The word above is in Greek, which also means “know“. And the definition of that word is to learn to know; to perceive; to get a knowledge of, to feel, to become acquainted with etc. This is a very interesting word when you begin to understand it from the different verses found in the bible. I am sure all of us here want to know God, or at least, some of you may be thinking, “I have received Salvation, of course I know God” or maybe some may think, “ever since I was saved, I have been trying to get to know God”
So my question is, “What does it mean to know God and how do you go about doing it?”
Do I just pick up a Christian book, finish reading it and declare to the world that I ‘KNOW’ God. Knowing about God and knowing God Himself is two separate concepts. Knowing God takes more than reading a book or sitting in a church service on Sunday or even going to a small group meeting every week.
The word ‘ginosko’ refers to a Progressive, Growing, Intimate Relationship with someone and knowing God is a journey where you begin to build an intimate relationship with Him, becoming more & more & more & more (and it goes on) deeply acquainted with God.
I can safely assure you that this journey will take you a lifetime!
The bible says in John 17:3
“Now this is eternal life: that they may know (ginosko) you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent…”
and eternal life starts from now till eternity and the reason why we all have eternal life, is so that we can continue getting to know God more and more and because we were created to have this intimate relationship with Him. Isn’t that wonderful that God wants us to know Him so much?
To run this race called life and finish it strong is extremely tough when we do not know the creator of it all. Everything we need to know about this race is found through knowing God, His ways and His plans for us.
Some of you might ask, “How intimately do I need to know God and is there a guideline? Well, let us look at this verse where the word is used again in a totally different context.
In the King James Version, Genesis 4:1 it says “And Adam knew (ginosko) Eve his wife; and she conceived…” Amazing! I am sure you get the whole picture of what I am trying to explain.
Definitely not so much in the physical intimacy but in the whole idea of how intimate a husband and wife can be. They spend time together almost all the time, they share about everything under the sun, they allow themselves to be vulnerable to each other, they laugh, cry, smile, rest together, they shop, sleep, cook, exercise together, they communicate with each other, they vent their anger occasionally at each and so on.
Basically, there is a progression in getting to know your partner, through doing life together, involving each other in your own life! This is also called experiential learning, something I do with my pupils in school a lot where they get the subject knowledge through the hands-on experiences.
Similarly, as a believer, knowing God is the same. You need to go through experiences with God, dare to take risk with Him, dare to ask, seek & knock, dare to know Him through obedience, through submission, through surrender! It gotta be this way, and no other way.
And knowing Him gotta be your top most priority in life, daily reaching out to Him, just like how Paul shares about this area in the book of Philippians. I like how it is said in the Amplified version in Philippians 3 “Yes, furthermore, I count everything as loss compared to the possession of the priceless privilege (the overwhelming preciousness, the surpassing worth, and supreme advantage) of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord and of progressively becoming more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him [of perceiving and recognizing and understanding Him more fully and clearly]. For His sake I have lost everything and consider it all to be mere rubbish (refuse, dregs), in order that I may win (gain) Christ (the Anointed One)…”
Christianity is not a religion, it is a relationship, a real relationship with a living God, one who loves us so much that He willing to sacrifice His only begotten Son in order for us to have the access to know (ginosko) Him personally in an intimate way.
That is the good news, and when we receive salvation, that is free! But discipleship and getting to know God is a journey and a price has to be paid like what Paul said that “even if he loses everything”, it’s worth it if he can know Christ better. There is always ups and downs, mountains and valley experiences in life and knowing God means that He is involved in every one of those circumstances. I remembered this from a preacher saying “You haven’t really know God if He has not been there for you; you haven’t really know Him if you have not yet testify that He is faithful in your life…”
If you sense in your heart that something is urging you to respond, make a commitment to ‘ginosko’ God, and make space in your life for that to happen. How close you want to be from God depends on how much you desire to draw close to Him to know Him. Start knowing Him NOW!