Is it possible to be a believer or to be a Christian and not know God? I would say it is absolutely possible and it is probably very common. I got saved when I was 14 and even though I believed in God, I can now see that I didn’t know Him for the longest time. I would go as far as saying that I didn’t know God for the first 15 years of my Christian life. I walked the Christian walk with God on and off. During those 15 years, God was more of an acquaintance. I visited Him on Sundays. I traveled a long distance to go to church. I prayed on a somewhat regular basis. I talked the Christian talk but what was missing in my walk with God was a connection, a relationship. I looked holy on the outside because I was a quiet and peaceful kid but on the inside negative thoughts and godless thoughts were raging war. Anxiety, fear and self-deprecation were more familiar to me than the love of God. I didn’t understand that God was love. I knew about miracles, healing and judgement but love wasn’t part of the equation. How do you get to know God? What allows you to step out of a lukewarm walk into a connected walk with God?
Experiencing God through other people can be both a blessing and a stalling element. It’s a blessing because it can draw you closer to God but it can stall your walk with God if it’s the only way you perceive God. There should be no in-between when it comes to knowing God. Sermons, messages, people of God are ways you can know God better and they are crucial but they should encourage you to want to know Him for yourself. If your pastor is the only way you can connect with God, pray that you find your own way to God. Ask Him to help you reach Him for yourself. Ask the Holy Spirit for assistance. God is a very personal God who wants intimacy and a close relationship with you. He is all about you!
I found that applying what I was learning in the Bible and in messages was the best way to know God better. Praying outside of church on a regular basis was what ushered me into a closer connection. I took it seriously. I had church in the privacy of my bedroom. I would start with praise and worship. I would blast music and sing along. I offered the sacrifice of praise. I rejoiced in front of the Lord. I made it a private moment and I made it a daily moment. Then I would go into prayer with thanksgiving first and then petition and requests. I quickly realized that during prayer I needed some quiet time to listen to God. It was a new concept that I later read about a lot in the Word of God. It’s during those prayer, quiet time and praise moments that God became more real to me. It was by creating “a sphere for God” as I like to call it, that I started to know God. We cannot spend time with God regularly without being impacted by Him.
If you feel like you don’t know God, remember that He knows you and He is trying to get your attention. I suggest you look for clues. He is always talking to you but you might not always be listening or looking for God. If you don’t know God, start admitting that you don’t know Him enough. That is where it all begins. Then be open to knowing Him more. Follow His instructions in His Word and be consistent. Be disciplined for God. Have a daily routine with God. Include Him in what you do every day and not just on Sunday. Seek His face. Be quiet in front of Him. God knows you better than anyone and He will help you get to know Him better than you think you can. If you have the desire for it, He will give you the desires of your heart! Keep the desires alive because there will always be more to learn about Him. Know God and you will know peace, love and joy like never before!
Suggested reading: Jeremiah 9:23-24; John 17:3; Philippians 3:10