If you don’t know God, He can seem far away and uncaring – or He can seem angry and demanding. But when you get to know Him, you will experience that He cares about you personally – both in the good and the bad times. It’s possible to get to know God personally and learn to understand what His thoughts and plans are for you.
Knowing God personally: Who is God?
Most people believe that a higher power exists, and they practice some sort of religion, but is it possible to know God personally - the One who gave me life? Is it possible to learn to understand what plans He has for me? These are some of the questions I have been asking myself while thinking about my Creator.
If I only know about God, He can seem far away – someone who doesn’t pay much attention to my life. Or He can seem like an angry, demanding God, who is never really pleased with the human beings that He created.
But if I learn to really know God, then I experience that He has a personal interest in me. I experience that He is nearby, both in the good and the bad of daily life. Then I learn to see my daily situations through His eyes and to see His care for me, even in difficult times. By talking and listening to Him, and reading His Word, I learn what His will is in each of my many situations and in the decisions I have to make – and I also get all the help and strength I need to do His will (Hebrews 8:10-11).
How can I get to know God if I can’t see Him?
But how is it possible to get to know God if I can’t see Him? Well, first of all, I must want to get to know God personally.
And then I must spend time with Him. The Bible is God’s Word to man, and when I read it and the Holy Spirit makes things clear for me, I learn to know God and what His plans are.
Then when I try to do God’s will, I realise that I can’t do it with my own willpower. But I should never just give up and blame it on the fact that I am “just human”. I need to turn to God and ask Him for help. I have to give up my own plans and ideas and hear what He has to say.
If I am willing to be humble and admit that I need help, then God is more than willing to help me and lead me. When He is in control, it doesn’t mean that life will be easy and that there won’t be any trials, but as I learn to know God better, I learn to see these situations as God sees them. I start to see how He wants me to react. I start to see how He wants to change me, and how He wants me to share in His nature, through the trials that He sends on my way (2 Peter 1:2-4). I get to know God personally by becoming more like Him!
God’s loving correction
We also get to know Him and His way of thinking through His loving correction, or “discipline”. It’s written that the Lord disciplines those whom He loves (Hebrews 12:6). It doesn’t feel good when I hear the small voice inside me telling me about something that I haven’t done exactly according to God’s will. Maybe I gave an angry answer to someone without even thinking about it at the time, but later, God shows me through His Spirit how wrong I was and how I should have done it differently.
If I really know God and His ways and plans, then I am able to see how this correction or discipline is good for me. And if I accept the correction and obey it, then I learn that I need the Holy Spirit’s leading and help in my life, and that I can’t trust in my own ideas and opinions. God’s correction is so good for us, because, as it’s written, “…after we have learned from it, we have peace, because we start living in the right way.” Hebrews 12:11 (NCV).
Get to know God!
Why then, are there so few who really want to know God? Maybe it’s because those who truly want to know God must give up their own thoughts and ideas about how their life should go. They must really want to find the things in their nature that are not pleasing to Him, and they must say No to this sinful nature, and take up their cross daily so that they can overcome just like Jesus did (Luke 9:23).
But if they choose to do this, they will soon learn to know their Creator as a loving Father and an almighty God who is always there to help them and lead them to joy, peace and righteousness, no matter what happens each day.
This is the most fulfilling life a person could ever wish to live.