Childhood memories have a way of persisting throughout our lives. Sometimes we mask them to meet our psychological needs, but we have all experienced their lasting power. One such memory for me, hardly unique, still remains stark and vivid. I was only eight years old and got lost in a crowd of strangers.

I remember holding hands with my mom and walking into a large group of people under a canopy. Almost immediately, I lost my grip on her hand, quickly becoming separated from her. Soon, I could no longer see her from my vantage point. She was gone!

We must have drifted far apart, each one searching in vain for the other. I started to describe my mom to strangers with no positive results. This went on for what seemed an eternity when I suddenly heard her voice. What a beautiful sound! She was a singer with a melodious contralto, and to me at that moment, she certainly had the most wonderful voice in the world. We hugged and celebrated our reunion. She was happy, and I was happy. Everything was right in the world!

Later in life, I experienced a similar moment when I felt convicted of the existence and presence of God. In a way, I embarked on a similarly desperate search that ended with the acknowledgment of God’s words resonating in my mind. Today, after many years of belief, I’m convinced that I can still hear the voice of the true God. Let me explain.

First, I must confirm that the Bible is humanity’s premier guidebook to all things spiritual. It is a collection of ancient books safeguarded by the Judeo-Christian tradition. It is the best historically supported sacred Scripture in the world, with over 20,000 manuscripts of the New Testament alone, some dating to the early second century.1 It gives an unvarnished story of God’s relationship with human beings, beginning with the creation of earth and all living things and humanity’s separation from the Creator in the opening book of Genesis and ending with the restoration of our planet and our intimate connection with Him recorded in the last book, Revelation.

We should also note that finding God is far from difficult. The Bible says He is everywhere. In Jeremiah 23:24, God asks rhetorically: “Do I not fill heaven and earth?”2 And the apostle Paul, in his sermon to mostly nonbelieving intellectuals in Athens, penned this powerful passage: “And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring’ ” (Acts 17:26–29; emphasis added).

If God is indeed near us, finding Him may have more to do with our own attitude and our desire to seek Him. But the Bible does not allow for connecting with just any god. Knowing the identity of the true God and connecting with Him is crucial. Let us consider a few basic characteristics of God according to the Bible:

  • He is the Creator. We did not create Him. He is not a figment of our imagination. With Jesus as the Agent of creation, the true God was not created and exists outside of creation (Isaiah 45:22; Colossians 1:15–17; Ephesians 3:9).
  • God has attributes unique to His nature and not present in any other being. Far from the panoply of vengeful, selfish gods of mythology, God stands alone as a benevolent, all-powerful, eternal being (1 John 4:8; Daniel 4:17, 25; Matthew 19:26; Revelation 19:6).
  • God always wanted only good for His creatures, but a rebellion that started in heaven spread to earth, thwarting God’s wish to empower His creatures to lead a happy and peaceful existence with Him (Revelation 12:7–9).
  • God has a plan for the salvation of humanity. This plan involved Jesus, who was also God, intervening as a human being and undertaking the ultimate sacrifice in order to establish a way of reconciling God and His creatures (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4; 2 Corinthians 5:19). The most well-known verse in Scripture says it best: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
  • God, in Christ, will return to earth, this second time in all His power, to resolve the great controversy between good and evil once and for all (Matthew 24:29–31; 1 Thessalonians 4:15–17).

God, the indescribable Being who created us, also wants to reconnect with us. He reveals Himself through nature (Psalm 19:1; Romans 1:20) and Scripture (2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:19–21). Nature strongly suggests a divine Architect who carefully put together the grand elements of life, such as the laws of gravity, entropy, and relativity, as well as the minute building blocks of living organisms, such as atoms, molecules, DNA, and cell programming. But nature goes only so far. God’s self-revelation in the Bible takes us the rest of the way to a conviction of His existence.

We find the earliest keys to understanding God in the first few chapters of Genesis. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” are the first words in the Bible (Genesis 1:1). The subsequent story of creation explains that God’s perfect creatures were soon led astray by His archenemy, the devil (see Genesis 3). The Fall brought humanity down to a basic, instinct-driven existence. The Bible refers to this animal nature as the life of “the flesh” (Galatians 6:7, 8; 1 John 2:15–17). This meant that God had to deal with humans at this level, employing symbols and tactics that would progressively help His creatures understand what His nature is about (2 Peter 1:19; Hebrews 1:1, 2).

Thus, in the Old Testament, we see a God who allows violence He does not condone, a God who tells His people to sacrifice innocent animals in order to feel the cruel effects of sin and direct their minds to the true “Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29).

Thankfully, the Bible tells us how to connect with this wonderful Being. To find the true God, we must:

  1. Seek Him with all of our hearts. If we approach God as an intellectual exercise or because we feel somehow forced to do so, we will not receive the blessings He intends to give us. Jeremiah 29:13 tells us: “You will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.”
  2. Seek Him in prayer. Seeking God’s presence is a spiritual quest. Prayer is the way to communicate spiritually with God. We should pray earnestly and frequently, expressing our thoughts to God and waiting for His response (Philippians 4:6; Ephesians 6:18).
  3. Seek Him in humility and faith. In His sermon on the mount, Jesus told us that the “poor in spirit” and the “meek” will be blessed (Matthew 5:3–5). An arrogant heart does not allow God to act on its behalf. Faith is a basic requirement for having a spiritual connection with God. The Bible makes this clear: “Without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6). We must grow to confide in God. This confidence comes from “hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17).
  4. Seek Him in Scripture. God has chosen to reveal Himself through words inspired by His Spirit and expressed in human language. All spiritual experiences must be grounded and supported by God’s Word. “You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me,” Jesus said in John 5:39. (See also 2 Timothy 3:15–17.)
  5. Keep Jesus at the center of our search for God. “And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life” (1 John 5:20).

Our search for God is different from any other search for knowledge. We cannot treat God as we would any other piece of information. He cannot be analyzed, probed, or quantified. He is not the same as us or any other part of creation. He stands above it all. We can only learn about Him as much as He is willing to make known. People don’t know God because they don’t allow Him to guide them in their search (John 16:12–14; see also Matthew 11:27; John 7:17). Unbelief comes from trying to fit God into our human, finite molds. It comes from a denial of His truth or a refusal to accept the evidence.

What makes the search for the true God important above all others is the reward it offers. God says: “For whoever finds me finds life, and obtains favor from the Lord” (Proverbs 8:35).

Miguel A. Valdivia is a pastor and an administrator at Pacific Press® Publishing Association. He writes from Nampa, Idaho.

1. “Ancient Manuscript Comparison Chart,” accessed January 3, 2024,

2. Bible verses in this article are from the New King James Version.

Finding the True God

by Miguel Valdivia
From the May 2024 Signs