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The Blue Letter Bible

Don Stewart :: Is It Possible to Know God Personally?

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Don Stewart

Is knowledge of God something that is possible? The Bible speaks loud and clear. The answer is yes.- the living God can be known by humankind. In fact, God goes out of His way to have a personal relationship with human beings.

God Cannot Be Completely Understood

Scripture reveals two truths about God. First, because of who He is, we cannot completely understand Him. This is spoken of as God being incomprehensible - that is no one can fully understand Him. Scripture asks the question.

Can you fathom the mysteries of God? Can you probe the limits of the Almighty? (Job 11:7)

The prophet Isaiah says that nothing can compare to God.

To whom, then, will you compare God? What image will you compare him to? (Isaiah 40:18).

He Can Be Known

Although we cannot know everything about Him, we can know some things about Him. Therefore the Bible says that God is knowable. Jesus said.

If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him (John 14:7).

Jesus also said.

Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent (.John 17:3).

John wrote.

We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true - even in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life (1 John 5:20).

Although the Creator of the universe is all-powerful and incomparable, He is knowable. We may not know everything about Him, but He has revealed enough about Himself so that we can understand some things about His character. Furthermore, individuals can have a personal relationship with the living God through Jesus Christ.

Paul prayed for God to increase the believer's knowledge of Him.

And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ - to the glory and praise of God (Philippians 1:9-11).

He also wrote.

For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding (Colossians 1:9,10).

God Himself Is Our Only Source Of Knowledge About Him

God Himself is the source of knowledge about Him. Nature can be misunderstood. Our human reason is inadequate and experience can be misleading.

It is possible to know facts about God without knowing Him personally. Knowing facts about God is not the same as knowing God. God revealed facts about Himself so that human beings can have a personal experience with Him.

The Holy Spirit Was Given To Help Believers

God also has given the Holy Spirit to help believers

However, as it is written: "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him. But God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God" (1 Corinthians 2:9,10).

The Holy Spirit helps believers distinguish truth from error.

As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit - just as it has taught you, remain in him (1 John 2:27).

Scripture Gives Many Commands To Believers

In addition, there are many commands in Scripture which believers are expected to obey. Christians are held responsible to obey these commands.

O taste and see that the LORD is good; happy are those who take refuge in him (Psalm 34:8).

Humankind has always had the desire to know God. In the Book of Job we read a familiar cry.

If only I knew where to find him [God]; if only I could go to His dwelling (Job 23:3).

The Bible is clear that a personal knowledge of God is possible. However, before one can know God there are a few things that must happen.

One Must Experience The Need For God

For a person to know God, they first must feel the need. Jesus said.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled (Matthew 5:5).

The prophet Jeremiah wrote of wayward Israel.

You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart (Jeremiah 29:13).

God wants people to desire to know Him.

Believers Must Exercise Faith

Once a person realizes the need, the need step is to exercise faith. It is only by faith that a person can know God. The writer to the Hebrews stated.

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him (Hebrews 11:6).


God is knowable. Scripture assumes that we can understand His commands and obey Him. Knowing the living God is the greatest thing that a human being can experience. Consequently it must be a priority in a person's life. To begin with, a person must want to know God. After that they must come to God in faith. Finally, they must continue in faith as they grow in their knowledge of Him.

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