Do you know God? Or do you just know about God? It is a simple question but it underscores the difference between religion and relationship. Religious people know about God. They know facts, can quote Scripture, and can tell you all the nuts and bolts of how to live - "Do this, but do not do that." However, God desires to be truly known by us. In Exodus 33, God and Moses talked openly, face-to-face, as a person might talk with his or her friend. The Apostle Paul wrote that his desire was to, "know him (Jesus) and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death..." God desires to know us and people who have had a salvific experience with Jesus have a heart-felt desire to know God intimately, not to just observe religious rites and rituals.
So how does one come to know God?
Throughout the Scriptures, we learn that knowing God starts with fearing God. Indeed, “the fear of God is the beginning of understanding, wisdom, and knowledge” (Proverbs 1:7, Proverbs 9:10, Psalm 19:9, Psalm 33:8, Psalm 111:10, and Ecclesiastes 12:13).
Knowing God is all about seeking God. In fact, God tells us in Scripture, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13).
O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water (Psalm 63:1).
But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you; may those who love your salvation always say, "Let God be exalted!" (Psalm 70:4).
As we seek to know God, we learn that the fear of God is only the beginning of understanding. As we grow in our knowledge of God, we experience the amazing Love of God reflected through His Son, Jesus Christ.
Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent (John 17:3).
Understanding God’s incredible love for us is the all-important step in truly knowing God! It’s the love of God that has the power to cast out fear and set us free!
Let those who fear the LORD say: "His love endures forever" (Psalm 118:4).
The LORD delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love (Psalm 147:11).