Ever have someone tell you that the Bible is God’s love letter to you, if you want to get to know Him “read the Word”? Then you look at the Book, with all it’s “books” and chapters and unfamiliar culture and think – “it’s too hard! I can never know God!”? If you are honest, you will confess that the Bible is not “easy reading”. To truly read and understand you must prayerfully study and use the tools of good biblical hermeneutics, cultural context, and language barriers…which most non-seminary people do not have. So, how did the early Christians do it? Just a short read in the book of Acts should reveal that they “knew God”. How does a busy working (or even stay-at-home) mom with small children find the time, let alone the energy, to “study” and know God.
I have good news for you: You cannot study to know God! You can study to know more about Him. Study to know more about how the Kingdom operates. Study to know more about how to relate to one another. But to know Him you must love Him, and to love Him you must experience Him. To experience Him you must perceive Him. “O taste and see that the Lord [our God] is good! Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) is the man who trusts and takes refuge in Him. (Psalms 34:8 AMP)”
If we compare our growing knowledge and perception of God to that of a developing child we know that the first “sense” that a newborn gets of his mother involves touch and taste directly involved with meeting basic needs: food, warmth, shelter, love, etc. This is how we come to El Shaddai (the many breasted one, the all sufficient one). We come as an infant: needy. Our fussing, rooting, and hunger for His essence all give Him such joy and pleasure. The interaction of needing and receiving from His abundance bonds us and makes us one with Him.
At first we know Him in the simplest of terms: “God is love…”
1 John 4:8 “He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love (ASV)”
Religion has tried to teach us that God loves us but we must (fill in the blank) in order to please Him, earn His blessings, etc. I encourage you to read the following passage only replace the word “charity” with “God” – meditate on the words and develop a picture of God based on His “love” quality:
1 Cor 13:4 “Love (God) is patient, love (God) is kind and is not jealous; love (God) does not brag and is not arrogant,
5 does not act unbecomingly; it (He) does not seek its (His) own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered,
6 does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth;
7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8 Love (God) never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away. (NASB)”
After spending some time meditating on the “love quality of God”, go back and study the words’ meaning. What is “patient”, “kind”, “jealous”, etc. All these give us insight into His character…but wait, you still have not tasted and seen. Now you must root for, look for, and hunger for these qualities being manifest in your life. You must “experience” His patience, kindness, etc. Look for them in your life, not just in your past experience but today, in this moment, can you find His love, patience, kindness, etc.?
I encourage you today, look for Him – not in a religious/pious sense, but as a child …
Psalms 42:1 “As the deer pants for streams of water, so I long for you, O God. (NLT)”