Knowing God better

Does it make any difference to know God better?

Several of us talked about that briefly the other night as we looked at the apostle Paul’s great prayer for the Ephesian Christians in Ephesians 1:15-23.

In that prayer, Paul says in verse 17: “I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.”

One friend said that knowing God better is more than knowing a lot about him.  It means having a heart-to-heart relationship which only the Spirit of God can bring us.

In effect, that is what Paul is saying when he talks about the “spirit of wisdom and revelation”.  The Spirit moves in my heart and reveals more of God – perhaps from the Bible, perhaps from an encounter with someone else, perhaps directly through a vision or dream.

But what difference does that really make?  Does it make any difference in my life to know God better?

I think it does.

Like many new converts, my whole world changed when I became a believer at the age of 20.  The Spirit of God transformed my view of the world around me.  There was an entirely new reason for living – Jesus Christ.  Everything that happened to me seemed to have God stamped upon it.

Of course, that early excitement and joy moderated as time went on.  But what I knew of God had already turned my feet away from the path I was walking into a very different road.  The Lord would forever be at the centre of my thoughts and decisions.

Like most Christians, I have found that I have not stopped learning about God as I have grown older.   Occasionally, the things I learned had a profound effect on me – although, not as dramatic as my early conversion.

Knowing God better does involve seeing him better.  I have mentioned several times that, in the last couple of years, I have come to realize how much God loves me.  It was all there in the Bible, but I needed the Spirit of God to reveal it to me – the “spirit of wisdom and revelation” as Paul says.

What difference does it make to know in my mind – and heart – that God loves me?

Well, I am finding out, step-by-step, what it means.  As I grasp that truth by faith, the Lord is sending little arrows of joy into my heart.  When I am discouraged, the joy is gone because I forget how much he cares for me.  But then I come back to this truth and God lifts my heart again.

D.L. Moody, the great American evangelist, had an encounter with the Holy Spirit who so flooded him with joy that he had to ask God to stop.  It changed his whole ministry radically.

Moody knew God heart-to-heart after that encounter and it made all the difference in the world.

So, my prayer for myself – and for others – is the same as Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians: I want to know God better.

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