To know God and His will is essential for a serene life that gives good results. After all, Christ is the way, the truth, and the life. But there is even better: to be known by God.
God sees everything, hears everything and knows all things. So how could He say, “I do not know you” (Matthew 25:12 NKJV)? The answer lies in the definition of the word “know”. The word used in the New Testament is “ginosko”, which means to know, but especially to “perceive, feel, understand”. It’s more than just knowing someone by name or what they do for us. It’s having a special connection with someone. This connection can only come from a very close relationship with a person.
It’s a bit like a mother in a room full of children. She sees them all, but she keeps her attention on one, hers. Or, in a safe place, she might not be looking at them, but she will recognize the crying of her children even if thirty other children laugh, shout or cry at the same time. She will always recognize her child’s voice over others. This mother-child relationship is unique and it is created only after long periods of proximity between the two.
This is the kind of relationship God wants to have with us. Not only that we know Him, reading the Bible and listening to teachings, but that He knows us and recognizes our voice among the multitude of voices He hears. “Because He has inclined His ear to me, therefore I will call upon Him as long as I live” (Psalms 116:2 NKJV). God is omniscient, which means that He knows everything. His ear hears everything, so how can the psalmist say that God leans His ear to him? Because there is a difference between hearing and listening. When we have a close relationship with God, He not only hears us, but He listens to us. We have His attention like a child has their mother’s attention amid a multitude of other children.
Now how can we move to this level of proximity with God? With a relationship of love. “But if anyone loves God, this one is known by Him” (1 Corinthians 8:3 NKJV). For love can only be born through a personal relationship with Him. Journalists can know a million details about a president, it does not mean they love him! To love someone, you need proximity, and time together. This is how we begin to know how He will react in this or that circumstance, how we begin to know His thoughts without Him saying anything. We can then defend Him when His words are distorted. We can sometimes be wrong in our interpretations (God’s thoughts are much greater than our ability to understand them), but the more time we spend listening to Him, opening our hearts and reading the Bible, the more alert we become to His Spirit. “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me” (John 10:27 NKJV).
It is this type of relationship that God wants to have with His children. He does not want us to be just students who study theology, He wants us to be children who have a special relationship with their Father. We can have this connection with Him, and get His attention when we call upon Him. “For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known” (1 Corinthians 13:12 NKJV).
It is also the same type of relationship that develops between a man and his wife. After a few years, he knows what she thinks, what her narrowed eyes mean or what she has in her heart if she raises a single eyebrow. It is not always a perfect way of communication, words are always more useful, but this proximity born of their love is unique. And that is surely why the Word of God compares the relationship between Christ and the Church like that of a groom and his bride. What should you change today to reach that level of intimacy with God?