Knowing God

October 3, 2019

“Today we have a “Christian” society, but to most people, God is still unknown… ” (Life Application Study Bible, Acts 17:23)

 

“Somewhere in every one of us is a deep longing to make contact with the unknown, with some “higher power”—something greater or wiser or more powerful than ourselves.” (Derek Prince)

 

“It is easier to measure the entire sea with a tiny cup than to grasp the ineffable greatness of God with the human mind…No matter what kind of language is used, it will be unable to speak of God as He is and what He is. The perfection of learning is to know God in such a manner that, although you realize He is not unknown, you perceive that He cannot be described.” (St. Basil the Great, St. Hilary of Poitiers)

 

“God exists outside of creation, for nothing can contain Him; rather, He contains all things in Himself, and is present everywhere…and fills all things… “God is the source of all activity throughout creation. He cannot be seen or described in his own nature and in all His greatness by any of his creatures. Yet He is certainly not unknown. Through his Word the whole creation learns that there is one God the Father, who holds all things together and gives them their being. As it is written in the Gospel, “No man has ever seen God, except the only-begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father; He has revealed Him.” (Orthodox Study Bible, Deuteronomy 4:39, St. Irenaeus of Lyons)

 

“God did not remain in His invisible nature . . . and leave Himself utterly unknown to humankind. He structured creation so that, although He is invisible by nature, He may nonetheless be known by His works.” (St. Athanasius)

 

God is a spiritual Being from Whom everything has received its existence, and without Whom nothing can be imagined; in Whom everything has its origin, continuation, life, and preservation; Who is infinitely greater than any time and space; Who never had either beginning nor ending; before Whom everything is as though it did not exist, Who is wholly everywhere; Who is not restricted either by any space or any atom, nor mountain, nor heavenly body, nor sea, nor air, nor fire, nor earth; Who Himself eternally fills all space, and Who Himself by His Power keeps in existence everything that exists, Who is in every place, in every unimaginable point of space, and Himself unlimitedly contains every space - in a word, God is that Which Is, that is to say, as it were, alone existing, the One Who Is.” (St. John of Krondstadt)

 

“Human nature is dynamically charged or magnetized toward God. We are hardwired that way. We have a natural inclination and movement toward our Maker. It is a powerful energy and orienting force that can be misdirected but never completely suppressed or erased. In its ideal state, it is rooted in the present moment and moves freely toward Him without hesitation or reasoning.” (Kevin Scherer)

 

"It is heresy to suggest that God is entirely beyond human understanding or utterly inaccessible, the Fathers refuted this by teaching that there is a degree of knowledge of God which is both possible and necessary for us. However, they also recognise that our mental processes are capable of dwelling on the Divine attributes but not the very essence of God. This does not contradict the belief that God is ultimately simple, but since each attribute of God is really an aspect of another the confusion comes from our own singleness of vision. Divine love and infinite being cannot be known except through mystical union with God." (Father Spyridon Baily)

 

“The gospel says that eternal life is “to know God and Jesus Christ whom He has sent” (Jn. 17:3). It does not say that eternal life is to think or believe certain things about Christ, but to actually know Him.” (Father Stephen Freeman)

 

"Human beings must be encountered because they are by nature personal. God is infinitely personal, and the only way to know God is to be in relationship with Him. We do not know about God, we grow to know Him." (Father Spyridon Baily) “You cannot know God – but you have to know Him to know that.” (Father Thomas Hopko)

 

“Knowing God goes beyond what we think, see or feel. It is an inner knowledge of God that cannot be taken from us. When we have this inner knowledge, nothing outward can sway us from our belief in God.” (Daily Word Devotions)

 

“I have often used the example of riding a bicycle as an image of knowing God. There’s no difficulty learning how to ride if you don’t mind falling off for a while. But no matter how many years you have ridden, you cannot describe for someone else how you know what you know. But you know it…we cannot describe the knowledge that we have, because the knowledge itself is not something in addition to us. We ourselves become the knowledge of riding. We become riders in that act of knowing, and no one can know unless they themselves become a rider.” (Father Stephen Freeman)

 

“Not every man who comes into this world is necessarily enlightened by the Logos (cf. John 1:9), for many remain unenlightened and have no share in the light of knowledge. But every man who comes into the real world of the virtues by his own free will, and so through a voluntary birth, is unquestionably enlightened by the Logos, receiving an immutable state of virtue and an infallible understanding of true knowledge...When a man has not received knowledge by grace, even though he calls a particular thing spiritual, he does not know its true character from experience. For mere learning does not produce a state of spiritual knowledge.” (St. Maximos the Confessor)

 

“Man’s chief aim should be to find God. In finding God, he finds true happiness.… We can never thank God sufficiently for revealing Himself to us. We can never even thank Him enough for the other goods He bestows upon us. God need not have created man: He had hosts of angels. Yet He created man and countless marvelous things for him." (Elder Joseph the Hesychast)

 

“Many people believe God exists, but they do not know Him. It is one thing to believe in God, but quite another to have a personal relationship with Him…To know Christ should be our ultimate goal.” (Abbot Tryphon, Life Application Study Bible, Philippians 3:8)

 

“To know God is also to know my self. All things take on their proper meaning in their proper light in the presence of the knowledge of God. If the knowledge of God does not have this effect, then it surely is knowledge of something else. For in the presence of God, everything else must become relative, and relative only to Him. Everything takes its true form and shape in the light of the Light.” (Father Stephen Freeman)

 

“No matter how much we may study, it is not possible to come to know God unless we live according to His commandments, for God is not known by science, but by the Holy Spirit. Many philosophers and learned men came to the belief that God exists, but they did not know God. It is one thing to believe that God exists and another to know Him. If someone has come to know God by the Holy Spirit, his soul will burn with love for God day and night, and his soul cannot be bound to any earthly thing.” (St. Silouan the Athonite)

 

“In order to know God, you first have to admit that you don’t know Him.” (Father Stephen Freeman)“God is knowable and wants to be known—but we have to want to know Him. Acts of service and worship must be accompanied by sincere devotion of the heart.” (Life Application Study Bible, Deuteronomy 4:29)

 

"The more we come to know God, the more we trust in Him and the more we dedicate ourselves to Him." (Archimandrite Vassilios Papavassiliou)

 

"As long as you are proud you cannot know God. A proud man is always looking down on thing and people: and, of course, as long as you are looking down you cannot see something that is above you." (C. S. Lewis)

 

"Jesus reveals God. Jesus comes to reveal the Father’s Love for us. He embraces everything human. He takes upon Himself our weakness, our stubbornness, our willfulness, our brokenness, our sinfulness.” (Father John Zeyack)

 

“Before Christ came, people could know God partially. After Christ came, people could know

God fully because He became visible and tangible in Christ. Christ is the perfect expression of God in human form... As we get to know Christ better, our understanding of God will increase.” (Life Application Study Bible, John 1:14, 17)

 

“This is what our faith offers us – not empty relationships, or unfaithful loves, but the very love of God Himself. And to know God’s love is to know our own goodness and fully become ourselves.” (Father John Zeyack)