Knowing God

alan ford

Well-known member
In the realm of spirituality and religion, we often come across individuals who claim to have an intimate understanding of God. They confidently proclaim that they know God intimately, their faith unwavering and their connection unbreakable. They speak of God with a familiarity that suggests they have uncovered the deepest secrets of the divine. However, within this assertion lies an underlying truth: the God they profess to know has often been molded by their own beliefs, values, and desires.

It is a uniquely human trait to crave a connection with the divine, to seek comfort in the idea of an all-knowing, all-loving creator watching over us. So, in this quest for understanding and comfort, we often craft God in our own image. We mold our beliefs, values, and desires onto this deity, shaping God to fit neatly into our own understanding.
However, in doing so, we risk reducing God to a mere reflection of ourselves, a projection of our own aspirations and limitations. We embrace a God who endorses our beliefs and approves of our actions, effectively placing a divine stamp of validation on our choices. While this can be comforting, we must realize that by doing this we risk limiting our understanding. We should question our true motives: Are we genuinely seeking to know God, or are we merely trying to validate ourselves through the deity we've created?

Jesus warns against those who claim to know God but rely on their own works and self-proclaimed spirituality. He emphasizes the importance of doing the will of God rather than merely professing faith. (Matthew 15:8, 9) He criticizes those who engage in superficial worship and adhere to human-made rules rather than truly seeking a genuine relationship with God, and highlights the importance of sincere devotion and genuine inward transformation. (Matthew 23:25, 26)

To know God is to embark on a journey of discovery, one that goes beyond the confines of our limited understanding. It requires humility, a willingness to embrace mystery, and a willingness to consider that our carefully constructed notions of God may fall short of His infinite reality. Knowing God does not involve shaping Him to our liking but allowing ourselves to be shaped and transformed by Him.
 

Ms_ladyblue

Well-known member
In the realm of spirituality and religion, we often come across individuals who claim to have an intimate understanding of God. They confidently proclaim that they know God intimately, their faith unwavering and their connection unbreakable. They speak of God with a familiarity that suggests they have uncovered the deepest secrets of the divine. However, within this assertion lies an underlying truth: the God they profess to know has often been molded by their own beliefs, values, and desires.

It is a uniquely human trait to crave a connection with the divine, to seek comfort in the idea of an all-knowing, all-loving creator watching over us. So, in this quest for understanding and comfort, we often craft God in our own image. We mold our beliefs, values, and desires onto this deity, shaping God to fit neatly into our own understanding.
However, in doing so, we risk reducing God to a mere reflection of ourselves, a projection of our own aspirations and limitations. We embrace a God who endorses our beliefs and approves of our actions, effectively placing a divine stamp of validation on our choices. While this can be comforting, we must realize that by doing this we risk limiting our understanding. We should question our true motives: Are we genuinely seeking to know God, or are we merely trying to validate ourselves through the deity we've created?

Jesus warns against those who claim to know God but rely on their own works and self-proclaimed spirituality. He emphasizes the importance of doing the will of God rather than merely professing faith. (Matthew 15:8, 9) He criticizes those who engage in superficial worship and adhere to human-made rules rather than truly seeking a genuine relationship with God, and highlights the importance of sincere devotion and genuine inward transformation. (Matthew 23:25, 26)

To know God is to embark on a journey of discovery, one that goes beyond the confines of our limited understanding. It requires humility, a willingness to embrace mystery, and a willingness to consider that our carefully constructed notions of God may fall short of His infinite reality. Knowing God does not involve shaping Him to our liking but allowing ourselves to be shaped and transformed by Him.
I appreciate your posting this because knowing Jehovah is so very important. No, we can’t ‘mold‘ Jehovah into the kind of God we want him to be. To me, that’s not satisfying because I’m a realist and I want to know Jehovah as he really is. Years ago I decided that I wanted to learn about Jehovah personally by reading the different accounts in the Bible without the use of WT publications. That way I was getting God’s thoughts and not other men’s thoughts.

Looking up Bible accounts about how Jehovah dealt with individuals is what helped me to learn about him more intimately. Yes, we know he does not tolerate wickedness but he definitely understands our weaknesses and knows we are made from the dust.
Think about this one person in the Bible and how Jehovah viewed him. Note this:
“Jehovah searches through us, he carefully sifts, looking for the good. For instance, when Jehovah decreed that the entire apostate dynasty of King Jeroboam was to be executed, He ordered that one of the king’s sons, Abijah, be given a decent burial. Why? “Jehovah the God of Israel has found something good” in him. (1 Kings 14:1, 10-13) Jehovah, in effect, sifted through the heart of that young man and found “something good” there. However small or insignificant that bit of good may have been, Jehovah found it worth noting in his Word. He even rewarded it, showing an appropriate degree of mercy to that one member of an apostate household.” So God’s word says of this:

“for that reason here I am bringing calamity upon the house of Jer·o·boʹam, and I shall certainly cut off from Jer·o·boʹam anyone urinating against a wall, a helpless and worthless one in Israel; and I shall indeed make a clean sweep behind the house of Jer·o·boʹam, just as one clears away the dung until it is disposed of. 11 The one dying of Jer·o·boʹam’s in the city, the dogs will eat; and the one dying in the field, the fowls of the heavens will eat, because Jehovah himself has spoken it.”’ 12 “And you yourself, rise up, go to your house. When your feet come into the city the child will certainly die. 13 And all Israel will indeed bewail him and bury him, because this one alone of Jer·o·boʹam’s will come into a burial place; FOR THE REASON THAT SOMETHING GOOD TOWARD JEHOVAH THE GOD OF ISRAEL HAS BEEN FOUND IN HIM IN THE HOUSE OF JEROBOAM.” —1 Kings 14:10-13
From this and other accounts you learn that Jehovah is not only loving, compassionate and merciful, but because of his love for us he doesn’t tolerate wickedness or oppression. He looks and treats us as individuals.
The Bible says that we were made in his image, his likeness. What does that say?
It also says that God IS love. When we read 1 Corinthians the 13th chapter we learn what love is. It’s really not hard to know God if we really want to come to know him as he REALLY is.

“He that does not love has not come to know God, because God is love.” —1 John 4:8
 

Serenity

Well-known member
In the realm of spirituality and religion, we often come across individuals who claim to have an intimate understanding of God. They confidently proclaim that they know God intimately, their faith unwavering and their connection unbreakable. They speak of God with a familiarity that suggests they have uncovered the deepest secrets of the divine. However, within this assertion lies an underlying truth: the God they profess to know has often been molded by their own beliefs, values, and desires.

It is a uniquely human trait to crave a connection with the divine, to seek comfort in the idea of an all-knowing, all-loving creator watching over us. So, in this quest for understanding and comfort, we often craft God in our own image. We mold our beliefs, values, and desires onto this deity, shaping God to fit neatly into our own understanding.
However, in doing so, we risk reducing God to a mere reflection of ourselves, a projection of our own aspirations and limitations. We embrace a God who endorses our beliefs and approves of our actions, effectively placing a divine stamp of validation on our choices. While this can be comforting, we must realize that by doing this we risk limiting our understanding. We should question our true motives: Are we genuinely seeking to know God, or are we merely trying to validate ourselves through the deity we've created?

Jesus warns against those who claim to know God but rely on their own works and self-proclaimed spirituality. He emphasizes the importance of doing the will of God rather than merely professing faith. (Matthew 15:8, 9) He criticizes those who engage in superficial worship and adhere to human-made rules rather than truly seeking a genuine relationship with God, and highlights the importance of sincere devotion and genuine inward transformation. (Matthew 23:25, 26)

To know God is to embark on a journey of discovery, one that goes beyond the confines of our limited understanding. It requires humility, a willingness to embrace mystery, and a willingness to consider that our carefully constructed notions of God may fall short of His infinite reality. Knowing God does not involve shaping Him to our liking but allowing ourselves to be shaped and transformed by Him.
Excellent post Alan, and so true. It brought this scripture to mind.

“For the thoughts of YOU people are not my thoughts, nor are my ways YOUR ways,” is the utterance of Jehovah. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than YOUR ways, and my thoughts than YOUR thoughts."
Isaiah 55:8, 9
 

evw

Well-known member
In the realm of spirituality and religion, we often come across individuals who claim to have an intimate understanding of God. They confidently proclaim that they know God intimately, their faith unwavering and their connection unbreakable. They speak of God with a familiarity that suggests they have uncovered the deepest secrets of the divine. However, within this assertion lies an underlying truth: the God they profess to know has often been molded by their own beliefs, values, and desires.

It is a uniquely human trait to crave a connection with the divine, to seek comfort in the idea of an all-knowing, all-loving creator watching over us. So, in this quest for understanding and comfort, we often craft God in our own image. We mold our beliefs, values, and desires onto this deity, shaping God to fit neatly into our own understanding.
However, in doing so, we risk reducing God to a mere reflection of ourselves, a projection of our own aspirations and limitations. We embrace a God who endorses our beliefs and approves of our actions, effectively placing a divine stamp of validation on our choices. While this can be comforting, we must realize that by doing this we risk limiting our understanding. We should question our true motives: Are we genuinely seeking to know God, or are we merely trying to validate ourselves through the deity we've created?

Jesus warns against those who claim to know God but rely on their own works and self-proclaimed spirituality. He emphasizes the importance of doing the will of God rather than merely professing faith. (Matthew 15:8, 9) He criticizes those who engage in superficial worship and adhere to human-made rules rather than truly seeking a genuine relationship with God, and highlights the importance of sincere devotion and genuine inward transformation. (Matthew 23:25, 26)

To know God is to embark on a journey of discovery, one that goes beyond the confines of our limited understanding. It requires humility, a willingness to embrace mystery, and a willingness to consider that our carefully constructed notions of God may fall short of His infinite reality. Knowing God does not involve shaping Him to our liking but allowing ourselves to be shaped and transformed by Him.
Thank you for posting this, two scriptures, who are my favored, comes to mind:
Proverbs 20:24 'A man’s footsteps are directed by Jehovah; How can a man understand his own way?' and
Proverbs 3:5, 7 'Trust in Jehovah with all your heart, And do not rely on your own understanding. Do not become wise in your own eyes. Fear Jehovah and turn away from bad.
 

alan ford

Well-known member
I appreciate your posting this because knowing Jehovah is so very important. No, we can’t ‘mold‘ Jehovah into the kind of God we want him to be. To me, that’s not satisfying because I’m a realist and I want to know Jehovah as he really is. Years ago I decided that I wanted to learn about Jehovah personally by reading the different accounts in the Bible without the use of WT publications. That way I was getting God’s thoughts and not other men’s thoughts.

Looking up Bible accounts about how Jehovah dealt with individuals is what helped me to learn about him more intimately. Yes, we know he does not tolerate wickedness but he definitely understands our weaknesses and knows we are made from the dust.
Think about this one person in the Bible and how Jehovah viewed him. Note this:
“Jehovah searches through us, he carefully sifts, looking for the good. For instance, when Jehovah decreed that the entire apostate dynasty of King Jeroboam was to be executed, He ordered that one of the king’s sons, Abijah, be given a decent burial. Why? “Jehovah the God of Israel has found something good” in him. (1 Kings 14:1, 10-13) Jehovah, in effect, sifted through the heart of that young man and found “something good” there. However small or insignificant that bit of good may have been, Jehovah found it worth noting in his Word. He even rewarded it, showing an appropriate degree of mercy to that one member of an apostate household.” So God’s word says of this:

“for that reason here I am bringing calamity upon the house of Jer·o·boʹam, and I shall certainly cut off from Jer·o·boʹam anyone urinating against a wall, a helpless and worthless one in Israel; and I shall indeed make a clean sweep behind the house of Jer·o·boʹam, just as one clears away the dung until it is disposed of. 11 The one dying of Jer·o·boʹam’s in the city, the dogs will eat; and the one dying in the field, the fowls of the heavens will eat, because Jehovah himself has spoken it.”’ 12 “And you yourself, rise up, go to your house. When your feet come into the city the child will certainly die. 13 And all Israel will indeed bewail him and bury him, because this one alone of Jer·o·boʹam’s will come into a burial place; FOR THE REASON THAT SOMETHING GOOD TOWARD JEHOVAH THE GOD OF ISRAEL HAS BEEN FOUND IN HIM IN THE HOUSE OF JEROBOAM.” —1 Kings 14:10-13
From this and other accounts you learn that Jehovah is not only loving, compassionate and merciful, but because of his love for us he doesn’t tolerate wickedness or oppression. He looks and treats us as individuals.
The Bible says that we were made in his image, his likeness. What does that say?
It also says that God IS love. When we read 1 Corinthians the 13th chapter we learn what love is. It’s really not hard to know God if we really want to come to know him as he REALLY is.

“He that does not love has not come to know God, because God is love.” —1 John 4:8
We have another example of who Jehovah is when we look at Jesus. He explained that anyone who has seen him has seen the Father, because the Father lives in him and is doing his own work through him (John 8:19; John 12:45; Colossians 2:9). Jesus repeatedly told the people that if they knew him, they would also know the Father. This is why it's so important getting to know Jesus and applying his teachings in our life.

Excellent post Alan, and so true. It brought this scripture to mind.

“For the thoughts of YOU people are not my thoughts, nor are my ways YOUR ways,” is the utterance of Jehovah. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than YOUR ways, and my thoughts than YOUR thoughts."
Isaiah 55:8, 9
Yes, this is what I wanted to get at. We need to acknowledge the limitations of our human perception, and open ourselves to the mystery that surpasses our imagination. The Jews were in expectation of the Messiah, but Jehovah surprised them. They never expected that the Messiah would be a lowly man who was to be killed for our sins even though they had access to the prophecies about him. (Isaiah 53:2) They still expect some kind of glorious manifestation of a fleshly leader as far as I am aware. In a way Jehovah is both profoundly familiar and mysterious at the same time which is so humbling. This tendency to reduce God to human proprtions, so he is more comprehensible and "controllable" is really not doing us any justice, because in that way we're missing out on so much imo...

Thank you for posting this, two scriptures, who are my favored, comes to mind:
Proverbs 20:24 'A man’s footsteps are directed by Jehovah; How can a man understand his own way?' and
Proverbs 3:5, 7 'Trust in Jehovah with all your heart, And do not rely on your own understanding. Do not become wise in your own eyes. Fear Jehovah and turn away from bad.
I'd also add Prov. 28:26: Those who trust in themselves are fools, but those who walk in wisdom are kept safe.
 

Ms_ladyblue

Well-known member
We have another example of who Jehovah is when we look at Jesus. He explained that anyone who has seen him has seen the Father, because the Father lives in him and is doing his own work through him (John 8:19; John 12:45; Colossians 2:9). Jesus repeatedly told the people that if they knew him, they would also know the Father. This is why it's so important getting to know Jesus and applying his teachings in our life.
You’re exactly right…of course it goes without saying that Jesus is the “reflection“ of his Father. As Hebrews 1:1-3 says:
“God, who long ago spoke on many occasions and in many ways to our forefathers by means of the prophets, has at the end of these days spoken to us by means of a Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the systems of things.HE IS THE REFLECTION OF HIS GLORY AND THE EXACT REPRESENTATION OF HIS VERY BEING, and he sustains all things by the word of his power; and after he had made a purification for our sins he sat down on the right hand of the Majesty in lofty places.”


Without coming to know Jesus we would be lost. How loving of Jehovah to…not only provide us with his Son’s sacrifice but also the example Jesus set as well preserving his word for us to learn about both our father and his son, Jesus.
 
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Serenity

Well-known member
We have another example of who Jehovah is when we look at Jesus. He explained that anyone who has seen him has seen the Father, because the Father lives in him and is doing his own work through him (John 8:19; John 12:45; Colossians 2:9). Jesus repeatedly told the people that if they knew him, they would also know the Father. This is why it's so important getting to know Jesus and applying his teachings in our life.


Yes, this is what I wanted to get at. We need to acknowledge the limitations of our human perception, and open ourselves to the mystery that surpasses our imagination. The Jews were in expectation of the Messiah, but Jehovah surprised them. They never expected that the Messiah would be a lowly man who was to be killed for our sins even though they had access to the prophecies about him. (Isaiah 53:2) They still expect some kind of glorious manifestation of a fleshly leader as far as I am aware. In a way Jehovah is both profoundly familiar and mysterious at the same time which is so humbling. This tendency to reduce God to human proprtions, so he is more comprehensible and "controllable" is really not doing us any justice, because in that way we're missing out on so much imo...

I'd also add Prov. 28:26: Those who trust in themselves are fools, but those who walk in wisdom are kept safe.
This involved some serious and deep thought Alan, and is very well written and well worth spending the time to read. Also, the other comments on this thread are very positive and encouraging. Thank you. 🤗
 

Carl

Well-known member
In the realm of spirituality and religion, we often come across individuals who claim to have an intimate understanding of God. They confidently proclaim that they know God intimately, their faith unwavering and their connection unbreakable. They speak of God with a familiarity that suggests they have uncovered the deepest secrets of the divine. However, within this assertion lies an underlying truth: the God they profess to know has often been molded by their own beliefs, values, and desires.

It is a uniquely human trait to crave a connection with the divine, to seek comfort in the idea of an all-knowing, all-loving creator watching over us. So, in this quest for understanding and comfort, we often craft God in our own image. We mold our beliefs, values, and desires onto this deity, shaping God to fit neatly into our own understanding.
However, in doing so, we risk reducing God to a mere reflection of ourselves, a projection of our own aspirations and limitations. We embrace a God who endorses our beliefs and approves of our actions, effectively placing a divine stamp of validation on our choices. While this can be comforting, we must realize that by doing this we risk limiting our understanding. We should question our true motives: Are we genuinely seeking to know God, or are we merely trying to validate ourselves through the deity we've created?

Jesus warns against those who claim to know God but rely on their own works and self-proclaimed spirituality. He emphasizes the importance of doing the will of God rather than merely professing faith. (Matthew 15:8, 9) He criticizes those who engage in superficial worship and adhere to human-made rules rather than truly seeking a genuine relationship with God, and highlights the importance of sincere devotion and genuine inward transformation. (Matthew 23:25, 26)

To know God is to embark on a journey of discovery, one that goes beyond the confines of our limited understanding. It requires humility, a willingness to embrace mystery, and a willingness to consider that our carefully constructed notions of God may fall short of His infinite reality. Knowing God does not involve shaping Him to our liking but allowing ourselves to be shaped and transformed by Him.
I was just thinking about the "truth" movement. I hear people say, "well, that's your truth, my truth is..." This satanic movement is due to the lack of reason among non-believers. The main characteristic of reasoning is the search for truth. In my search, I found the JWs, then this forum. My sons believe they've found the truth in the Catholic Church. Ultimately, one Truth will emerge, and all other "truths" will follow Satan to their end. I don't mold Jehovah to my expectations, and I don't mold future events to my own conjecture. That said, I'm here because I believe this forum has given me the tools necessary to discern the Truth once Jesus comes to unveil it. I just hope everyone I love will listen to his instructions.


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alan ford

Well-known member
I hear people say, "well, that's your truth, my truth is..."
I'm reminded of this quote: "Most people don't want the truth. They just want constant reassurance that what they believe is the truth."

discern the Truth once Jesus comes to unveil it
But he already did. He said I am the way, the truth and the life. Maybe look at all these (the way, the truth, the life) separately and figure out what they are and you will get your answer. What does it mean when Jesus declares that he is the truth? To me that means that he is not just a teacher of truth, but the embodiment of truth itself. He is the source of truth and all his teachings are true.

I also have this question in mind: Jesus is the truth about what/who? In my mind this connects to the fact that he is the exact reflection of the Father, and the fact of how he lived his life while on earth. So my deduction is this: knowing truth means knowing Jesus, means knowing God. But another thing about truth is, it's not just about knowing it, but being in it. (John 14:20)
 

alan ford

Well-known member
knowing truth means knowing Jesus, means knowing God
In the context of "knowing Jesus," it means developing a deep and close connection with him. It may involve visualizing that Jesus is always present with us, and actively comparing our daily situations with situations from Jesus' daily life. By doing so, we can imagine how he would act in the circumstances we find ourselves in. The goal is to emulate his actions through our own actions, making his actions our own. This process of emulation leads to transformation, shaping us to mirror the likeness of Christ.
 

Ms_ladyblue

Well-known member
In the context of "knowing Jesus," it means developing a deep and close connection with him. It may involve visualizing that Jesus is always present with us, and actively comparing our daily situations with situations from Jesus' daily life. By doing so, we can imagine how he would act in the circumstances we find ourselves in. The goal is to emulate his actions through our own actions, making his actions our own. This process of emulation leads to transformation, shaping us to mirror the likeness of Christ.
“In fact, to this [course] YOU were called, because even Christ suffered for YOU, leaving YOU a model for YOU to follow his steps closely.”—1 Peter 2:21
 
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