John 2:3-5 ESV


Scriptures and Foot Notes

[1]   Paul, who “knew” the Lord well enough to write two thirds of the New Testament letters, wrote of his lifelong passion to know Jesus better: But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ.  Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord…  that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead. Philippians 3:7-8, 10-11 ESV
[2]   Biblical “knowing” often goes beyond mere head knowledge: it implies a far deeper intimacy of the heart. Adam “knew” Eve and she became pregnant. That’s the kind of knowing the scriptures are talking about! Pressing in to know the Lord is intended to give birth to a whole new version of ourselves.
[3]   When I say that God pressed in to know us, I have in mind that He apparently wasn’t content to know us “from a distance,” even though nothing about us is hidden from His eyes. Jesus entered into our sins at the cross, being “made to be sin” on our behalf. He knows us intimately even at the deepest level of our sins. He also knows us intimately through His Spirit’s willingness to dwell within us. That’s first class “pressing in” to know us!
[4]   He has made everything beautiful in its time. He also has planted eternity in men's hearts and minds [a divinely implanted sense of a purpose working through the ages which nothing under the sun but God alone can satisfy], yet so that men cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. Ecclesiastes 3:11 AMP
[5]   And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules. Ezekiel 36:26-27 ESV
[6]   For more on our standing with God see New Life by the Gospel of Grace, especially Saved by the "Free Gift"!
[7]   For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:15-16 ESV
[8]   “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." Matthew 11:28-30 ESV
[9]   For His divine power has bestowed upon us all things that [are requisite and suited] to life and godliness, through the [full, personal] knowledge of Him Who called us by and to His own glory and excellence (virtue). 2 Peter 1:3 AMP
[10]   Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full. John 16:24 ESV
[11]    It is the glory of God to conceal things, but the glory of kings is to search things out. Proverbs 25:2 ESV