Keys to Knowing God
Over the years I have asked this question of so many of my friends and those in leadership: How do you get to know God?
I have come to realize that getting to know God is a process just like building relationship with your spouse or friends. These relationships don’t happen overnight but grow progressively over time as we spend time chatting and doing life together. It is the same with our Lord and Savior. Initially, we come, give Him our heart and make Him Lord over our lives. Mistakenly, we think this is all there is to it; however, I am here to tell you that God has so much more in His Kingdom. Salvation is only the beginning – it is the “on-ramp” to the most powerful loving relationship you will ever experience here on earth. The Kingdom of God is progressive and continues precept upon precept depending on how far you want to go. As you come close day by day, your relationship will grow and deepen. As you share your heart and wait on Him, your ability to hear and commune with Him is heightened. So with all that said, I want to share keys that may help you in this process. Remember, relationship with Christ is deepened as we spend time with Him so even these keys are just another “on-ramp” to levels of intimacy with Him. I call this place my secret place and this is how my time with Jesus begins.
Paul writes in Philippians 3:8, “Yes, furthermore, I count every as loss compared to the possession of the priceless privilege of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord and of progressively becoming more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him…” (Amp)
Here is one way to begin your journey:
SCHEDULE A TIME. Make an appointment with God and keep it. If you are a calendar person, schedule it in at the beginning of each week. Go through your week and leave room for the most important few minutes of your day. Be as consistent as you can so that it becomes a habit – a discipline. Realize that Father is waiting for you everyday and He loves His special time just with you. Be intentional and don’t allow the enemy to rob you of these precious moments. If you miss a day, try again as habits are built as we try everyday. Don’t give up!
CHOOSE A TOOL – A BIBLE/DEVOTIONAL/JOURNAL Use your Bible but always have other translations available to help with furthering your understanding of the scriptures. You can Google Bible Gateway and choose from all different kinds of translations and commentaries. I recommend the Passion Version or the New Living Bible if you are just beginning. The Message Version makes for very easy reading as well.
START WITH PRAYER. Prayer is talking with God. Don’t make it difficult but rather speak to Him in every day language. If you need to confess sin before you begin, do it. Ask Him to forgive you and receive His forgiveness. Remember that when we repent, scripture tells us that He remembers no more and your sin is removed in the eyes of Jesus. Put on some good worship music and just enjoy God. If something or someone comes to mind, ask the Father to take care of it. Present the problem to Him and trust Him to accomplish His purposes. Put away long lists of prayer needs and trust that the Holy Spirit will bring to mind those things you should lift up to the Father. Then ask Jesus to give you ears to hear and eyes to see. Ask Him to open up His Word to you. Thank Him and believe He will. (Spend as much time in this place as you can. It is so life-giving.)
USE YOUR BIBLE OR DEVOTIONAL. Get a journal, notebook or a piece of paper and as you read, jot down thoughts or verses that may leap off the page. If you don’t know where to begin, start with the Psalms or the Gospel of John. Talk to God about what you are reading. Ask Him questions even if they seem silly to you. You can look up words in the dictionary to get more understanding or read another translation and/or a commentary. If nothing stirs your heart, slow down, mediate on what you are reading and TAKE YOUR TIME! We are not racing through the scriptures but rather remaining open to what the Father may want to reveal. Sometimes the scriptures just come alive and then other times they can seem dull, but just continue to read and enjoy the process with Jesus. I always have an extra piece of paper on hand so that if my mind wonders to things I have to do, or phone calls I have to make and etc… I write them down immediately and continue reading. Enjoy the moment with Jesus. Feel free to read that day’s devotional as well. Many times God will have a word just for you but the scriptures should remain your main reading material.
MEDITATE AND REST IN HIM.
I cannot begin to tell you how important it is to just sit before Him and enjoy His presence. The Word you just read can lead you into this moment. Take a few minutes now and review what you have read and what the Lord may have spoken to you. Thank Him for speaking to you even if you feel you received nothing that day. His presence fills the scriptures and He was there all the while you were reading and praying.
DON’T JUST READ BUT OBEY WHAT HE HAS SPOKEN. Do what the word says to do. James 1:22 says that we are not to be hearers only but doers of the Word. If Holy Spirit is speaking to you about gossip or any other character issues during your devotions, then that is the area He is highlighting and He is asking you to obey Him. Every time we obey His Word, we get to know Him in a deeper way. It warms His heart as we obey His Word and long to become like Jesus.
MAKE A COMMITMENT TO READ THE WORD EVERY DAY AS BEST YOU CAN. IF you miss a day, try again the next day. Remember that you are developing a habit and that takes trying and trying and then trying again.
YOU ARE NOT BEING GRADED ON YOUR PERFORMANCE. This is all about your heart and your longing to get to know Him. Performance is a thing of the past and you are on this quest to know the One Who created you and wants deep relationship with you. Loving, relational and merciful describes our Father. Despite the “world view,” He does speak today and longs for you to hear His voice. YOU ARE A PERFECT A+ IN HIS EYES!
I pray that this helps you get on that path to a deep relationship that never ends. The deeper you go with Him, the more He has for you. It is a quest to seek the face of the One Who gave it all.
Love you so much, Julaine