Practical Steps For Experiencing God

When we look at what’s important in life, can anything be more important than knowing God? Is it even possible to know Him?

Many people would argue that God can’t be known. He is the unknowable or the unfathomable.

The Bible is clear that God wants to be known by us. He desires an intimate relationship. God certainly is divine and we are human; He is holy and we are sinners, but God desires to make Himself known to us. The Bible exists to make God known and to reveal God to us.

How can we know God? What are practical steps we can take?

First, desire to know God. Again and again in Scripture, we see God revealing Himself to humans. We are told to draw near to God and He will draw near to us (James 4:8). “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13; see also Deuteronomy 4:29). Let God know you want to know Him. Seek Him with all your heart and ask Him to reveal Himself.

Second, let Scripture be your guide to God. As we read and meditate on Scripture, God will make Himself known to us.

Third, examine your heart. David asked God to search him and to know his heart, to test and know his anxious thoughts. “See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalm 139:23-24). I suggest you do exactly as the psalm infers. Ask God to show you any hidden sin, any rebellion which might keep you from knowing Him.

This step is difficult but imperative. God is a holy God. He desires righteousness on our part. Sin grieves God’s Spirit and keeps us apart from God. For a look at grieving the Holy Spirit, click here. For many believers, sin is the choke hold that keeps us from knowing God. When we acknowledge our sin and humbly turn to God, we are ready to experience God: “I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the Lord. They will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me with all their heart” (Jeremiah 24:7).

God wants you to know Him. Seek to truly know Him.

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3 Responses

  1. AMEN!!! Without personal foundational commitment to the Lordship of Christ none of the other growth aspects are possible. Each step of growth demands an extension of skill sets provided by the Holy Spirit. Truly, the old passes away and all things become New.

    Thank you Dr. Bailey.

  2. Of course when I see these words I think about Experiencing God Day by Day from Blackaby Ministries:

    But I want you to know, brethren, that the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel. Philippians 1:12

    There are two ways to look at every situation: How it will affect you, and how it will affect God’s kingdom. The apostle Paul was always concerned with how his circumstances might aid the spreading of the Gospel. When he was unjustly imprisoned, he immediately looked to see how his imprisonment might provide God’s salvation to others (Phil. 1:13; Acts 16:19-34). When he was assailed by an angry mob, he used the opportunity to preach the Gospel (Acts 22:1-21). When Paul’s criminal proceedings took him before the king, his thoughts were on sharing his faith with the king! (Acts 26:1-32). Even when Paul was shipwrecked on an island, he used that opportunity to share the gospel there. Regardless of his circumstance, Paul’s concern was how he could use his current situation to tell others of God’s good news of salvation.

    Often when we encounter a new situation, our first thoughts are not about God’s kingdom . When we face a crisis, we can become angry or fearful for our own well-being, rather than looking to see what God intends to do through our circumstances. If we remain self-centered we will miss so much of what God could do through our experiences, both for us and for those around us.

    Ask God to make you aware of how He could use your present circumstances to bless others. Perhaps someone around you needs to see the difference Christ’s presence makes in your life. Are you willing for God to use your circumstances to demonstrate His saving power to those around you?

  3. Oswald Chambers was a prominent early twentieth century Scottish Protestant Christian minister and teacher, best known as the author of the widely-read devotional My Utmost for His Highest.
    Chambers was born 24 July 1874 in Aberdeen, Scotland to devout Baptist parents. He accepted Christ in his teen years. While walking home from a service conducted by Charles Spurgeon, he mentioned to his father that, had there been an opportunity, he would have become a Christian. Chambers developed quickly in his faith, but did not plan to go into ministry. He studied at Kensington Art School and attended the University of Edinburgh, where he studied fine art and archaeology. But while at Edinburgh, he felt called to ministry, and transferred to Dunoon College. An unusually gifted student, Chambers soon started teaching classes and started a local society dedicated to Robert Browning, his favorite poet. But during this time, Chambers did not find satisfaction in Christianity, finding the Bible ‘dull’ and uninspiring.
    Finally, after four years of spiritual dryness, Chambers realized that he couldn’t force himself to be holy. Once he realized that the strength and peace he was looking for was Christ himself, Christ’s life in exchange for his sin, he experienced great renewal so much so that he described it as a “radiant, unspeakable emancipation.”
    With new-found strength, Chambers traveled the world, stopping in Egypt, Japan, and America. It was on one of his trips to America that he met Gertrude Hobbs. In 1910 he was married to Hobbs, whom he affectionately called “Biddy”. On 24 May 1913 Biddy gave birth to their only daughter, Kathleen.
    In 1911 he founded and became principal of the Bible Training College in Clapham in London. In 1915, feeling called to the war effort (World War I), Chambers applied and was accepted as a YMCA chaplain. He announced that the Bible Training College would be suspending operations for the duration of the war. Chambers was assigned to Zeitoun in Egypt, where he ministered to Australian and New Zealand troops who were later part of the disastrous Battle of Gallipoli.
    Chambers died 15 November 1917 in Egypt as the result of a ruptured appendix. He suffered the extreme pain of appendicitis for three days before seeking medical attention, refusing to take a hospital bed needed by wounded soldiers.
    While there are more than 30 books that bear his name, he only penned one book, Baffled to Fight Better. His wife, Biddy, was a stenographer and could take dictation at a rate of 150 words per minute. During his time teaching at the Bible College and at various sites in Egypt, Biddy kept verbatim records of his lessons. She spent the remaining 30 years of her life compiling her records into the bulk of his published works.
    Near Lechworth State Park through which the Genesse River has cut a canyon often called “the Grand Canyon of the East” is a Wesleyan College. My youngest son and I had the privilege of being the guests of the President and his wife when invited to his Secretary’s son’s wedding. His Secretary’s husband was an Evangelist Chalk Artist. His family was in a tragic automobile accident. It wasn’t his fault, yet he lost his life and his wife and two boys were badly injured. I met Ted Rutfuss in the gym at First Baptist Church New Orleans in the early 90’s. It was his wedding John Aaron and I attended. It was one of the few times I have been in a community where everyone (as far as I could tell) were churched. Quite a different atmosphere, as each group seemed to seek to out church the next. Since they moved to Pennsylvania I think of Ted and Ivy often; I am pleased to have played a part in their lives, as we experienced God together.

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