Getting to know God personally is the most fulfilling thing you will ever have in your life. It’s often difficult to grasp because we wonder if we can ever know God personally.
My journey to experience God more personally probably began in my late middle school / high school years. I can’t point to a specific date, but I know it was around that time I started wanting to understand more and learn more about my Creator. I remember binge watching a TV channel that was dedicated to God centered music and programs. I also remember finding different strategies to read the Bible and pray. I was never too consistent, but there was this deep desire in me to know God, to understand Him and follow Him, no matter the cost.
In my college days, I remember wanting to attend a 3 night pentecostal prayer meeting hosted by a traveling pastor in a nearby church. My parents knew him personally, and by his words and actions, we knew God was working through him. I wanted so much to be like him, to have such a close relationship with God, and to exercise supernatural gifts with humility. I attended all three nights of prayer.
When kids my age would have opted to stay away from this kind of church service, I willingly went in and stayed diligent on all three nights. These services went on for 3 to 4 hours each night, and each night, I would see people worshipping God out loud, speaking in tongues, getting healed, and I stood there with nothing. I could not sense the Holy Spirit moving or experiencing any change in how I perceived God. I did not speak in tongues or feel goosebumps or have a warm fuzzy feeling or see a great light . I stood there – still like a rock.
I was a bit disappointed that I had spent 3 nights wanting more of Him, and yet there was nothing. I went home discouraged but not hopeless. I continued asking God for a supernatural encounter, but nothing supernatural happened. But, my desire for Him never changed. I still prayed and read the Bible and listened to sound teachings while using discernment and referring to the Bible to verify what I was learning. I continued to grow slowly in my faith. That was grace!
Today, I talk about dreams, visions, and prophecies. How did that come to be? I don’t know. There were no big signs. There was no speaking in tongues. Looking back, I realize that God in His faithfulness helped me draw closer to Him. His desire is always to help us know Him more intimately. I haven’t perfected the art of understanding God’s heart. His love is deep, and mystery is in his very nature. The closer I get, the more I understand. He continues to take me deeper into His presence one day at a time. Sometimes, He reveals unsearchable things, and sometimes, His presence is silence.
It doesn’t matter how God reveals His heart to you, be it through dramatic encounters or through His silent presence, receive it by faith. Trust in His goodness to lead you closer to Him as you live a life of complete surrender, seeking and desiring to know Him as your highest priority. It may sound like a cliché but read your Bible and pray. Don’t just listen to what others teach you, but ask the Spirit of God for discernment and for Him to teach you.
God loves you and will lead you. Jesus promised that His sheep will know His voice. You are His sheep, He is the Good Shepherd. He will make Himself known to you. There will come a day when you will know His voice clearly, keep asking and listening.