Our store of knowledge in this day and age is growing at an ever-increasing rate, and its accessibility is instantaneous. You can get on the Internet and find just about anything that's worth knowing (and not worth knowing).
But that's just informational knowledge. What about spiritual knowledge? What about knowing God? Based on the upper room conversation Jesus had with His disciple Philip in John 14, here are four principles, four ways you can know God better:
1. By being in His presence. In verse 9, Jesus said to Philip, "He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, 'Show us the Father'?" Besides being a statement of Jesus' deity, I think these words are tinged with sadness: "We've shared so many moments in the last few years, and you still don't know Me?" It's possible to be around someone and not fully know who they are.
But it's possible to know God when you have an open heart and an inquisitive mind. The Bible promises that "you will find [the Lord] if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul" (Deuteronomy 4:29). So try spending more time in God's presence.
2. By believing in His person—learning to trust Him more. "Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me?... Believe Me that I am in the Father" (vv. 10-11). Jesus was saying to those who already believed, "Go on believing; let your faith grow." You do that by learning to trust God more and more and by diligently seeking Him (see Hebrews 11:6). One of the greatest prayers you could pray is the apostles' prayer in Luke 17:5: "Increase our faith."
3. By bending to His Word. "The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works" (v. 10). Jesus was appealing to the power of all the words He had spoken to them the last three years. Here's the principle: if you want to know God, read His book. It will form a profile, if you will, of who He is: His personality, His will, what He hates, what He loves, how He works with people. One of the strongest signs of a real child of God is that person's hunger to learn more about Him through His Word.
4. By beholding His works. "Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves" (v. 11). One way to get to know God isn't just by getting information but by seeing transformation. God is in the business of transforming lives, so find out what He's doing, observe it, and marvel at it.
I pray that your highest priority in life would be to know God above all else and be conformed into His image, and that He would take you to a deeper and more intimate level of knowing Him—as Jesus cried out in His own prayer, that you might "know…the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom [He has] sent" (John 17:3).