The most important scriptural truth you must embrace is intimacy with GOD. Everything else we enjoy and manifest in GOD flows out of a relationship with HIM.
As a former atheist, I struggled with studying the Bible when I first became a believer. But by the grace of GOD, I was eventually able to develop a number of effective methods for studying the Word. One of my favorite ways of studying the Bible can be described as topical. Topical bible study is the method of studying a topic in the context of every passage in the Bible where the topic appears. I compare scripture with scripture and seek to understand the topic and its applicability to everyday life with the help of the HOLY SPIRIT. In my scouring of the Bible, one topic I found particularly fascinating was “knowing GOD.”
I first understood the scriptural use of the word “knowing” or “to know” as it is used for intimacy in married couples that leads to pregnancy. For example, Genesis 4:1 (KJV) reads “and Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD.” Interestingly, the word translated “knew” in this passage is the same word used when the bible talks about “knowing GOD.” It was used in the Old and New Testament to mean intimacy with GOD and living life in a close relationship with HIM. It means loving GOD and appreciating HIM not only for what you receive from HIM, but also for who He is.
In the Bible, the men and women who manifested the power of GOD did so not because of their righteousness or holiness, but by the grace of GOD which flowed from their intimate relationship with HIM. Abraham was referred to as a friend of GOD (James 2:23). Moses, whom GOD spoke to “mouth to mouth” (Numbers 12:8), after he walked with GOD to deliver the children of Israel from bondage in Egypt, in Exodus 33:13 was still crying out to know GOD more. (Exodus 33:13 KJV — “Now therefore, I pray thee, if I have found grace in thy sight, shew me now thy way, that I may know thee, that I may find grace in thy sight: and consider that this nation is thy people”.) David must know something about intimacy with GOD, because some of the most important advice he gave his son Solomon, the next king of Israel, was an appeal for Solomon to know GOD and serve HIM in sincerity (1 Chronicles 28:9). Peter, John, and Paul in the New Testament are other examples. It is obvious from these references that the most important component of power, stability, joy, peace and success in godly living is intimacy with GOD. (Daniel 11:32, 2 Peter 1:2-3).
The truth is that GOD wants us to manifest HIS word and power regularly in our lives, and Daniel said that those who know GOD shall be strong and do exploits ((Daniel 11:32). In other words, being closely intimate with GOD is the prerequisite for strength and manifesting the power of GOD. Loving relationship with GOD guarantees your experiencing GOD and HIS power than just fasting and praying.
I know many of you want to manifest the power and glory of GOD in your lives. Meditate on the scriptures about knowing GOD, and start practicing being conscious of the presence of GOD. Talk to HIM as a loving FATHER and as a FRIEND everywhere and about anything as if HE is standing right there with you, because HE is. HE loves you that much!
One of my students asked me once why I am always excited about GOD. Before I was asked that question, I had never really thought about it. I had noticed that many Christians were not consistently and constantly excited about JESUS, but I didn’t understand then that church activities like just praying, merely reading the Bible and attending church services did not equate to intimacy with GOD. When I first became a believer, one of the older Christians around me told me that I would soon become like the rest of them, eventually cooling off and losing that excitement. I remember asking why she expected me to stop being excited about CHRIST, but she didn’t offer any argument for her belief. I wondered then, and I still wonder today, that if GOD remains GOD, and JESUS CHRIST is still LORD of all, why would my attitude towards HIM change? It shouldn’t!
I want to encourage you to ask yourself the same question: If GOD remains GOD, why do your feelings about HIM fluctuate? It’s true that you will face trials in your walk with GOD, and satan will try his best to discourage you. However, who or what can harm you when you are intimately close to GOD ALMIGHTY? (Romans 8:31-35).
To start a loving relationship with GOD, you must be born again. In the context of knowing GOD, which is intimacy with GOD, being born again is accepting the hands of Christ in marriage. Revelation 3:20 says that GOD is at the door of your heart knocking, proposing to you. If you open your heart and receive HIM, you will begin your journey of knowing HIM. I will explain what happens to you when you become born-again in the next article.