How Can I Know God?

Daily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
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“My Father has entrusted everything to me. No one truly knows the Son except the Father, and no one truly knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”

Luke 10:22

Last Friday, I began reflecting on Luke 10:22, speaking of our deep, inborn desire to know God. Today I want to continue this reflection by responding to one of our heart’s deepest questions: How can I know God?

Our world provides a plethora of answers to this question, apart from that of the atheists who say you can’t know God because there is no God to be known. Popular spirituality says that we can know God by peering deeply into our own hearts. Others tell us that God can be known through the sublime beauty of nature. Still others say that God can be known through a particular religious experience or belief. And, these days, the most common answer to the “How can I know God?” question is: “In many different ways. There is no single right way to know God. You can know God in the way that is best for you.”

From a Christian perspective, there are elements of truth in many of our culture’s answers to the knowing God question. Yes, God is revealed in nature, at least partly. And, yes, God can be known through God’s own image that we bear, however imperfectly. Moreover, most religious traditions include true echoes of God’s own voice.

Yet, Christians take Jesus at his word. And this means the answer to the “How can I know God?” question points not to nature or ourselves or religion, but to Jesus Christ, the Son of God who alone is able to reveal God fully and truly. Thus, if we want to see God most clearly, we must focus our eyes upon Jesus. More than anything else in all creation, he reveals the character of God. In Jesus, we see God’s mercy and justice, his grace and holiness. In Jesus, we see a God who reaches out to us in love, seeking to draw us into relationship with him so that we might know him and serve him in the world.

QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER REFLECTION: How has Jesus helped you to know God? Do you think it is arrogant for Christians to claim that Jesus alone reveals God most fully and truly? Given our pluralistic world, how can we talk about Jesus as “the way” to God without turning people off completely to the gospel?

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, you are indeed fully known by your Father in Heaven. And you know him in a way that no other human being ever has. Yet, through your mercy and grace, you have chosen to reveal the Father to us so that we might know him and have relationship with him. Thank you for this extraordinary gift!

Help me, dear Lord, to know the Father through you. As I see you in Scripture, may I see the Father. Let my theology be shaped by your identity and action, by your words and deeds. Most of all, may I know the Father as I see your death and resurrection.

As you know, Lord, your claim to be uniquely able to reveal the Father doesn’t wear well in our day. The spirit of this age is a spirit of inclusivity. We want to say “yes” to everyone and not suggest that one way to God is better than others. So help us as we seek to tell the truth about you. Give us genuine humility and respect for others. May people see you, and therefore, the Father, in our lives of self-giving love. Amen.

P.S. from Mark

If you’re looking for a place to help you know God more deeply and truly, may I suggest Laity Lodge? This retreat center in the Texas Hill Country offers extraordinary beauty and renewing rest. All retreats at Laity Lodge are small, offering a context for deep learning and honest conversation. Through excellent teaching and world-class music, through stimulating art and delicious food, through a relaxed schedule with plenty of time for recreation and relaxation, Laity Lodge offers a unique opportunity for restoration and renewal.

We still have room in many of our summer retreats, which feature some of the finest speakers, musicians, and artists in the world. For more information or to register, check our website. I hope to see you this summer at Laity Lodge.