What is God like? How does anyone get to know the true God, not all the substitute gods out there, but the God of the Bible? The God of the Bible is the one who declared,
I am the Lord, and there is no other; apart from me there is no God. (Isaiah 45:5)
Our God is the one true God.
God Wants You to Know Him
Jesus declared to his disciples and to us,
“I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you have known me, you will know my Father too. And from now on you do know him and have seen him.” (John 14:6-7)
Our God wants us to know him, and specifically, to know him as our Father. Jesus said that when we know him we get to know God the Father. Since that time, everyone who trusts in Jesus for salvation turns from substitute gods to the true and living God (1 Thessalonians 1:9). The way is open to know Him. But how do you get to know God? And more than that, how do you learn to trust Him as your Father?
Trusting God as Your Father
There is a lot of junk out there about God. And your view of God strongly influences your faith in Him. Jesus taught us to think of God as our Father in heaven, someone who is trustworthy. But your concept of father strongly influences your trust in God.
What kind of father did you have? Loving and kind or a domineering tyrant? Someone who cared for your needs or neglected you? Do you think of God as a resident policeman? Or, is he a grand old man who is more like Santa Claus fulfilling your wishes? Involved in human lives or distant? Do you think of Him as someone so perfect and demanding of perfection from you to the point that you could never please Him?
That is why it is so important to really get to know the God of the Bible. Your source of truth is not what someone on social media thinks about him unless, of course, they know the true God of the Bible. God’s greatness is far beyond human understanding. But the Bible reveals to us part of the picture. We can know him through what is revealed by him and about him. The Old Testament, especially the Psalms, is filled with descriptions of God’s character. You can know him.
Your Father God Loves You Tenderly
Sometimes seeing an earthly father love a child well helps me to understand God as my Father. Several years ago, I noticed a young man at my church named Jason. He was in his early 20s, lived daily with physical difficulties so that he could barely walk. His father helped him walk to his seat at church and held him up so he could take the offering during the service. What captured my attention is the look of deep, deep love on the father’s face as he interacted with his son. That son would never be the star quarterback or ace pitcher or do any of those other “great” things a father might expect from his son. Jason’s father did not look at him with disgust or annoyance because he squirmed a lot and needed help to go anywhere. He did not look exasperated because he needed to help Jason go to the men’s room right in the middle of a sermon. He looked at him with love. It was a beautiful picture of a father’s deep love for his son! It reminded me how deep our Heavenly Father’s love is for us as well.
I have experienced that deep father’s love. My earthly father loved me dearly so I have had no difficulty believing that God truly loved me as a Father. And, through the years, God my Father has held me up when I just could not hold myself up just as He promises in Isaiah 41:13,
“For I am the LORD your God, the one who takes hold of your right hand, who says to you, ‘Don’t be afraid, I am helping you.’”
There have been times in my life when I felt too weak to measure up to whatever I was supposed to be. I looked at all my inadequacies—all that I could not do right or as well as others. I felt afraid. I know my God was holding me up during those times just to give me that extra strength to stand. And he has whispered in my ear—through His Word, His Spirit and/or someone’s teaching—just what I needed to know for that moment.
God the Father loves you dearly. But even if you have not experienced an earthly father’s love like that, it does not negate God the Father’s deep love for you. Picture yourself sitting in Jesus’ lap, holding out your right hand for Father God to take hold and whisper in your ear, “Don’t be afraid, I am helping you.”
Your Father God Loves You Faithfully
Your God is a trustworthy Father. Jesus continually taught His disciples to consider God as their Father. This God is your Father God, too. The moment you placed your trust in Jesus Christ for your salvation, you were adopted into God’s family as His child. He is the perfect Father, the most loving Father, the most dependable Father, and the Father who cares about your every need. Our Father God’s love for you is deep and amazing.
“See what amazing love the Father has given us! Because of it, we are called children of God. And that’s what we really are!” (1 John 3:1)
Jesus continually encouraged His followers to call God, “Father.” He taught them to pray to their Father God, whom they could trust.
What if you didn’t have such a good earthly father! Your concept of a father might be pretty scary. The concept of “father” evokes as many feelings as there are people. Good. Bad. Present. Absent. Loving. Hollow. Provider. Ask anyone; it’s like a box of chocolates. God knows that. But, He wants you to know that you are dearly loved by your Father God. Dearly loved.
Think of the best father in any movie or TV show. Who comes to mind? God is even better than that father. And, you can become familiar with the character of God—those attributes that help you to know him well, love him wholeheartedly, and gain the confidence to trust him to work for good in your life.
The Character of Your Father God
God’s greatness is far beyond human understanding. But his Word does reveal to us part of the picture. Take time to think through each of the following characteristics of God and how each one affects your view of God and your relationship with him. You can know him.
- God is SOVEREIGN. (2 Samuel 7:22) God is the sovereign ruler over His creation. He rules it with supreme authority and power. Are you willing to recognize God’s authority over you—to trust that he knows what is best for you?
- God is ALL POWERFUL. (Jeremiah 32:17) God is more powerful than anything or anyone else in the entire universe. Do you feel confident that you can ask him to work in your life, and he will do it?
- God is OMNIPRESENT. (Psalm 139:5-6) God is present everywhere at the same time. How does that make you feel that you can’t go to any place where God is not with you or cannot hear your prayer to him?
- God is ALL KNOWING. (Psalm 139:1-4) God knows everything there is to know about everything. If God knows everything there is to know, does anything good or bad in your life escape God’s notice or surprise him?
- God is LOVE. (Psalm 103:8) God’s love is patient, kind, forgiving and considers what is best for the one being loved. How does knowing this make you feel as you share your heart with him?
- God is GOOD. (Psalm 119:68) He is good all the time—in the tough times, in different ways for each person, and in what He allows or does not allow into our lives. As you talk to your Heavenly Father, are you willing to trust his goodness in the way he chooses to answer your prayer?
- God is HOLY. (Habakkuk 1:13) Our holy God is set apart from anything that is sinful or evil. When we trust in Jesus, God cleanses us from sin so that we are no longer separated from him. What confidence does this give you in your relationship with God?
- God is JUST. (Romans 3:26) God always does what is morally right and fair. He desires that we uphold justice in our lives as well. God wants you to live that way and enables you to do so. Is that something you’d like to do?
Much of the New Testament assumes you know those truths about our God.
You Can Know God
In Ephesians, Paul said he was praying this for Christians,
“I keep asking that …the glorious Father, may give you the spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.” (Ephesians 1:17)
That word “know” means “going beyond objective facts to knowing God intimately as in “closely acquainted and familiar.” That is knowing him personally, as a close friend. What a gift!
We will never know all there is to know about God. There will always be some mystery about Him. But there is plenty enough revealed in the Bible that we can know Him truthfully.
Your heavenly Father is always the same—always trustworthy, always loving, always just—and much more. He is always true to who he says he is. He is the God you can know. And, he is a Father worth getting to know.
The God You Can Know Bible Study of God’s attributes:
“Let Me See Thy Glory” (A detailed study of the character of God)
Graceful Beginnings New Believers Guide (see Lesson 4; read online)
A Fresh Start Bible Study for New Christians (download pdf)