t{squared} Knowing God

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theology

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Friends I was a lurker before I was a blogger. When we moved to Texas four years ago, I took up reading blogs as a way to pass the time. It started with my friends blogs, expanded to blogs about families with quads, and then included general Christian living, parenting, and simplified living blogs. I was a faithful reader, but a total lurker. I knew a lot of facts about the authors of the blogs I read. I knew generally where they lived, the names of their children, and how they spent their days.

Then I became a blogger, and I began interacting with some of the blog authors I read. Twitter is the great equalizer. I would get brave and reply to one of their tweets, and astonishingly, the replied back. I’ve tweeted several times with a couple of these authors now. We’ve even exchanged a few e-mails and comments on our blogs. We are beginning to build a relationship. I’m coming to know them as a friend rather than just facts about them as a lurker.

Soon, I will get to meet lots of them in person. First at the dotMom conference in Birmingham and later at the Allume Social conference in Harrisburg. No doubt, our relationship will grow even more as we sit and talk face to face (that is if I don’t scare them away with my weirdness!).

Here’s an amazing truth: We can know God just as we know friends. We don’t have to be lurkers. We do not have to settle for knowing only about God. He wants us to know Him in relationship. <—Click to Tweet!

Knowing God

Basic Truths:

First, we cannot know God outside of the fact that He has chosen to reveal Himself to us through creation and Scripture. As history shows, sinful humanity has a tendency to misinterpret God’s testimony through nature. Therefore, Scripture (as God’s inerrant and infallible words) alone is the lens through which we view and understand creation’s testimony about God. (Rom. 1:19; Matt. 11:27; 1 Cor. 1:21; 1 Cor. 2:14; 2 Cro. 4:3-4; John 1:18)

Second, God is incomprehensible in the sense that we can never fully know God. In other words, we will never understand everything about God or even one attribute of God completely or exhaustively. Our inability to know God fully is attributed to His greatness rather than our sinfulness. This indicates that even in eternity, we will continually be learning more and more of the depths and riches of God. (Ps. 145:3; Ps. 147:5; Ps. 139:6, 17; Isa. 55:9)

Third, even though we will never know God fully, we can know God truly. Grudem uses the example that he will never know everything about his son (or even himself) but he still truly knows his son in relationship. Grudem writes, “all that Scripture tells us about God is true” (151).

Finally (and most excitedly!), we can know God personally rather than just knowing about God. He desires a personal relationship with each and every one of us. (Jer. 9:23-24; John 17:3; 1 John 2:13)

Application

Once we understand that we will never know God completely or exhaustively but that we can know Him in personal relationship, we can settle into a lifetime and eternity of continually learning more about God. We will never run out of new reasons to praise Him. We will always have new reasons to thank Him.

What is one new thing God has revealed to you recently about Himself? Share in the comments!

If you are new to t{squared}, I am using Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine to guide this study! The numbers you see in parenthesis refer to page numbers in this text.

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This post is linked with thanks to:

Thought Provoking Thursday
Thoughtful Thursday
Thankful Thursday
Proverbs 31 Thursday
Life in Bloom
Thrive at Home Thursday

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Photo Credit: Cia de Foto

Comments

  1. I appreciate this post. I am learning more about the Lord through meditating on what I am memorizing. Thank you.

  2. I love your “lurking” illustration. Very applicable and relevant, especially to us blog-readers! :)

    One of the things God has been revealing to me a lot lately is His personableness. He has personality. He’s not just sitting up there all stoic-like – He JOYS in us! He has relationships. He is passionate about His children. He has emotion!

    It kind of wows me to think about it all… can you even imagine the day we get to heaven and see God in ALL of His glory?!

  3. I love how you developed the idea of lurking and then related it to God and us:) What has God revealed to me? That He’s not Who I thought He was–and that’s a good thing! I hate when people get the wrong idea about me, and that’s how I’ve been with God.

  4. I am learning so much more about His immense patience and grace by seeing my own miniscule amounts of these two. I marvel at how much I’m given. I really don’t understand how He keeps from jerking me up & just giving me a good shaking to get some sense into me.

  5. Mary Beth, this is so well written and practical. I love all of your t-squared posts, but this is my favourite!

  6. Love it!! I was a lurker as well in blog land and in my Christian walk. Last year I stopped being the lurker in blog land and working hard to no longer lurk in my walk as well.

  7. Theresa RedOakLane says:

    Love this. One thing I love to do in prayer is to just sit quietly and focus on God’s love. It is a powerful feeling.

  8. Jonathan Mansur says:

    MB – from a “preaching/teaching” standpoint, what a GREAT illustration you used at the beginning with you knowing things about the blog authors vs. actually knowing them. I’ve used similar stories in preaching to illustrate the difference between knowing about God and knowing God.

    One thing I would add, or I should say one thing I look forward to reading in another post (perhaps as a follow up), is exactly how can one know God personally?

    • J, in my sleep last night I thought exactly the same thing! I should’ve developed that more in the application section! Perhaps it just needed a post of it’s own!

  9. Our inability to know God fully is attributed to His greatness rather than our sinfulness….I’m so glad you pointed that out! I always thought it was our sinfulness that kept me from seeing Him clearly. But truly, He can only reveal so much of Himself to us at one time on account of Him being…you said it, so great! (do I have my theology right? I hope you say I do cuz I find comfort in that!) :)

    loved this post….excellent correlation for a recovering lurker like me ;)

    • That was new to me too and I find it comforting too! It’s exciting! I think if our sin is what blocked us from knowing God completely, we would wonder if we could know Him at all…because our sin would always be in the way.

  10. Alisha @ Flourish says:

    Love this, Mary Beth! One of my favorite verses is Philippians 3:10 (AMP): “For my determined purpose is that I may know Him [that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly].” He is so good!

  11. Jean Vogler says:

    Great message!


  12. we can know God personally rather than just knowing about God.” I think this is key..because so often we, humans, tend to misunderstand man’s thoughts about God. I like how you frame up your posts. Easy to read and very direct. Thank you!

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  1. [...] our personal knowledge of God by cultivating our relationship with Him. Extending my example from last week, even though I “de-lurked” and began interacting with bloggers via Twitter and [...]

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