Do you know Justin Bieber? The Queen? My hunch is that you know about them, but you don’t actually know them, and they might not know you.
How do you get to know a person? You don’t really know someone until you have spent time with each other and shared something of yourselves. A few years ago, our daughter told us about ‘36 questions designed to help you fall in love with anyone’. They are questions that progress from moderately personal (“Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest?”) to quite intimate and demanding (“Of all the people in your family, whose death would you find most disturbing? Why?”) The premise is that the more you share of yourself and another person shares of themselves, the more you build intimacy and vulnerability, and both are precursors of love. Knowing in the sense of ‘knowing about’ becomes knowing in the biblical sense.
How do we apply that to our relationship with God? How do we get to know the God who knows us through and through? Reading and studying his word is one way, but nothing replaces spending time with him and opening ourselves to his presence, to listen to the still small voice that so easily gets drowned out by everything going on.
Spending time with him in intimacy and vulnerability gives him the chance to reveal himself to us and puts us on the path to knowing and loving him better.