Daily Words of God: Knowing God | Excerpt 2
God’s possessions and being, God’s essence, God’s disposition—all has been made known in His words to humankind. When he experiences, man will in the process of carrying them out come to understand the purpose behind the words God speaks, and to understand the wellspring and background of God’s words, and to understand and appreciate the intended effect of God’s words. For humanity, these are all things that man must experience, realize, and access in order to access truth and life, realize God’s intentions, become transformed in his disposition, and become able to submit to God’s sovereignty and arrangements. At the same time that man experiences, realizes, and accesses these things, he will gradually have gained an understanding of God, and at this time he will also have gained different degrees of knowledge about Him. This understanding and knowledge does not come out of something man has imagined or composed, but rather from what he appreciates, experiences, feels, and corroborates within himself. Only after appreciating, experiencing, feeling, and corroborating these things does man’s knowledge of God acquire content, only the knowledge that he obtains at this time is actual, real, and accurate, and this process—of attaining genuine understanding and knowledge of God through appreciating, experiencing, feeling, and corroborating His words—is no other than true communion between man and God. In the midst of this kind of communion, man comes truly to understand and comprehend God’s intentions, comes truly to understand and know God’s possessions and being, comes truly to understand and know God’s essence, comes gradually to understand and know God’s disposition, arrives at real certainty about, and a correct definition of, the fact of God’s dominion over all creation, and gains a substantive bearing on and knowledge of God’s identity and position. In the midst of this kind of communion, man changes, step by step, his ideas about God, no longer imagining Him out of thin air, or giving rein to his own suspicions about Him, or misunderstanding Him, or condemning Him, or passing judgment on Him, or doubting Him. In consequence, man will have fewer debates with God, he will have fewer conflicts with God, and there will be fewer occasions on which he rebels against God. Conversely, man’s caring for and submission to God will grow greater, and his reverence for God will become more real as well as more profound. In the midst of this kind of communion, man will not only attain the provision of truth and the baptism of life, but he will at the same time also attain true knowledge of God. In the midst of this kind of communion, man will not only be transformed in his disposition and receive salvation, but he will at the same time also garner the true reverence and worship of a created being toward God. Having had this kind of communion, man’s faith in God will no longer be a blank sheet of paper, or a promise offered up in lip service, or a form of blind pursuit and idolization; only with this kind of communion will man’s life grow toward maturity day by day, and only now will his disposition gradually become transformed, and his faith in God will, step by step, pass from a vague and uncertain belief into genuine submission and caring, into real reverence; man will also, in his pursuit of God, gradually progress from a passive to an active stance, from one who is acted upon into one who takes positive action; only with this kind of communion will man arrive at true understanding and comprehension of God, at true knowledge of God. Because the great majority of people have never entered into true communion with God, their knowledge of God stops at the level of theory, at the level of letters and doctrines. That is to say, the great majority of people, no matter how many years they have believed in God, are as far as knowing God is concerned still in the same place where they started, stuck at the foundation of traditional forms of homage, with their trappings of legendary color and feudal superstition. That man’s knowledge of God should be stalled at its starting point means that it is practically non-existent. Apart from man’s affirmation of God’s position and identity, man’s faith in God is still in a state of vague uncertainty. This being so, how much can man have of true reverence for God?
No matter how firmly you believe in His existence, this cannot take the place of your knowledge of God, nor of your reverence for God. No matter how much you have enjoyed of His blessings and His grace, this cannot take the place of your knowledge of God. No matter how willing and eager you are to consecrate your all and expend your all for His sake, this cannot take the place of your knowledge of God. Or perhaps you have grown so familiar with the words He has spoken that you know them by heart and can rattle them off backward; even so, this cannot take the place of your knowledge of God. However intent man may be on following God, if he has never had genuine communion with God, or had a genuine experience of God’s words, then his knowledge of God would be no more than a sheer blank or an endless reverie; for all that you may have “brushed shoulders” with God in passing, or met Him face to face, your knowledge of God would still be zero, and your reverence for God no more than an empty catchword or an ideal.
—The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. Preface