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10 Steps to Knowing God
A discipleship guide to
developing an intimate relationship with God
for small groups and personal devotions
Liz Linssen
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Copyright © 2012 by Liz Linssen
No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or
by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying and
recording, or by any information storage or retrieval system, except as
may be expressly permitted in writing by the publisher. Requests for
permission should be addressed in writing to
Equip Ministries, admin@equipm.org
Exception: The first lesson only may be photocopied for small group
leaders and members while waiting for their own preordered copies.
All rights reserved.
Published in the United States of America by
Equip Ministries
978-0-9849601-0-1
Author: Liz Linssen
www.10stepstoknowinggod.com
All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the
Holy Bible, New International Version
®
, NIV
®
. Copyright ©1973, 1978,
1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights
reserved worldwide. www.zondervan.com
The “NIV” and “New International Version” are trademarks registered in
the United States Patent and Trademark Office by Biblica, Inc.™
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Contents
Introduction ......................................................................... 1
1. KNOWING GOD ................................................................. 7
Can we really know God? .................................................... 9
Friendship with God ...........................................................17
God of love ......................................................................... 21
Benefits of knowing God .................................................... 25
Daniel—man of courage ..................................................... 30
Application questions ......................................................... 34
2. CHARACTER OF GOD ........................................................ 35
Faithfulness ........................................................................ 37
Fatherhood ......................................................................... 42
Goodness ............................................................................ 45
Power ................................................................................. 49
David—man of confidence ................................................. 53
Application questions ......................................................... 57
3. GOD’S GRACE .................................................................. 59
What is grace? .................................................................... 61
Repentance ......................................................................... 65
Freedom from guilt ............................................................. 72
Making up for wasted years ............................................... 78
Rahab—woman of hope ..................................................... 83
Application questions......................................................... 86
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4. NATURE OF FAITH ............................................................ 89
Faith in the unseen ............................................................. 91
Faith and action .................................................................. 96
Faith like a child ............................................................... 100
Faith and waiting ............................................................. 105
Joseph—man of faith ........................................................ 110
Application questions ....................................................... 116
5. LOVE OF GOD ............................................................... 117
Lavish love........................................................................ 119
Love without fear ............................................................ 123
Love through trials ........................................................... 129
Our greatest love .............................................................. 133
Mary and Martha—loved by Jesus .................................. 138
Application questions ....................................................... 144
6. THE BIBLE ................................................................... 145
Flawless and reliable ......................................................... 149
Foundation against storms ................................................ 155
Spiritual food ................................................................... 160
Powerful ........................................................................... 166
Joshua—man of God’s Word ............................................ 169
Application questions ....................................................... 174
7. DEVELOPING YOUR PRAYER LIFE ........................................ 175
God cares ......................................................................... 178
Believing and receiving .................................................... 184
Principles of prayer ........................................................... 191
Practicalities of prayer ...................................................... 208
Deborah—woman of prayer ............................................. 214
Application questions ....................................................... 218
8. YOUR PURPOSE IN LIFE .................................................... 219
Finding your purpose .......................................................223
Seeking first God’s kingdom .............................................229
Delighting in God ............................................................. 234
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Contents
vii
Fruitful faith ..................................................................... 239
Paul—man with purpose .................................................. 245
Application questions ....................................................... 249
9. ELEMENTARY PRINCIPLES OF DISCIPLESHIP ........................... 251
Becoming a disciple .......................................................... 253
Baptisms ........................................................................... 257
Laying on of hands .......................................................... 263
Resurrection of the dead and eternal judgment ................. 265
Gideon—man of small beginnings .................................... 271
Application questions ....................................................... 276
10. FIVEFOLD ATHLETE PATTERN ............................................ 277
Introduction: Spiritual athletes ......................................... 279
Attitude ............................................................................ 283
Strength training .............................................................. 288
Devotion ........................................................................... 293
Perseverance ..................................................................... 299
Nutrition ..........................................................................304
Application questions ....................................................... 310
EPILOGUE .......................................................................... 311
CONFIDENT OF YOUR SALVATION ........................................... 313
FOR SMALL GROUP LEADERS .................................................. 319
HELPFUL BIBLE VERSES ......................................................... 329
ENDNOTES ......................................................................... 349
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Chapter One
KNOWING GOD
I will give them a heart to know me, that I am
the LORD. They will be my people and I will be
their God (Jeremiah 24:7).
I
grew up in a Catholic family, but although I knew the name of
Jesus, I can honestly say that I never really knew Him. Growing
up, I struggled with all kinds of things from depression and suicidal
thoughts, to disordered eating and every sort of harmful addiction
and habit. By the time I got to my first year of university, I had hit
rock bottom and truly believe that if God had not intervened at
that time, I would never have made it out of that year alive. But
thankfully, He had bigger plans for me!
Through a few separate people in my life, I ended up attending
an Evangelical Bible study/small group. It was through this group
that I began to see Jesus as a living God, who loved me and wanted
to participate in my life. He showed Himself to me through imme-
diately answered prayers, the words and actions of others, and even
through a few small miracles. It was then, when I finally turned to
Him that my life changed and I began to have hope for my future!
It didn’t happen overnight, my transformation, but rather,
God has been changing my heart and my life every day since the
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day I gave up battling on my own and let Him take control of my
life. Life is never easy, but through His power, I have been able to
triumph over the dark destructive issues of my past. He has given
me forgiveness for my sins, but also the strength to forgive others
whose wounds hurt me so deeply growing up. Because of this free-
dom, I now know what hope, joy, peace and true, unconditional
love feel like.
Most of all, I am thankful to God for the heart he has put inside
me for broken people—those who are still struggling with some of
the same things that almost stole my life. It amazes me that God is
so powerful, so loving, and so amazing, that he could take a bro-
ken, empty life like mine, and not only restore it, but make it into
something beautiful, something that can offer hope to others too.
I owe my life to God, and I believe with all my heart that He is
the Way, the Truth and the Life that every one of us is wandering
through life searching for.
—Nicole
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Chapter 1: Knowing God
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DAY 1:
CAN WE REALLY KNOW GOD?
I pray for you constantly, asking God, the glorious
Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give you spiritual
wisdom and understanding, so that you might grow
in your knowledge of God (Ephesians 1:17 NLT).
If you’ve picked up this book and are reading these words, then
it’s because you’re interested or even hungry to know God. You’re
curious to find out who God is and whether you’re able to follow
Him. Perhaps you’re eager to find out what God’s will is in a par-
ticular area of your life, or perhaps you’re searching for His purpose
and plan for you. If you fit into any of these categories, then keep
reading! I pray that through this book, God will speak to you in
all of those areas.
10 Steps to Knowing God was written for people just like
you who desire to connect (or perhaps reconnect) with God. So
whether you’re a brand new believer, or have been a Christian for
many years, or even a prodigal who has decided to return to God,
keep on reading. God desires that you truly understand His love
for you and His purpose for your life, all of which are beyond your
expectations and imagination! He wants you to know just how
valuable and precious you are to Him, and for you to experience
an intimate and real relationship with Him.
So, if you’re ready, let’s begin this journey together learning
what it means to develop a relationship with God and begin by
considering that all-important question that everyone, at some point
in their lives, asks: is God real and if so, how can I know Him?
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DOES GOD EXIST?
Whoever we are and wherever we are from, we all at some
point in our lives have pondered the universal question of God’s
existence and His relevance to our lives. Everyone has an opinion
about God. For some He is a distant, uncaring Being living in a
galaxy far away; for others Someone who loves people discrimi-
nately; still others question whether He exists at all. The Bible, on
the other hand, claims Him to be a loving God, existing as Father,
Son (Jesus Christ) and Holy Spirit, and who cares for and speaks
to His creation. So which of these opinions is true? Has God given
any clues about His existence? What does the Bible have to say on
that? Romans 1 verse 20 provides one answer:
For since the creation of the world God’s invisible
qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—
have been clearly seen, being understood from what
has been made, so that men are without excuse.
What this verse means is that God’s existence can be seen in
the beauty and wonder of nature all around us. In other words,
through creation we see the fingerprint of God’s existence, which
reveals His power and character. Creation is full of complexity and
beauty, science and intelligence, order and purpose, seasons and
color. Could such a world and universe really come into existence
purely by some accidental Big Bang? Or is what we see and experi-
ence every day the work of a great Designer? Let’s be honest, there
is so much more evidence that leans towards the latter versus the
former. For instance, scientists will readily tell you that the degree of
the earth’s tilt has everything to do with the seasons and climate we
experience. Any significant change would bring ecological disaster
upon us. So how did the earth arrive at the just the perfect angle
in the first place?
Surely, in light of all the scientific data and knowledge around
today, it’s actually easier to believe that there is a great Designer
who exists than to believe there isn’t. This, according to the Bible, is
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enough evidence to understand that God does exist and something of
what His character is like. In other words, the wonder of the earth,
the planets and all the galaxies are a huge neon arrow pointing to
God! Wherever we live and whatever our culture we are from, from
the remote tribes in the Amazon rainforest to the high tech cities of
the world, we all possess enough knowledge and “evidence” through
God’s handiwork to appreciate His existence and therefore seek
Him. We really are, as Romans 1 says, without excuse.
1. Why do you believe in God? What evidence for you exists
which points towards His existence?
But that’s not all. History confirms the fact that Jesus Christ,
Son of God, was indeed someone who lived, breathed and walked on
this earth. Thousands of historical documents exist which confirm
His existence and His miraculous works, far more documents that
testify of other major historical events, which we take for granted!
For example, the earliest documented evidence of Caesar’s Gallic
War (which occurred between 58–50 bc) that we have in posses-
sion today dates back to ad 900, and historians possess 9 to 10
such copies. Of the literary works of Cornelius Tacitus, a senator
and historian from the Roman Empire who died in ad 117, the
earliest copy of his work existing today dates from ad 850 and
around 20 copies of that exist. But of New Testament literary
writings, around 24,000 copies exist that date back to as early as
ad 130! Even the non-Christian writings of Cornelius Tacitus (in
his Annals) include mention of the works and existence of Jesus
Christ. Therefore, whatever our opinion of Jesus might be, no one
can adequately dispute that fact that Jesus Christ did indeed exist.
As Albert Einstein himself replied when asked whether he believed
in the historical existence of Jesus: “Unquestionably! No one can
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read the Gospels without feeling the actual presence of Jesus. His
personality pulsates in every word. No myth is filled with such life.”
1
So through the awesomeness of His creation, coupled with the
documented existence and miracles of Jesus Christ, it is clear that
God is trying to get a message across: God exists and He wants
you to know Him. In John 14:6, Jesus said, “I am the way and
the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through
me.” In other words, you can know God, your Creator, through
His Son Jesus Christ who came to earth to make that possible and
reveal God to us. I love what pastor and author John Ortberg writes:
“The story of the Bible isn’t primarily about the desire of people
to be with God; it’s the desire of God to be with people.”
2
2. Why do you desire to grow in your relationship with God?
Through the “signs” of Creation and the work of Jesus Christ,
God has been trying to get our attention and He has been doing
this simply because He loves us and wants us to know Him. He
doesn’t want His creation to live in ignorance of who He is. Nor
does He want us to remain lost in sin and without understanding
of our God-given purpose. God is so much closer than you think
and He wants to give you life to the full, which is possible through
faith in His Son Jesus Christ. So that brings us to the question, if
God does exist, how then can we know Him?
HOW CAN I KNOW GOD?
There are two parts in answering this question: firstly, what
does it mean to know God and secondly, precisely how can we
know Him? Let’s start with answering the first part of the question.
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If you were to look up the verb “to know” in a dictionary,
we find this definition: firstly, to have knowledge and facts about
something or someone. So, for example, I know how to make a
mean Chicken Tikka Masala. I know how long it takes to burn
300 calories on the treadmill. I also know who married Prince
William! But these are just facts that I know and just one aspect
of its meaning. A second facet of the meaning “to know” goes
deeper because it’s more that just knowing facts about some-
thing or someone. It also implies having personal familiarity or
experience of something or someone. So, for example, I could
say that I know my best friend. Not only do I know quite a lot
of factual information about her, but I also know her intimately.
We have shared many life experiences together and because of
these, I have to know her pretty well and vice versa. Think about
someone you’ve known a long time. Isn’t your knowledge of him
or her more than a mere acquisition of information and facts, and
more of a familiarity, an intimate understanding of the heart and
character of that person? Therefore, knowing God involves both
the head and the heart. It’s much more than just knowing about
someone. It’s about a real relationship and friendship. Sure, I
know some facts about Prince William, but I’m sure he wouldn’t
consider me a personal friend!
The same is true is in a relationship with God. He doesn’t
want us to just know facts about Him. He wants us to person-
ally know Him in a relational and friendship way, in our hearts,
lives and experience. Knowing God then is not just a question of
acquiring greater head knowledge (although of course, that helps).
It’s so much more than that. It’s also about having an in-depth
experience of what He’s like and how He works in our lives. It’s
having an understanding of His will in all things and learning to
recognize His voice and guidance. In other words, knowing God
is about having a real relationship with and experience of God.
Now that is exciting!
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3. Now, open your Bible and read Jeremiah 31 verses 33 and
34. What do you think these verses reveal about God’s
heart for us?
These verses teach us that God genuinely wants people to know
Him! He wants to have a relationship with human beings and will
purposefully draw us to Himself. God will use people and circum-
stances in our lives to get our attention just as Nicole experienced
in the opening story of this chapter. God wants to make His home
in your life and wants you to know His loving care for you, teach-
ing you how to walk in His ways and how to recognize His voice:
Jesus said, “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my
sheep know me—just as the Father knows me and I know the
Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep . . . My sheep
listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them
eternal life, and they shall never perish.” (John 10:14, 27–28)
In this passage, Jesus describes Himself as a shepherd, and us
as His sheep. He used that analogy to explain how just as sheep
learn to recognize their shepherd’s voice, so we too, as we get to
know God, we will come to recognize our Shepherd’s voice. That
means, we will understand when God is speaking to us and discern
His guidance and direction for our lives. In every relationship in
life, when we come to truly know someone, we recognize his or her
voice. Whenever my brother Peter calls me on the phone, he doesn’t
have to say his name because I immediately recognize him. That
recognition has come through spending time and experiencing life
together. It’s the same with knowing God: the more you get to know
and experience Him through spending time with Him, the more
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you’ll learn to distinguish His voice and whispers in your life. God
wants to speak to you! As pastor and author Bill Hybels explains:
“If there is a pattern in Scripture regarding whispers, it is that
we serve a communicating God—a God of words. He created with
a word, he healed with a word, he encouraged with a word, he
rebuked with a word, he guided with a word, he prophesied with
a word, he assured with a word, he loved with a word, he served
with a word and he comforted with a word. Throughout all history,
God has communicated, and he still is at it today. The issue isn’t
whether or not God is speaking; it’s whether we will have ears to
hear what he says.”
3
Our communicating God then, wants you to know Him in a
real way. A relationship with God is a relationship! That is what
you need to be focusing on; not just gaining more head knowledge.
Now that we understand something of what it means to know God,
that brings us to the question, how then can we experience this for
ourselves? How can we develop our relationship with God? The
answer is quite simple: through faith in Jesus Christ.
As historical documents also attain, Jesus not only came to
this earth to teach people the ways of God, while doing wonderful
miracles of healing the sick and raising the dead. Jesus also allowed
Himself to die a very painful death on a wooden cross, a cruel form
of capital punishment at that time, and for a very good reason. As you
read the New Testament, it becomes clear that Jesus, in fact, saw His
death as His ultimate mission here on earth. It came as no surprise
to Him. He knew He had to die this way and the Bible explains the
reason why: “For God in all his fullness was pleased to live in Christ,
and by him God reconciled everything to himself. He made peace
with everything in heaven and on earth by means of his blood on
the cross. This includes you who were once so far away from God.
You were his enemies, separated from him by your evil thoughts
and actions, yet now he has brought you back as his friends. He has
done this through his death on the cross in his own human body.
As a result, he has brought you into the very presence of God, and

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