By Joel Iyorwa
What we want to have is not just the inferior head knowledge but the heart knowledge of God which we may also refer to as ‘experiential knowledge.’ This is the way God wants us to know Him as well.
Factual knowledge of God can be accidentally or coincidentally acquired. It is transferable as well. But experiential (heart) knowledge is never acquired by any accidental means but through the deliberate and conscious devotion of the heart.
The key to experientially knowing God is to be found in advice that David gave to his son Solomon: “Now set your heart and your soul to seek the Lord your God” (1 Chron. 22:19). This kind of knowledge of God is not exactly transferable, everyone must individually get a hold of it.
It comes to us when we show desperation in crying out passionately and with great hunger for it. It comes to men and women who become discontented with their fringe, nominal Christian experience.
Being in a seminary or being a faithful church member doesn’t qualify one for this kind of knowledge of God. It is the cry of desperation and hunger that does.
The Apostle Paul got this and he summarized it when he said, “that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection…” (Phil 3:10).
God Himself declared unequivocally,
“when you seek me in prayer and worship, you will find me available to you. If you seek me with all your heart and soul, I will make myself available to you, says the Lord” (Jer. 29:13-14, NET Bible).
When the quest to know God trickles down from the head to the heart, God also moves into our hearts. Then we do not just have facts about God but we know Him in a living and loving relationship and experience who He is.
Knowing God is indeed not about what is His shape and size and form, but about His enduring presence, His attribute and characteristics finding unhindered expression in, through and around us.
When God has moved from the head to the heart, we can say like Job “I have heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you”.
That is the moment when we do not just know the fact that God is a healer (Rapha) but actually experience Him healing us and others who are sick. That is when we do not just know with our heads that He is a provider (Jireh) but in reality experience Him providing for our needs without our cunningness.
It is also when we do not just mentally agree that God is a prayer answering God but practically experience divine answers to prayer. That is how God wants to be known, that is how we ought to know God.