What Does It Truly Take To Know God
- June 18, 2012
- Robert Tamasy
To succeed in the business world, we need to know people: “I know my customers/clients.” “I know my employees.” “I know my staff.” “I know my team.” But how well do we truly know them?
In the workplace, we deal with many people on a regular basis, whether teaming up on a project, giving or receiving detailed assignments, soliciting their feedback or assistance. We exchange texts and emails with individuals throughout the day. We might know specific information about them – their work history, skills sets, how they dress, what kind of car they drive, personal interests. But does that mean we truly know them?
Our world encourages superficial relationships: Communication consists of voice mail, texting, emails exchanged like ping-pong balls, casual greetings. Even when we work together to successfully complete a project, we might know other team members only according to their roles in getting the work done.
Technological advancements in many ways have speeded up productivity, making it more efficient, but this “high-tech, low-touch” environment has taken a toll on workplace camaraderie and interaction. We cannot know everyone intimately, and do not need to, but conscious, intentional effort can reward us with meaningful, in-depth relationships that can enhance our work experience.
Interestingly, often a key ingredient for a strong relationship is adversity. Anyone can be a “friend” when all is going well, but during times of hardship and struggle, the stress of the moment tends to reveal what a person is truly like on the inside – good or bad. Supporting one another during difficult times often deepens and strengthens personal bonds. As Ecclesiastes 4:12 says, “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”
The same is true in a spiritual sense. We can claim to “know God.” But if knowing Him is limited to believing He will always answer our prayers in the way we want them to be answered, that is not what it means to truly know God. As a friend of mine often says, “God is good – all the time.” That includes times when things do not go the way we want. Here are some thoughts the Bible has about knowing God:
Knowing about God. Even a cursory glance at the world around us provides abundant information about God, so it is easy to know “about God”: “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so men are without excuse” (Romans 1:20).
Commitment to knowing God. While we can observe much about God, truly knowing Him demands resolve and commitment. The apostle Paul defined it as his life’s purpose: “(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” (Philippians 3:10, Amplified).
Knowing – and trusting – God. Knowing God means trusting He knows better what we need and what is best for us than we do: “’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future’” (Jeremiah 29:11).
Robert J. Tamasy is vice president of communications for Leaders Legacy, Inc., a non-profit organization based in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A. A veteran journalist, he has written Tufting Legacies (iUniverse); Business At Its Best: Timeless Wisdom from Proverbs for Today’s Workplace (River City Press); and has coauthored with David A. Stoddard, The Heart of Mentoring (NavPress). For more information, see www.leaderslegacy.com or his blogs, www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com and www.bobtamasy.wordpress.com.
1. Who is the person in your life that you know the best? Why does this particular individual come to mind – and what has enabled you to know him or her so well?
2. What are some of the factors that can enable you to truly know someone, rather than having a superficial knowledge of them based on the role they play in your life?
3. Does it even matter whether we know other people well – especially in the workplace? Why or why not?
4. If you were to say, “I know God,” what would that mean for you?
5. How would you advise someone seeking to get to know God is a deeper, more profound way?
NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to review additional passages that relate to this topic, consider the following verses:
Psalm 100:1-3, 139:1-6,23-24; John 10:1-18, 14:6-7, John 15:1-8, 17:3; 1 John 5:11-15