Unlike the gods of other religions, we have a God who has chosen to make Himself known to us so that we can have a relationship with Him. He reveals Himself in four ways: His world, Word, works, and ways.
We can know God intimately through what He has revealed, and yet at the same time we cannot know Him fully. As Jesus says in Luke 10:21–22,
“I praise You, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants. Yes, Father, for this way was well-pleasing in Your sight. All things have been handed over to Me by My Father, and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.”
God makes Himself known to us through His Son. We cannot know Him through our own human wisdom, but only as He reveals Himself to us. There is always more to learn about God, and there are more depths to grow into as we know God more. As a result, we ought to pray for Him to enhance our capacity to know Him, asking that the eyes of our heart be enlightened (Ephesians 1:18).
The Creator/Creation Distinction
As we approach God and seek to know Him, we need to remember that He is our Creator, and we are His creation. We do not fully understand His ways and His works, although we can know and trust Him. He is far above us, but He is also intimate with us and indwells us. In every order of magnitude He has made Himself known, and He has revealed His relationship to us through His Word.
There is a spectrum of intimacy with God. We see that He is both transcendent and immanent. We are His creation and His servants, but we are also His children.
Although every aspect of creation proclaims who God is, if we want to know Him, then we need to look at Jesus Christ. Jesus is the revelation of God, as Hebrews 1:1–3a tells us,
God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature.
This is a truth we can barely begin to understand. The God who created us took on human flesh. At the same time He was walking with His disciples on earth, He also was upholding the entire universe with His hand. This is a marvelous mystery!
More than Knowledge
As we learn about God, how can we transform our knowledge into a relationship with Him? After all, truly knowing God involves more than knowledge. As we come to know Him, our peace, our strength, and our joy should increase. After all, we are inviting Him into our lives as we seek to get to know Him.
Part of getting to know God involves brokenness. We come to realize His exaltation and our humble state, that He must increase in our lives and we must decrease (John 3:30). He must increase in every aspect of our lives—indeed, He must be the very center of our lives, and everything else must flow our of our relationship with Him. The more we recognize this, the more joyful we will become.
This study is based on A. W. Tozer’s book The Knowledge of the Holy and J. I. Packer’s Knowing God.