“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
In my years as a Christ follower I have, by God’s grace, encountered many areas of scripture that cause my head to spin and my heart to cry out for the lack of easy answers. Probably like many of you, for years I struggled my way through topics unavoidable in scripture: the sovereignty of God, free will, how God orchestrates all things yet remains innocent of evil, and how God could be glorified through the destruction and damnation of unbelievers.
Part of my journey in wrestling with these topics included conversations with believers who both agreed and disagreed with my opinions. What stood out during some of these discussions was how often my questions would be seen as trying to merely intellectualize the faith and/or distract me from a relationship with God.
But this isn’t what I know to be true.
I believe that God is worth knowing as the object of our faith. Who He is can be known through the Spirit and can be discovered through the scriptures. Truth in his Holy Word is worthy of our full pursuit regardless of how difficult it can be to accept or understand.
God is Worth Knowing
The whole of scripture suggests that God is worth knowing. Simply knowing or understanding complex things about the character of God is not an end in itself—through our knowledge of God, we are gifted a deeper, more fulfilling and complete relationship with Him. The Bible makes it clear that knowing God is so important that it can be likened to eternal life itself. In John 17:3 it says, “And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.”
In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul helps us understand all the ways knowledge of God is valuable. In Ephesians 1:16-19, he writes
“I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might.”
Through the knowledge of God our hearts are enlightened and made aware of the hope we are called too. We are shown the riches of his glorious inheritance. We are able to recognize and comprehend how immeasurable his power is toward us.
As we find out more about who God is and what he has done, we can begin to form a relationship that is rooted not in our own understanding, but in all the things that God has chosen to reveal to us about Himself.
God Can be Known
It is important to consider the truth of 2 Timothy 3:16-17 and 2 Peter 1:3,
“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”
“His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence.”
These verses paint a picture of scripture as true and infallible. Here, we see that by granting us knowledge of Himself, the Christian is equipped for every good work—for life and godliness.
How does God grant us knowledge of himself and to what extent can God really be known?
We are told that God labors for Himself to be known and understood. In 1 Corinthians 2:9-10 it says,
“But, as it is written,“What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him—these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God.”
Verses 11-12 continue,
“For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God.”
God has prepared to reveal Himself through the Spirit. Coming to a knowledge of God is not something we can do on our own.
God’s Word Reveals Truth
A close friend of mine once pointed out how easy it can be to categorize tough areas of scripture as mysteries before we have invested effort to discern their meaning.
However, Jeremiah 33:3 encourages us with a promise when it says, “Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.” God has many things prepared in His word for those who love Him. Through His Spirit, he has opened our eyes to see and understand those things, and they are worth discovering because they draw us into a closer understanding and relationship to Christ.
May we press on to know God in all the ways he has prepared for us to know Him through the provision of His Word, trusting that even in the midst of difficult questions and circumstances, God will reveal who He is.