How do you know God? I mean it what manner are you aware of him? Is it simply an acknowledgement that he exists? Is he the God Almighty to you or something more? I ask this legitimately because Jesus said that many will knock on his door and asked to be let in but he will turn them away. He said that they will tell him that they preached, healed and did miracles in his name but he will still turn them away because he does not know them.
How we know God is important because he just doesn't wanted to be known, he wants to know you. This refers to an intimate relationship. Do you know that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob had a limited knowledge of God. He only revealed so much of himself to them. It certainly explains their behaviour as liars and thieves. They knew God as the God of the promise. He had given to them a promises and they believed him. They honoured him with sacrifices but they did not know him by his proper name. They did not know hisholiness or his Law.
God chose to truly reveal himself to his people who were in captivity, well over 500 years after Abraham. To Abraham he was God Almighty but to Israel he revealed himself as YHWH, or Jehovah, which is LORD:
And God spoke to Moses and said to him: “I am the Lord. I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, as God Almighty, but by My name Lord I was not known to them." (Exodus 6:2-3)
He would be known by many names throughout Scripture but none were used as often as YHWH, also translated as LORD. It was significant because a person can acknowledge God with no personal commitment or connection. "Do you believe there is a God?" And people respond "Yes". But it means nothing. God gave a promise to Abraham and Abraham believed him and for this reason God considered him righteous. But Abraham did not know the holiness of God. He did not know him as LORD. Many today do not know him as Lord.
The people of Israel became God's nation. He referred to them as his children and to them he revealed himself and gave to them his Law. He became everything to them, including their defender and provider but above everything else he was LORD, and to him they desired to be obedient because of his holiness. But with Jesus our Father took us to an even greater depth of relationship.
God wanted more than a religious people who would routinely offer sacrifices (attend church, pay tithe). He was not as interested in sacrifices as he was about obedience. But the obedience he sought could only come from a heart that was possessed by "Love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your mind,all your soul and all your strength." We only came to understand the love of God through Jesus, as he went to the cross for us. But he told us, "If you love me you will do what I have commanded." It is an obedience that comes from a relationship of love and trust. In love we make Jesus not just Saviour but LORD of our life.
Many, too many, look to Jesus as Saviour and do not know him as LORD. They know him as the provider and protector, our defender but never as LORD. Without knowing him as LORD we cannot understand his holiness and why we need to step aside and allow him to transform us, changing our thinking and behaviour. Without knowing him as LORD we cannot deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow him. To claim as LORD we must become completely dependent and obedient on only him. Not very attractive to most people today but remains the truth. Will he know you on that day?