It’s easy to go to church, read the Bible, give some money, say a prayer, sing a song, serve in the Kingdom, perform a kindness and profess faith.
What’s hard is knowing that you know God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.
The theological, doctrinal, church word for this is “discernment” – the ability or awareness to discern, distinguish, determine, discriminate and detect God’s presence, leading and will. Most of the time when people say they have “heard God speak,” they are saying they have received a truth, a comfort, a direction or quite possibly even a challenge from God. And the way they received it was discernment.
Christians 100 percent “get” this, or at least we should, and accessing communication with God definitely ought to be the primary goal of every human being. It shouldn’t be all that surprising that God, who created us; the divine Jesus, who was a living, breathing man; and the Holy Spirit, who was sent to help us “discern” God (John 14:15-22, Acts 2:1-2), can communicate in sometimes startlingly plain terms with our living, breathing, stumbling lives in this world.
Philosophically, modern man – and that term means “man who believes he has helped to create and define God” (seriously, that’s what “modernism” means”) – usually winces when he hears anyone mention “talking to God.” It crosses a line between worldly rationality and otherworldly faith that shouldn’t really be there – can’t be there – if God is simply something conjured as a self-medicating mental prescriptive on man’s everyday confusion about the meaning of life, where we come from, where we fit in, where we are going and why we are here.
Knowing Christ doesn’t mean we will escape confusion, always act right or know all the answers. Non-believers are quick to say that God is a delusion, an illusion, even a deception. Yet God does amazing things with our minds. A trusting believer will entertain occasional doubts and ask questions, but discernment is as real as a sunrise.
The first tests of discerning God are selfless love and divine peace (Philippians 4:4-9). Things that “build up” His Kingdom tend to be from God. Conversely, hatred, anger and fear tend to indicate self-directed worldly interests, Satan’s favorite playground.
As for Christ? When you know Him for real, you’ll feel His presence continually; church becomes a state of mind, not just a Sunday destination; the Bible makes increasingly more sense and prayer is a time of joy. This is how God talks to us.
Never doubt God is knowable, but first you have to talk to Him.
Walters (firstname.lastname@example.org) heard a good sermon recently that ended with, “Do you know Him?”