If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.
A few days ago I was tucking my 5 year-old red-head into his bunk-bed, shooting the breeze and enjoying his usual repartee of butt jokes and what if! scenarios, when he mentioned that he and I both know God. But as soon as he said it, he blinked and went quiet for a second, then asked, “Daddy… do I know God?” Like he was wondering for the first time ever what those words even mean.
So I walked him through it. I said, “Son, knowing God is different than knowing Daddy, because you can hear Daddy’s voice with your ears and you can see Daddy’s face with your eyes, but because God is Spirit—He doesn’t have a body—knowing Him is different…
There are four ways that you and I can know God. One way is by praying to him. Just like when you talk to Daddy and Daddy hears what you say, when you talk to God, God hears what you say. He even hears the thoughts in your head. So that’s one way.
A second way is by reading the Bible. When you read God’s word, or when Mommy and Daddy read it to you, you are getting to know what God is like. That is a way of knowing God.
A third way is by doing what’s right, by doing the things that please God, the things that make him happy, like showing love to others. Acting the way God wants you to act teaches you inside your heart about what God’s heart is like. You know what the Bible says about people who do that? It says that God knows them.
But then the best way to know God, the very deepest way, is when he puts his Spirit inside of you, right in your heart, so that you can hear him in your thoughts and feelings. That’s what he does when we give our lives to Jesus. So those are the ways that we can know God.
“Oh,” he answered, gazing up from his bed, “those are the ways.”
With you for Jesus,
Pastor Daren Redekopp
p.s. If you’d like to hear the rest of the sermon where I told that story, you can get it right here.