Summary: J Sidlow Baxter says God is a mystery, yet God says in Jeremiah 4: 23-24 that you and I can understand and know Him, knowing God is a process, you must seek Him and get to know Him by experience and divine revelation
The God You Should Know
J Sidlow Baxter:
“God is the greatest of all mysteries and the greatest of all realities”
In spite of the mystery
God is a God that you can know
Jer 29:12 Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you.
Jer 29:13 And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.
Heb: Seek-to search out specifically through Worship and prayer
Jer 29:14 And I will be found of you, saith the LORD:
You cannot know Him on your terms or by your own methods
Act 17:22 Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars’ hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious.
Act 17:23 For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you.
Act 17:24 God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands;
Act 17:25 Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things;
The people of Athens knew He existed but did not seek to know Him through experience
They erected an altar to the unknown God
The sought to understand Him through intellectual discovery and failed
So God wants to be known and can be known but not through convententional methods
Human nature naturally does not want to know God
Teresa of Avila:
O God I don’t love you, I don’t even want to love you, but I want to want to love you
I believe that every person live on the edge of this discovery
But to know Him seems to difficult
He is the invisible God isn’t He?
Isn’t He in some lofty place beyond Human Comprehension?
Philip Yancy in his book “Reaching for the Invisible God” writes about a man from Iowa;
I know there is a God: I believe that He exists; I just don’t know what to believe of Him. What do I expect from this God? Does He intervene upon request, or am I to accept His Son’s sacrifice for my sins, count myself lucky and let it go at that?
I accept that I am an immature believer: that my expectations of God are not realistic. I guess I have been disappointed so many times that I pray for less & less so that I don’t get disappointed over and over
What does a relationship with God look like?
What should we expect from a God who says that we are His friends?
The best answer is probably that it is either a thrilling eventful ride that last a lifetime or
It’s the most miserable experience ever
It all depends upon your perspective
Getting to know God is not a course in theology, you will at best come away with theories but no real facts
The Lord through Jeremiah says that the believers boast should be this,
“that he understands and knows me”,
The Hebrew word for understand refers to what has been taught
1. The believer must be a seeker
Isa 55:6 Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:
psalm 42 1 As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God.
2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?
A. The seeker must be willing to pursue God(God Chaser)
B. Seeking God must become the believers occupation
C. The seeker must be a worshiper
D. The believer must be a learner/ disciple
The Hebrew word for know has two meanings;
A. One has to do with to know by experience
B. The other has to do with to know by revelation
This makes clear that this is a kind of partnership
God is willing to be known and makes it possible
But to the believer has to want to know Him
Examples of people who got to know Him
Adam daily in the Garden