The nature of God is a topic I keep coming back to again and again. Over my years of knowing Him, He is constantly revealing more of Himself to me, and to all who are searching for a greater understanding of Him. It is His express will and great desire for us to know Him. It is the very reason He created us, to enter into an intimate relationship with Him. To prove it, He put His Holy Spirit within us in order to reveal Himself to us.
Paul, inspired by His Spirit, knew this and penned this prayer which is one of my favorites, “I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know Him better. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in His holy people, and His incomparably great power for us who believe.” This is one prayer that will ALWAYS be answered if prayed in sincerity of heart.
The Spirit reveals Jesus and the Father to us in several ways.
- Through His Word – Jesus is the Word made flesh, the exact representation of the Father. We can look at how Jesus lived and responded to those around Him and see the heart of the Father. In fact, if we are taught, or observe some who claim to know Him but treat others harshly, with anger, impatience, manipulation, condemnation, condescension, etc., we can know that they do not truly know Him.
- Through His body – Each believer is given a unique facet of God’s glory to reflect to the world, not one of us is the same. When we look for Jesus in His people, we will see a greater measure of who He is.
- Experiences – God often encounters us in His manifest presence, where we tangibly feel Him, in our bodies, in our emotions, and in our spirits. David cried out, “My soul thirsts for You, my body longs for You, in a dry and weary land where there is no water.” (Ps. 63:1) Paul prayed in Ephesians 3:17-19, “And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” To know His love which surpasses knowledge can be translated as, “to know, by experience, this love that surpasses mere head knowledge.” We may have tons of head knowledge, even from the Scriptures, but it will never take the place of experiential knowledge – we need them both.
Knowing Him requires spending personal, quality time with Him, just as we would do with a friend. You can’t know someone you never spend time with, talking with, and sharing life together with. Therefore, no one can do this for you. No one can develop intimacy in your relationship with Jesus but you. No one can lay hands on you and impart their history with God to you. You must develop your own.
How we view the nature of God is the single, most important thing in our lives. How we see Him and what we believe about Him determines and affects how we relate to Him, to others, and to ourselves.
If we see and/or believe Him to be angry, judgmental, harsh, and exacting, we will be afraid to come close to Him, be unable to fully trust Him, feel we can never measure up or satisfy Him. None of these attitudes will help develop intimacy in our relationship with Him, in fact, it will do the exact opposite, driving a wedge between us and Him.
Likewise, this unbiblical view will cause us to treat others the way we feel He is treating us. We will be harsh, angry, impatient, and judgmental toward others, alienating ourselves from the body we are meant to be a part of. In addition, we will misrepresent Him to others, destroying or greatly damaging our witness for Him.
We can only know our true identity through knowing our Father. The more we know Him, the greater our security in who He has called us to be will become. We will no longer doubt His love for us, nor fear His discipline. We will no longer question His faithfulness or feel He has abandoned us. Instead, we will revel and bloom in knowing and experiencing His great love and passion for us. We will be able to enter into His rest, no longer striving for His acceptance or approval.
Seeking out the nature of God is the greatest adventure of our lives. It will be our endless pursuit throughout eternity, for He is inexhaustible and without limit. In fact, a billion years from now, we will be no closer to reaching the end of Him than we were when we first began. Selah…(pause and calmly think about that)!