Just about every Christian wants a close relationship with God—but how do you start? If you want to get to know a person, you spend time with them, ask questions, listen, and see how they live. Over time, you get a sense of their personality and interests.
But God isn’t like the people we interact with every day. We can certainly spend time with Him and ask questions through prayer, but spending time with God is a little different than getting tacos with your friends.
Here’s the good news: You can get to know God better. And here’s some even better news: God wants you to get to know Him better. So, if you’re searching for a closer relationship with God, this article is for you.
God Wants to Be Known
Christians throughout history have had different views about what God is like, but they almost all agree that He’s somehow beyond us. He’s all-powerful, all-knowing, has always existed, and is everywhere all at once. And we’re, well, us. People who live for eighty years on a small planet hurtling through the universe.
So, how could we possibly get to know this God? How could we relate to Him or get to know what He wants?
Well, on our own, we can’t.
Fortunately, God doesn’t want us to live with constant anxiety, wondering how to get to know Him. No, despite our differences, God wants to be known. More than that, we see throughout the Bible that He makes a consistent effort to relate to people like us.
God is always seeking relationships.
The story of the Bible is full of people who want to know God, but they have the same question—how can people relate to a God who’s so different from us?
The answer lies in God’s character. Starting on the first page of the Bible, God is presented as someone who wants to be close to people.
He chooses to spend time with flawed, broken people. When people fail, He responds by continuing to invest in relationships. And He invites people to get involved in His mission to save the world.
God is limitless, but He seeks relationships. Why? Because God is love. He doesn’t need us, but He wants to be close to us.
Eventually, ordinary people who experienced God wrote down historical accounts, poems, letters, and laws as directed by His Spirit. These individual pieces of writing were later put together into one of the most valuable tools we possess for getting to know God: the Bible.
The Bible shows us what God is like.
The Bible is a library of books written by diverse authors in various places over a period of about 1,500 years. While the authors all have different backgrounds, styles, and cultural contexts, they all teach us something about God.
Throughout the Bible, God interacts with people in surprising ways. Sometimes He’s parting the sea, and other times He’s wrestling in the wilderness. The pages of Scripture contain hundreds of accounts of people experiencing God in different ways. All the diverse perspectives come together in the Bible to provide a portrait of what God is like.
Every person God interacts with in the Bible plays one small part in a big, unified story. Some rise to their calling and become positive examples for generations. Others share wisdom and insights about God that help us grow. And some people become cautionary tales, showing us the dangers of pursuing a life without God.
Every Bible author has something to teach us about God.
The variety of songs, history, parables, letters, poems, and laws in the Bible might seem a bit random or chaotic at first, but it’s actually an intentional library designed to help you get to know God. Every book has something fresh and beautiful to say about God. Yes, some of the content might seem strange to us without context, but this is an ancient book written about the transcendent God, so we should expect it to be a little unusual.
Jesus Shows Us What God Is Like
No one can fully understand God, but God wants to be known. That’s why, in the second half of the Bible, we read about Him personally stepping into history on earth as a man: Jesus Christ “is the visible image of the invisible God,” meaning that reading the accounts of His life in the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John is one of the best ways to get to know God.
So if you want to get to know God, start reading one of those books of the Bible today. You can either dive right in, or start a Bible Plan on the YouVersion Bible App.
What are good questions to ask as you read?
As you read the accounts about Jesus, notice how Jesus relates to people. How does He speak to people who are hurting, and how does He speak to people in power? Who does He spend time with? And how does He use His time and energy?
These questions can help you get to know God’s character and goals. They can also show us how we’re called to live as followers of Jesus.
Keep pursuing God.
God is close and wants to be known. It’s not always easy building a relationship with God—but it’s worth it. As you start reading the Bible, consider additional spiritual practices like prayer, worship, service, and rest that can help us grow closer to God. They can help you form a lasting, life-giving relationship with God.
For more on reading the Bible, check out this article: