When my wife and I went to the Vatican, in Rome a few years ago we saw the different art works of great artists over the centuries. We had seen the works of Michelangelo, and his incredible masterpiece on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. People were fascinated by it. Undoubtedly, people wanted to know more about him, his passion, his determination, his giftedness and his ‘agony and ecstasy’ in producing such a masterpiece. While my wife and I were eating at the Vatican restaurant, we were amazed as to why all the waiters, counter people, cooks/chef, kitchen hands were outside, smiling and looking at me. They thought I was the Actor/Artist Mr. Miyagi of the famous movie “The Karate Kid.” So there was a commotion in the whole restaurant because they wanted my autograph. Jokingly, my wife said, “if we run out of our Euros here, I think we can charge them 5 Euros for each autograph.” To give the restaurant some sort of “peace” I told them that I’m not Mr. Miyagi of the Karate Kid, just that I look like him. It’s funny even at the Western wall (Wailing wall), Jerusalem, 4 eastern European women wanted to have a photo with me as they too thought I was Mr Miyagi, I just kept quiet. I get it everywhere. Some people would like to know an artist for their pleasure and enjoyment. How about God the greatest Artist of all? A personal knowledge about Him is important.
It is imperative to discuss to some degree about the notion, ‘knowledge of God,’ because this is the heartbeat of the believer’s faith and life. The possibility of knowing God has been ignored or even denied by other world belief systems. While it is true to say that it is impossible for us to fully comprehend God, it does not necessarily mean that it is impossible for us to have no knowledge of Him. We can know Him, and this knowledge that we have received are nevertheless true and real. How is this possible? It is possible because God made the first move-He revealed Himself to us through His creation and through His Word. Without God’s initiative and by our own human resources alone it is impossible to know God or discover Him.
Essentially when man was created he has an inborn knowledge of God. This might be controversial to some people. But let me explain it in this manner. I do not mean to suggest that because man is created in the image of God he can automatically know Him or he has a natural ability to know Him. Neither does it mean that at the beginning of a person’s life on earth he brings with him a certain knowledge of God. However, it is possible to know Him, simply because every normal human being and under normal conditions a certain knowledge of God naturally develops in his being. This knowledge may be of a general nature. It is called an innate knowledge. So we could be thankful because we have that inborn knowledge of God, but of course, it is not sufficient. Man was made with a gift of choice and therefore has the ability to acquire further knowledge of God by learning from God’s general revelation (nature) and special revelation (His Word). He needs to have this strong desire to know God in a personal way. Finally God revealed Himself to us in the Person of His Son, Jesus Christ. (John 1:1-18; Heb.1:1-4, and many more).
The Scripture is clear, as said by Jesus in His prayer to the Father: “Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent” (NIV John 17: 3, the whole chapter is excellent reading). To know God is life, not only in this life, but even a good quality of life beyond the grave. Don’t you know that if you are a believer, even though you are just a simple man and woman you are wiser than most of the learned unbelievers. You have the wisdom of God. You have in your life the key to all truths. It is only when we know God in a personal relationship with Him that we can really know ourselves and the world around us. He is our greatest Artist. You are the crowning glory in the great canvass of His creation. You are His masterpiece-The Beauty and The Best. All by grace and by grace alone. (To be continued)