How do you know the truth?
Years ago, a young woman sat at our dining room table, and said, "I hear this man say this and it sounds right, and I hear that man say something else, and he sounds right, too." She was expressing the confusion in her mind as she listened to the various religious radio broadcasts she heard. I was reminded of what Paul said to the Ephesians in chapter 4:14-15, "We are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves, and carried about by every wind of teaching, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the Head, even Christ..."
This young lady was listening to various teachers, and was tossed around in her thinking by the different winds of teaching she heard. So we ask, "How do you know the truth?" The question gets to the heart of what philosophy calls our "epistemology," or how we know what we know.
Philosophers say there is no clear and compelling basis for choosing one epistemology over another. They can always think up some criticism for any logical starting point that is offered. God is not like that. He is not ambiguous or unclear about how we know what is real. But what God says can only be received by choosing to believe Him. God offers the revelation of Himself to every individual. But He leaves each of us the choice whether we will believe Him or not. It really is that simple.
A person once told me, "We get as close to God as we want." That is very true. Be it that young woman who sat at our kitchen table, or me typing these words on my computer, or you reading them, we really do get as close to God as we want. He is drawing us all to Himself; how close we get is up to us. The Bible tells us to "Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you." It also says that God is "the rewarder of those who diligently seek Him." If we seek Him, we will find Him.
God tells us in the Bible that the way He created for us to know truth is by Him revealing truth to us. He specifically cautions us not to judge by what we can experience with our own physical senses.