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Chapter 4
Being Prepared to Know God

 

You will recall that the criteria for finding God, in order that we might know Him, is that we seek Him with all our heart and with all our soul. However, before a person attains that level of commitment, they go through a process which prepares them to know Him.

The first phase of this preparation is that of acquiring the desire to know Him. The following are illustrations which show some of the ways this transpires:

1. The problems of life become unbearable to many who therefore, search earnestly for answers. God's Spirit aligns them with someone who tells them that Jesus can solve their problems. Because of this good news, they begin to seek Him.

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2. There are those who by nature have philosophical minds; they are deep thinkers. As a result, they lean toward an interest in the sciences. Through their studies they are faced with the vastness and harmony of the universe and become impressed with the fact that there has to be a God. This conviction motivates them to seek Him.

3. Others learn that the judgment of God will come upon them if they do not repent of their sin and accept His mercy and pardon. So, fear is what prompts them to approach Him.

4. Still others are drawn to God because of His great love.

The second phase of our preparation is that we commit our lives to God. We come to believe that Jesus was conceived in the virgin Mary by the Holy Spirit, that He lived a brief but sinless life performing many miracles, that He was crucified, thereby paying

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the death penalty for the sins of all mankind, that He rose up alive from the grave after being dead for three days, and that He lives today proving that He is truly God's son in human flesh. This determination is what the Bible terms being spiritually reborn, or, born again.

We then enter the third phase of preparation. As spiritual babies, we begin to grow. We read the scriptures which tell us what god is like and how He expects us to live. We talk to Him in prayer and experience His reality as He responds to us. We fellowship with others who believe in Him and observe how He impacts their lives. All of these factors increase our faith in Him, and we mature as Christians. If this growth continues, and it should, ultimately, our consuming passion is to seek God with all our heart and with all our soul.

It has appeared to me that the majority of that which draws us to God is brought about by the wooing activities of the Holy Spirit. On the other hand, the Bible plainly states that

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God will never force us to respond to Him. Burton Olson, a pastor friend of mine, says it this way,

"God is a perfect gentleman. He never comes where He is not wanted."

Being prepared to know God is somewhat like falling in love. First you learn about Him and are attracted to Him. The more you discover about Him, the more you desire to know Him. And so it goes until you long for Him with your entire inner being.

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