Updated: Feb 24, 2021
DO YOU WANT TO KNOW GOD?
Getting to know God is a lot like getting to know anyone else. It takes time, it can feel awkward, and the pursuit might wear you out at times. But there is no one more worth knowing.
Most good relationships are built from many encounters over a long period of time.
And, though God is incomprehensibly big and full of mystery, there is actually no one more knowable. He speaks. He listens. He poured out his heart in writing. He has wisdom to share. He has a sense of humor. He wants you to know him.
He has all the time in the world for you.
Do you want to get to know God? Here are some ways to pursue a relationship with him.
1. READ HIS BOOK
Start anywhere. Go as slow or fast as you want. Sometimes one verse is enough to get you thinking all day about who God is, and sometimes it’s nice to read a bunch at one time just to see what’s in there. Don’t make any rules, just enjoy it. Every word in it tells you something about the God who wrote it. Ask yourself what.
2. TALK TO HIM ABOUT WHAT HE WROTE
Inspired by something God wrote? Tell him. Confused by something? Ask him what it means. God’s Spirit is a helper who will teach us “all things” (John 14:26). He can handle any question you can dish out. Be patient though. He answers questions in all kinds of interesting ways, sometimes now and sometimes later.
Every word in Scripture tells you something about the God who wrote it. Ask yourself what.
3. TELL HIM WHAT’S ON YOUR MIND
Even if it feels awkward at first, just tell God what you’re thinking about. A funny joke, hurt feelings, an interesting idea. You wouldn’t know your friends very well if you only spoke formally or when you had a request. Then leave some space for God to respond. Sometimes his response comes in the form of a thought you wouldn’t have generated on your own, or a feeling of his pleasure and nearness. His relationship with you will be unique.
4. ASK HIS ADVICE
God promises to give wisdom generously (James 1:5). If you’re serious about doing the right thing but you’re not sure what it is, ask him. If you’re willing to hear the answer, he knows how to make it clear.
5. ASK HIS FRIENDS ABOUT HIM
It’s fun to share stories about loved ones, and you might be surprised and delighted at the stories people can share about God. Try these questions: How do you two know each other? What’s one of the most surprising things he’s done? Has he ever made you laugh? What are some of your best memories?
Make it less about theology and more about a person. And let his friends from the past talk about him too. People have been writing about him for centuries.
God is full of passion for many things. He’s working everywhere, all the time.
6. BE YOURSELF
I used to try to clean myself up before I talked to God. I didn’t want to say anything silly, or ask a dumb question, or be sinful in front of him. I wanted to present well so he would be pleased with me. Someone finally said to me, “Only God can clean you up. Stop trying to be him.” God can handle our mess even better than our most accepting friends.
7. LET HIM BE HIMSELF
This is harder than you think. We imagine all sorts of things about how God should be. We assume we know what’s “good” and we expect him to fit our definition. Do the opposite: Get to know God and let him become your definition of good. Even when it’s hard.
8. TELL HIM WHAT YOU LIKE ABOUT HIM
Love is different from like. We can love people and things we don’t necessarily like. We might love the holy attributes of God, but often it’s the personal stuff we’ll really like. As you get to know him, tell him what you like about him. Sure, he may already know how you feel, but I think he enjoys hearing it as much as your mom would.
God can handle our mess even better than our most accepting friends.
9. JOIN HIM IN WHAT HE’S DOING
Do you have any friends who are really passionate about something? It’s fun sometimes just to be around to watch and help a person like that. God is full of passion for many things. He’s working everywhere, all the time. Get involved. Work with him. Enjoy his passion and let it become yours too.
10. CONSIDER HIS FEELINGS
Yes, God has feelings. More intense and varied than any of ours, even. We are made in the image of God and we share his emotion (except we often twist and misdirect it). He laughs and cries and gets spitting mad. He delights and loves and enjoys. And he does it all purely, freely, and fully. One of the easiest ways to learn about God’s feelings is to read his book. He poured his heart into it.
Get to know God and let him become your definition of good. Even when it’s hard.
11. ENJOY HIM
God is more delightful than we can even imagine. If we have never enjoyed him, it’s because we haven’t yet gotten to know him very well. Try this: Look at a tree. Consider all the things it provides and does. Consider how it grows out of a tiny seed. Consider its beauty. And then really think hard about what kind of person would have made it. It’s hard not to enjoy a person like that.
Do these things over and over and over again.
You may not do it perfectly (I don’t.) You may forget for days in a row (I do.) But even the smallest encounters with God the Great and Powerful are actually pretty huge. And he will surprise and delight you.