“Beloved, let us love one another, because love is of God; everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God. (1 John 4: 7)
In these trying times of uncertainty and chaos, I believe the more we can love one another, the more God will reveal himself. We may question God’s existence in hard times and that is His calling for us to move closer to Him and come to know Him.
For me, the more consistent I am in my prayers, the closer I feel to God. I also find great comfort in studying God’s word and being in a place of worship fills me with a sense of God’s power and glory. Each of these things bring me a sense of wonder and awe at God’s goodness and they sustain me when I need more hope in the world. I truly can’t imagine life without knowing God but these things that I do to be closer to God require me to be in a true relationship with God.
Just as with any relationship, my relationship with God gets stronger the more energy I put into it. When I am at my strongest, I am having an ongoing conversation where I ask God for answers and he delivers them through subtle cues, coincidences and sometimes outright words He speaks through other people.
For the world, there is a spectrum of faith and we all lie somewhere between the extreme of knowing God completely in mind, body and spirit vs. not knowing God at all.
When I was young I remember being told that you could not get to heaven unless you believed in Jesus. But my little mind worried about all the people at the ends of the earth who may never have a chance to read a bible, or have a church anywhere near them let alone know how to pray. How would they ever get to know God?
And as I’ve gotten older and the Age of Information is so readily available, I’ve had more faith that anyone who wants to know Christ surely can find him.
But just recently, I have met several people who have told me they grew up knowing the name of Jesus but not knowing anything about Him.
One of those people told me as a young girl she toured several European churches and in each saw a man on a cross with the letters INRI above him. In her mind, she knew the language was different but by spelling out the name, she was certain the English translation of the man’s name must be Henry. It wasn’t until she described her trip to her teacher that she learned the person on the cross was named Jesus. (INRI was the inscription Pontius Pilate put over the head of Jesus Christ on the cross and can be found on many of the crucifixes today. It was Latin, the official language of the Roman Empire at the time, and if the words were spelled out it would have read Iesvs Nazarenvs Rex Ivdaeorvm which translated means Jesus of Nazareth, The King of the Jews.)
I also met a young missionary planning to move to the Middle East with the sole purpose of sharing God’s word with as many people as possible. He spouted off some figure in the millions that represented the number of people who may never even hear of Jesus’ name because they have governments who actively attempt to prevent people from knowing Christ. He was going to try and change that.
How blessed we are to know Christ and how wonderful it is to want to know him more!
When I contemplate, “How can we know God better? “ There is such hope in the verse “Love one another.” Perhaps the way God reveals Himself to those who may never hear Jesus’s name is through our love for each other. Everyone who loves knows God! Love is from God – it is a gift, a blessing that is bestowed on everyone who loves and is loved. You cannot love without being connected to God.
And that is exactly what Jesus did throughout his life. Although he spoke often about how he and his father were one, he didn’t boast about his powers, he didn’t put any judgement on anyone, and he didn’t even heal anyone who didn’t ask for it. Jesus simply and fully and unconditionally loved everyone whether they accepted him or not.
The first step to know God better is to simply love one another.
Dear Lord who is love itself, help us to know you by loving one another. And help us to view others only through the eyes of your Love. Help us to be patient, and kind. Help us to not be envious or prideful toward others. Help us Lord to honor all that you have created, especially in our differences. Help us to hold our tempers and be able to forgive. Help us to always think, speak and act in the best interest of others. Lord, help us to recognize the weak and protect them from harm, help us to trust in the goodness in others, help us to lead others to hope when life becomes difficult and help us to never stop finding ways to be closer to you.