How do we begin? If we cannot do anything and God must do all, what then is there for us to do? Some others asked this question, and here is the answer of Jesus: "This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent" (John 6:29). This is not a small thing. Many have said they believed in Jesus, but the works did not follow. James tells us that faith without works is dead (James 2:20). What works follow real faith? Jesus promised that rivers of living water would flow from the hearts of those who believe (John 7:39). These rivers of living water flow from God; thus they bring God and all that He is into our lives. He purifies and sets us apart unto Himself. To be of value to God: we must partake of His nature. Faith is the only way this can take place. We must do business with God.
What is faith? Faith is "the substance of things not seen, the evidence of things hoped for" (Hebrews 11:1). God is the author of faith in our hearts. He authors that faith by speaking His word to us, but faith is incomplete until from a believing heart we take action on what God has spoken. God always speaks for a purpose, and He touches the area where we need to respond to Him at that time.
When He speaks, we know Him afresh. He reveals more of Himself in the word that He speaks to us. If our hearts are right before God, His word will find a resting place in our hearts. If we recognize what God has spoken, obedience should be our only response. Only when we obey does the word take root in our lives and result in "works" that bring glory to God. So, our place is obedience to God. God initiates--we respond.
Said in another way, the cost of knowing God is obedience. Unless we are willing to obey God, we will never know God. We know (or "experience") God as we respond to His word in every situation of life. That is why the Lord tells us to be thankful, and even joyful, in every trial, knowing that our faith is being tested (to reveal what quality it is) and that the true patience of God is being produced in us. The character of God is being produced in us in reality, not just in theory. Knowing God is not a matter of the mind, but of every aspect of our lives. Unless we are active in this obedience, we will never see our lives changed so that we can be a glory to Him and have the fragrance of a heavenly life.