Is it possible to truly know God? Can we see Him in nature? Can we see Him working in our lives in good times and in times of trouble? When we look back upon our lives do we see how God has orchestrated events in our lives that have led up to the point in which we find ourselves now? There are so many questions about knowing God and whether someone can truly know who God is, but are there real answers as to who He really is? Over the last couple of weeks we have been exploring what it looks like to draw closer to God and to know Him. Last week we specifically talked about knowing God through prayer and discussed how prayer is a conversation with God, not just a one way conversation in which we ask for what we want.
In John 5:19 Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself. He does only what he sees the Father doing. Whatever the Father does, the Son also does.” Jesus had the kind of intimate relationship with God that He saw what the Father was doing and joined in with what He was doing. He knew because He spent time in conversation with the Father and was able to listen to what the Father was telling Him and was able to see the Father working before Him.
Jesus in His prayer to the Father immediately before being betrayed by Judas said, “I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one-as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me” (John 17:20-21). Jesus’ prayer for us was that we would be so perfectly united with one another in Him that the world would believe that He was sent from the Father. Jesus was familiar with all that the Father was doing because He was with Him from the very beginning.
1 In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He existed in the beginning with God. 3 God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him. 4 The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.
6 God sent a man, John the Baptist, 7 to tell about the light so that everyone might believe because of his testimony. 8 John himself was not the light; he was simply a witness to tell about the light. 9 The one who is the true light, who gives light to everyone, was coming into the world.
10 He came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t recognize him. 11 He came to his own people, and even they rejected him. 12 But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. 13 They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God.
14 So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.
15 John testified about him when he shouted to the crowds, “This is the one I was talking about when I said, ‘Someone is coming after me who is far greater than I am, for he existed long before me.’”
16 From his abundance we have all received one gracious blessing after another. 17 For the law was given through Moses, but God’s unfailing love and faithfulness came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God. But the unique One, who is himself God, is near to the Father’s heart. He has revealed God to us.
Jesus Christ is the Word that was with God and the Word was God. Jesus Christ is our physical representation of God and His character. We can know who God is by studying what Jesus did. We can know who God is by studying His mighty works and acts of grace and redemption that He bestowed upon the Israelites over and over again in the Old Testament. We can know God by accepting Jesus Christ who is the true light (v.7, 9) who John the Baptist testified about. And just as John the Baptist testified about Christ we too can testify about what Christ has done within us if we have accepted Him as our Lord and Savior. And if we have accepted Him as our Lord and Savior then His Word says that we have been given “the right to become children of God. They are reborn-not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God” (v. 12-13).
Since we know Jesus we know God also because He is one with the Father and if we accept Jesus we can be one with Him and know God because Jesus who is God “has revealed God to us” (v. 18). But not all who saw believed and not all who heard the message of God believed. They could not conceive that the Promised One would come in the likes of a man like Jesus, but it was through Jesus that all of God’s promises have been fulfilled.
2 Corinthians 1:20-22
20 For all of God’s promises have been fulfilled in Christ with a resounding “Yes!” And through Christ, our “Amen” (which means “Yes”) ascends to God for his glory. 21 It is God who enables us, along with you, to stand firm for Christ. He has commissioned us, 22 and he has identified us as his own by placing the Holy Spirit in our hearts as the first installment that guarantees everything he has promised us.
Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of God’s promises and prophecies and through Him we are able to see who God is and what He desires for us. The interesting part is that according to Hebrews 4:12-13, “The Word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God. Everything is naked and exposed before his eyes, and he is the one to whom we are accountable.”
God knows what we are going through and is able to teach us and guide us through reading His Word. The Word will penetrate our hearts and reveal our sins to us so that we may be convicted of them, turn from them, and be forgiven in Christ. There is nothing that we can hide from God, just as Adam and Eve were unable to hide from God when they sinned, realized that they were naked and covered themselves to cover up their shamefulness, neither can we escape the power of His Word.
How many times have you read the Bible and seen something that you never realized was there, or maybe you have read a familiar passage that all of a sudden has a deeper meaning in your heart? God’s Word is alive and the Holy Spirit living within us is drawing us closer to Him through His Word if we place ourselves in a place where we are receptive to hearing His Word and even when we’re not. Just because we fail to act on what we hear or what is revealed to us does not mean that the Holy Spirit is not trying to act within us. We have been given free will and can disobey God’s Word, just as Adam and Eve did in the Garden and we can try to hide from God, we can try to cover up our sin from God, but ultimately we will answer to God for our sins and our disobedience.
Our only hope lies within the Word of God through which He has revealed himself to us and through which all who will call upon will be saved for Jesus Christ is the Word. We have the opportunity to know God through Jesus Christ who is the Word as well as through the written Word and the Holy Spirit living within us will show us the truth of who God is and what He desires from us. All who have accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior have eternal life, but they also have the opportunity to follow Jesus as He guides all who are willing to become holy, just as the Father is Holy.
Through the Word we are able to see that there is a plan for our lives. “’For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the Lord. ‘They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope’” (Jeremiah 29:11). God’s plans for us are good, but they require us to follow Him. They require us to submit to His will for our lives and not to follow the ways of the world because His will is good and pleasing and perfect (Romans 12:2).
God is revealing Himself to us all around us, we just need to open our eyes and look. He reveals Himself to us in prayer if we will only stop to listen, He reveals Himself to us through the marvels of nature, He reveals Himself through Jesus, and He reveals Himself to us through His written Word. We have the Holy Spirit living within us if we have accepted Jesus Christ and are following Him. With all the ways that God is revealing Himself to us we can truly know who God is and we can truly know what He desires from us and for us. The question is, will we listen, will we seek Him out, and will we trust Him?
If the answer is yes then we have a responsibility to put off the ways of the World and to follow Him. We have a responsibility to share our story with others around us, to believers and unbelievers alike. We have been given life and we can share that life with others so that they too can have eternal life, but it takes action on the part of each and every single one of us. It is not only up to certain people to share God’s truth, it is all of ours. “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline” (2 Timothy 1:7).
If you have not yet received Jesus Christ into your heart you have the opportunity to do that right now. You have the opportunity to listen to the Holy Spirit who is testifying to you right now about the truth of who Jesus Christ is. You have the opportunity to say yes to the Author of Life and to turn away from the ways of the world. If you are ready to do that then you can do it by simply praying to Jesus right now. It can be as easy as saying,
Father forgive me, for I am a sinner. I know that you are who you say you are and I am ready to follow you. I do not know exactly what that is going to look like, but I trust that you will show me. Please come into my heart and fill me with your Holy Spirit, In Jesus’ name. Amen.
If you just prayed that simple prayer you have accepted Jesus as your Lord and you will be saved. The Word of God says that “If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved” (Romans 10:9-10). Your next step is to find a Bible believing and following church if you are not already a part of one and get baptized.
6 Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more of his wonderful grace? 2 Of course not! Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it? 3 Or have you forgotten that when we were joined with Christ Jesus in baptism, we joined him in his death?4 For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives.
5 Since we have been united with him in his death, we will also be raised to life as he was. 6 We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. 7 For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin. 8 And since we died with Christ, we know we will also live with him. 9 We are sure of this because Christ was raised from the dead, and he will never die again. Death no longer has any power over him.10 When he died, he died once to break the power of sin. But now that he lives, he lives for the glory of God. 11 So you also should consider yourselves to be dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus.
24 ‘May the Lord bless you
and protect you.
25 May the Lord smile on you
and be gracious to you.
26 May the Lord show you his favor
and give you his peace.’