Faith and Spirituality
KNOWING WITH GOD: SHARING IN THE OMNISCIENCE OF GOD
Knowledge talks about ‘awareness’, ‘consciousness’, ‘understanding’…. It depicts its carrier or possessor as being knowledgeable, having knowability. Knowledge in itself can be two things: One, the fact of knowing something or the consciousness, awareness or understanding of a concept, discipline, personhood, et cetera. Two, knowledge can also be said to be information or intelligence about something in toto or in part.
Omniscience is the capacity to know ‘everything’. This quality of omniscience is only attributed to the personhood of God. Man, in his human capacity is restricted from the wholeness of knowledge.
Who is God then? God is the Infinite Being, the Ens Perfectissimum, the One who knows all things, the Source and the Summit of all things. He created all things and all things are through Him. He is in all things and all things are in Him. He is the Great Potter and Maker, the Sailor of the universe, who directs the course of its tides. Words cannot describe Him enough, the imperfect cannot talk about the perfect in entirety, what we do see is just a glimpse of what is. But that little we see is vaster that the oceans of the world in toto.
Now, how does knowledge come about? Let’s look at this from these perspectives:
1. The context of experience (Intimacy).
2. The concept of learning.
3. The concept of connection.
The truth is this, everything has a source, a root…. The streams flow because of the unending flow from the spring; the sea never goes dry because of the many tributaries and rivers ending their course in it. In your house, your tap continues to run so long as there is water in the tank and there is nothing blocking (‘the concept of obstruction’, I’ll come back to this later) the course of flow through the pipe. With these examples given, permit me to say that the stream is intimate (connected, if you wish) with the spring. This means that so long as the stream is ‘connected’ to the spring, it never goes dry. The same applies to the sea. Let’s look at another analogy. Emeka/Yakubu/Oladimeji…whoever, wants to be a medical doctor and so, he goes to medical school to learn. You feel this thrust? Let’s see more! You meet someone, you get along with the person, you spend more time with him/her, and it goes on and on. Eventually, you get close to him/her that you can decipher his/her presence through his/her voice, footsteps, scent and you get closer and closer that you even know the rhythms of his/her heart, you even get to share the same thoughts and gradually you get to know each other in toto, sharing in the same thought process, behaving alike and so on. Of this, you can say that the two have experienced each other, they have become intimate. These analogies give a little explanation of the two above listed perspectives.
Let’s look at it from a different perspective. It’s already established that humans naturally learn through two ways; through learning (teacher-student learning) and through experience. Aside these two ways of acquiring knowledge, there is still another one which is mysterious. In this mysterious way of learning, one does not need to be taught or to experience to know; one just knows. And you ask, “how is this possible, how can one just know?” the truth is that whether or not you do believe, it is and will continue to be. This “knowing” is beyond intuition. Intuition is however on the primary level of this knowing. Let’s look at the Bible. Remember the prophets of old, “the men who worked with God”, how they knew what would happen in the future, how they knew how to deal with the future before it opens itself. Remember the episode between Jesus and Nathanael: “Behold a real Jew in whom there is no guile”, Jesus said to Nathanael. “How do you know me, Lord?”, he asked. “I saw you under the fig tree….” (John 1:43-51) Jesus based on this Bible content did not see Nathanael (physically) under the fig tree, but he knew he was there. Jesus never encountered Nathanael, but he knew about him. How?
We were created in the image and likeness of God. He also put a connection between us and Him – the soul. The soul is the link or connection between the spirit and the body. It is like the road or pathway through which “spiritual information” passes from the body to the spirit and vice versa. Ipso facto, it is the channel of communication between the body and the spirit. Now, the spirit, being the spirit of God contains in it the wealth of knowledge of God. But this knowledge is not as in the form of the knowledge in the brain, it is in a different form and therefore must be tapped in a different way. Ephesians 1:3 says “He has blessed us with every blessing in the heavenly places”. What does this suggest to you? Every blessing you receive in life has been given to you at the point of your conception in the mind of God. What you see is just the manifestation of these blessings. Likewise, every knowledge you have or will have has been stored in you all these while waiting for you to tap it. Does science teach you or explain how a new born baby learns how to suckle his/her mother’s breast? How does he/she know that there is food for him/her in there? This is on the primary level of this mysterious way of knowing. However, some may call this “natural knowledge”, but the truth is that there is no knowledge without root or source.
Let’s look at this analogy – the analogy of the stream. A stream of water is ever flowing. Anyone who comes to a stream has gained a knowledge of it – it might be the serenity of its expanse, the chilly weather of its environs, the vibrance of its flow, its beauty…, the list goes on and on. However, the knowledge you gain or have about the stream (in this context) depends on how deep and how farther you explore into the stream. Those who go deep and farther have more knowledge of the stream than those who just “touch the stream” to feel its gentle current and also will know more than those who come momentarily to fetch water from it. The one who is more conscious in his encounters with the stream as well gets to observe and experience more, invariably, comes to know more. The one who swims deep with consciousness discovers, experiences and knows more than the one who swims without consciousness – who just swims for the feel. Also, the one who swims deep with consciousness and with regularity and constancy gets accustomed to this water: the steeps and the shallows, the current, the wave and its pattern and speed of flow, where and where it flows fastest and where it flows gently; the types and sizes of fishes in there, the kind, texture and colour of the sand underneath, the treasures therein, the plants underneath and a whole lot more about this body of water, the one comes to know. The one who swims consciously and constantly gets aligned with this water – he becomes part of the water and the water becomes part of him. He even gets acquainted with it that even if he is been thrown suddenly into it, he will not get drowned or washed or swept away. Because, he is already intimate with the water – the water knows him as he has come to know it. He knows the water in and out – he is married to it (sort of). He has “become one with the soul of the water”. Again, the one who continues swimming but suddenly or circumstantially stops swimming, but comes back after a while need to relearn and be realigned because he has lost touch of this water. The water never changed, but the one’s body did change in its perception of the water (permit me to say, he got out of tune or alignment with the water). Now, this stream grows (this word doesn’t describe so accurately my thoughts but I just had to use it) into a river, the river into a sea, the sea into an ocean, deep after deep; but all are one – one source, “one water”. The one who “graduates” through each course of flow gets to know more, gets to experience more than the one who remains (stagnated) at the stream (or at one) course. The one who communes (forgive my use of language) with this water gets to know more than the one who comes just “to fetch water” (the fetching water syndrome. I will get to talk about this subsequently). Since the ocean is vast, and knowledge and “knowing” of it requires suffering, discipline, courage, faith (if you wish), trust (in the water and in self), dedication, patience and perseverance (as is required of an exploration and knowledge acquisition); some and in fact, many, do not go to this course, they remain vaguely contented with the lower courses (the just enough syndrome) that they do not want to know or experience the higher courses and they eventually get choked up by the little they know. However, there are those who out of meaningless fear or out of sheer unconcern do not even approach let alone learn about this water. They neither taste the pain of failure nor the joys of victory. Shame to them!
I know by now you must be deep in thought as to what message I am trying to pass across. Now, this is it! We all have a Source, a Root – God, the Omniscient. He knows everything. We are His offshoot, His children and therefore should know just as He knows. But, the thing is that (just as in the analogy of the stream), many do not want to know with God, some are shamefully content with their little knowledge (and even get blinded by it); some others are just uncertain as whether or not to know, while many are swimming deep in the knowledge of God, that they even know with Him – His plans and designs, His attributes, His will. And while some swim in their empty ocean of ignominious knowledge, others swim and soar in the ocean of God’s omniscience. Where do you stand? Where? You have to know that.
A man of God – Chris Delvan Gwamna once said that God has given us words, songs, revelations…, and these open our minds that God’s divine nature needs and should flow through us. We shouldn’t resist such a great offer. Sometimes we get familiar with God and we think we know it all and then, we begin to lose it (our knowledge of and “knowing” with God), we lose God because we begin to see ourselves and want ourselves to be seen instead of Him. Our relationship with God opens up Heaven to us, opens to us the vast treasure of God’s omniscience, and we get to know with God. Our knowing with God is not for us to make names for ourselves, but for God’s glory to be seen, to be made manifest in the world. Our relationship with God follows a line of Scripture, that God will do nothing unless He reveals it to His servants the prophets. He doesn’t reveal His plans to someone who used to be a prophet, He reveals it to His servants, the prophets. Active servitude is the key to knowing with God. The word “to serve” which comes from the Latin words “servio” and “servire” is in present continuous. This means that if you are in active service, God will reveal Himself to you. Remember the tale of the Ten Virgins: the bridegroom did not let the five foolish virgins into his wedding banquet because they were not present when he came. But he let the five wise virgins in because they were present (in actio participatio) when he arrived. You only know with God when you are aligned to Him. You can’t hear Radio Nigeria, 92.9FM, Enugu if you are not tuned to its frequency. So also, you can’t know with God if you are not attuned to Him. He won’t tell you His heart because you were in His service some years or some time ago. No! He will tell you His heart because you are in active service to Him, because you are intimate with Him. Just as you can’t tell just anybody your “story” unless he/she is your friend, so also God will not tell you His plans if you are not connected to Him. If you are currently not in a fixed place where He can reach you, you have no access to His secrets. Because the secrets of the Lord belong to them that fear Him. And, two cannot go together unless they agree. So, you must first of all, agree with Him.
Coming to life situations. Sometimes you feel awkward and you can’t explain why you feel that way or; you feel exceedingly happy but you can’t explain how that joy came about. You don’t know what happened. A message just passed through you, a spiritual force, but you won’t understand unless you are aligned with God, your understanding of the situation will be narrowed down to just mere feeling: “Ah! I feel so sick, I don’t know why I’m sad” or “I’m just so happy today, I don’t know why”, and it ends there.
Knowing with God makes you hear words you never heard before, never knew their syllables before, but you just inexplicably know their meanings. Knowing with God draws good words out of your mouth, that were never in your head prior to that moment. I’ll share an experience with you. I’m a consecrated member of the League of The Sacred Heart of Jesus, and during our prayer meetings we usually have a time for Bible readings/reflections. Some times during prayers, I just get prompted to speak on some topic or reflect on a Bible passage. Without preparation, I just stand to talk. I only do one thing which I’ll tell you: I say to the Holy Spirit, “Holy Spirit, You know I don’t know what to say, I’ve not thought about this before (in regards to what I am to speak about). Speak through me”. Once I’ve said this prayer in my heart, I go out to speak and I get marvelled by the words that come forth from my mouth – things I never had foreknowledge of, I speak about through the Power of the Holy Spirit, concepts I never imagined, I come to visualize and understand as if I’ve know them for a thousand years – the Power of the Holy Spirit, the beauty of being aligned with God, the awesomeness of knowing with God.
I ask for something from Him, I know He will do it because I know Him – intimacy with God. This is just like telling your beloved father that you need money to pay for your school fees and he sends you the money with no delay or a husband telling his wife that he needs a delicious meal “Nri akworo aka wee sie” as the Igbos say, and she goes to prepare it for him; this is just how it is with God when you are intimate with Him. You know Him, you trust Him too much to fail you.
I’ll now ask “What is stopping you from knowing with God, why are you not open to knowledge about God?” Life is a matter of choice; and I’ve chosen to know about God and to know with Him. What decision have you made? What decision are you making now and for the rest of your life?” Now let me ask you again, “Which is easier, to travel through a well-known path which has signs to guide and direct you along the way, or to travel through an unknown path without even a sign to direct you along your journey?” the answer to this question, if answered correctly is the summary to knowing God and knowing with Him.
How Can I Know God, How Can I Know with Him?
1. Desire to know Him and to know with Him. Desire must come first.
2. Take a decision to know Him.
3. Ask Him (Pray) for grace to guide you along the path to knowledge of Him and to knowing with Him. Trust me, it’s not any easy road, but with His grace you will endure and triumph.
4. Open yourself to the Holy Spirit – Pray to be a less unworthy instrument of His.
5. Work towards your made decision.
6. Strive to remain aligned with God – through His words, through the Sacraments, through Sacred Teachings (under the Church).
7. Have personal time with God. “Take God on a date” as Frs. Peter & Paul Onele CMF would say.
8. Keep the fire of love of God aflame in your life, trust Him completely with a childlike trust, have a secure hope in Him and believe firmly in Him. With love for Him, you get strengthen to remain aligned with Him (being obedient to His commandments); you won’t hurt or offend one you love. Trust and Faith, keeps you going even in dark times and in dry moments of the soul. Hope makes you rely on Him, knowing that His will for you is nothing but good.
9. Remove whatever it is that might keep you from being aligned with God.
10. Abide in Him, let love, peace and joy lead you.
11. Be patient and persevere.
12. Constant practice (In Focus, Commitment and Dedication).
These are Kingdom principles and when you keep to these in sincerity and persevering in humility, purity of soul and obedience, God will surely shine the Light of His glory on you and open up the wealth of His omniscience to you. But WATCH IT! It’s not chemistry practical – mix this to get this or mathematics – add this to this to get this. These principles are all dependent on God’s grace and God works in mysterious ways. Just do your part and allow God to do His own part.
I PRAY THAT THROUGH GOD’S GRACE, YOU COME TO KNOW WITH GOD.
Pax, Laetetia et Amo Christi. Amen.
AD MAGNA GLORIA DEI. AMEN.
© Alpha Writings
20th September, 2020.
HFYV, Amansea, Anambra, Nigeria.
#knowingwithGod #omniscienceofGod #Kingdomprinciples #grace #Godawareness
#selfawareness #reflections #myreflections #HolySpirit #God #Godknowlegde #actiopartisipatio #serviceofGod #analogyofwater #Christteachings #activeserviceofGod #alignedwithGod #wisdomofGod #Christocentricspirituality #Christepicentredspirituality #theroadlesstravelled #Godmystery #truespirituality #walkingwithGod
IMPERFECTION: I am a man, bound by flesh and so, prone to imperfection and mistakes; please do pardon my human imperfection in whatever way it portrayed itself in this writing. Also, I might not have brought this theme to you the way you wanted to hear it…; I’m just a pencil in the Hand of my Creator and this writing was written based on inspiration, experience and prior knowledge. I pray the Holy Spirit to bring you to better understanding of the Omniscience of God and guide you to and through knowing with God, and most of all, may He bring to fruitful completion the good work He has started in you. Amen. Peace!