How To Know The Will Of God

How To Know God

The Question: When I found this page today, it was because I typed in "How to know God" on yahoo. Now I am holding back my tears as I write to you because I have spent so long wondering how I would ever know what denomination was correct after I left the LDS church.

The Response: “How to know God?” What a wonderful question. Yet it is a question that seems rarely to be asked. Most of the time, in my experience at least, people appear more interested in knowing about God. Their search is intellectual, not spiritual. Their searches often seem to be restricted to reading books by scholars and theologians, listening to what is preached from the pulpits of their churches, and comparing their observations with others who share their particular theology. When they read Scripture, and many do, it seems they are searching for confirmations of what they hold to be truth. Is this the way to get to know anybody, much less God?

When you were a child, did you get to know your parents by reading about them or by comparing notes with other small children? Of course not. You came to know them by spending time with them. By talking with them. You observed them and tried to be like them. When you were a small child, you sought answers to your questions from your parents. With each answer, you grew in knowledge and understanding as you drew a bit closer to those who had given you life. When you were a small child, you trusted your parents and knew they loved you and were interested in your well being.

We read in Scripture that God is our Heavenly Father; that we may confidently come into His presence. Should we not come to know Him even as we came to know our earthly parents? Should we not spend time with Him? Talk with Him? Seek answers to our questions from Him?

God does not want to be a stranger to His people. He has given us all we need to know of Him in the Scriptures. He sent His Son to walk among us and help us to know Him. His Holy Spirit indwells every believer. He is not difficult to find and not hard to know.

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. - Matthew 11:28-30

Another Question: I have been at odds with so many people who tried to get me out of the LDS church because I told them that although they proclaimed the grace I wanted they then added conditions onto it that made it impossible for me to accept. If God says "believe and receive" then why can't I do just that.

Another Response: Who are today's prophets? Are there any? Or have men and women arrogated to themselves authority to speak oracles? A number of today's denominational churches teach that salvation is by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone, and then not infrequently establish additional requirements that have the effect of making man a partner in the work of salvation. In doing this, they deny the efficacy of God's grace and make Him a liar. You do well to be wary of such people.

You ask “If God says “believe and receive” then why can't I do just that?” The answer, of course, is that you can do nothing on your own to obtain salvation. When the Lord, by grace, calls a lost soul out of the darkness and quickens his dead spirit, that person receives the gift of saving faith. God declares him justified and imputes the righteousness of Christ to him. He is regenerated (born again) and will spend eternity in the presence of the Lord. This is the biblical teaching on salvation. The redeemed sinner plays no part in God's work. It is a gift that cannot be earned.

How do denominations get started? Someone reads something into Scripture that God may not have intended, or perhaps chooses to stress a particular aspect of worship, and convinces others to believe him. The private interpretation is passed from generation to generation and over time becomes a foundational doctrine of the new denomination. This is what the scholars, scribes and rabbis did with Torah. God gave the Jews 613 laws in Torah. Over the centuries, the scholars and rabbis generated an incredible complexity of interpretations of these laws that filled great volumes and bound the Jewish faithful to requirements that God never stipulated. This is what modern Pharisees do with their manmade rules and requirements that must be met before one can be considered saved and a member of their denomination. That you react so strongly to these human rules indicates to me you are a discerning person.

Recently I had even considered going back to the LDS church because I have been in such a depression thinking that I could not hear God's voice. No one seemed to agree with what I believed- that God really meant it when he said that was all I have to do. I believe my desire to obey Him is a "result" of my salvation not a condition of it.

It would have been tragic had New Testament Pharisees driven you back to the Mormon cult, but your relationship with God would not have been affected. For what it is worth, I agree with you that the desire to serve the Lord appears to be a consequence of regeneration and was never a condition for it.

If you truly are a child of the living God. There is no reason to feel inferior to anyone. How sad that so many Christians do not seem to comprehend that we all are part of the body of Christ and that, in the eyes of God, no one of us is of greater or lesser significance than any other. (1 Corinthians 12)

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