There is a huge difference between knowing about someone and actually knowing them.
Celebrities are people we know a lot about, but very few of us actually know any of them personally. Sometimes God feels like a celebrity to us. We know (or think we know) a lot about Him. We read articles, blog posts, and books about Him. We listen to sermons, podcasts, and songs about Him. We hear lots of people’s opinions of Him, both positive and negative.
But do we actually KNOW Him personally?
How do you get to really know someone like God?
I write and talk a lot about legalism and religious Christianity vs a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Often people ask me a similar question.
“That’s great and all, and I want more than just a religion, but I don’t know how to have a relationship. Can you show me how to know Jesus?”
If we were sitting together over a cup of coffee or on a bench down by the lake, this is what I would tell you:
Everything God wants to tell us about Himself is found in the Bible, His letter to us. Here are some of my favorite verses that tell us how He wants to know us.
Jeremiah 29:11-14. Verse 11 is super familiar, but I want you to look specifically at verses 12-14. Here it is: “For I know the plans that I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the LORD…”
Then read Acts 17:26-27. This is Paul speaking to the people of Athens who were very religious, but didn’t know the true God. “And he (God) made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us.”
God promises that if we look for Him, we will find Him. He says that even if we have our eyes closed and are bumping around in the dark looking for Him, we will find Him because He is close by. God wants a relationship with us! He wants us to KNOW Him, not just facts about Him.
There is only one way to God, through His Son, Jesus Christ. I wrote a post last year about how Jesus was missing from the “Christianity” I was exposed to growing up. You can find it here. Someone Was Missing
We can’t get to God by doing good things, following all the rules, praying a prayer, raising our hands, or going forward in church. We can only get to God by trusting that Jesus’ death and resurrection paid for our sins.
John 3:16-18 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.”
What is the Son’s name? Jesus, which means Savior. Do you believe that Jesus is your Savior? If you do, then because of Him, you can have a relationship with God.
“Great!” you say, “But, how do I actually have a relationship?”
When you get to know someone like the God of the Universe, you have to think outside of the box. You have to be willing to let your mind get blown. You have to be okay with not understanding everything or being able to explain things. He often seems kind of crazy, and He doesn’t usually make sense. He makes you cry, a lot, even when you’re not sad, because the emotions you feel are too big for your tiny body. But He also makes you laugh. His love is ridiculous, and overwhelming, and amazing. When you meet Him, really meet Him, you will know that you are home and that this is where you belong. He is where you belong.
Next time I’ll share some ideas of how to seek God and find Him. I hope this post has made you hungry for more.
If Jesus has become real to you, I’d love to hear some of your stories!