As human beings, we were designed with spiritual capabilities that can increase or decrease. Given proper attention, exercised in appropriate ways, our spiritual sensitivity and discernment can increase. If neglected or abused, they decrease and / or become susceptible to waywardness, developing spiritual allurements to improper and harmful spiritual activities and powers. We were designed for relationship with the Designer. It is only in fellowship with God (the God, not one of many false “gods”) that we develop in a healthy manner, cultivating and reflected His image. In the same way that the incarnate Christ increased in favor with God by keeping this relationship primary, seeking to do His Father’s will, seeking first His kingdom and His righteousness, etc., we must do likewise.
Various forms of daily spiritual discipline must be maintained. Increasing in favor with God is not by way of a once-a-week activity in a designated building, it is not achieved by one or two outrageous, abnormal experiences, and it does not turn a person into something fit to be institutionalized. We are to develop into a whole, well-rounded human being that learns how to properly honor all aspects of human life on planet earth. This is only going to happen as those created in the image of God maintain a meaningful relationship with the God who designed them.
Consider the following passages that indicate the importance of proper knowledge of God. Furthermore, knowledge is to be both intellectual / academic and experiential / relational. Intellectual knowledge involves accurate information while experiential knowledge involves interaction and relational dynamics associated with the Hebrew word “yada.”
“…the LORD has a case against the inhabitants of the land, because there is no faithfulness or kindness or knowledge of God in the land. My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being My priest. Since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children.” (Hos.4:1 & 6)
“For My people are foolish, they know Me not; they are stupid children and have no understanding. They are shrewd to do evil, but to do good they do not know.” (Jer.4:22)
“Thus says the LORD, ‘Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches; but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the LORD who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things,’ declares the LORD.” (Jer.9:23-24)
A number of years ago a group of college students were doing a documentary of a local transitional ministry with which I was involved as a school project. As they were not Christians, we saw an opportunity to challenge them to consider the spiritual reality. One young lady who had been raised in a nominal Jewish family, attempting to espouse her spiritual prowess stated that she had spiritual experiences by enjoying a beautiful sunset or appreciating the wonders of other aspects of creation or relationships with people. To this I stated, “To me that’s like going into an art museum desiring to have a relationship with a painting or a sculpture but refusing to meet the artist when given the opportunity.”
Often, when teaching on the Nature and Character of God, I ask students how many had previously read the Old Testament. I have found it to be approximately twelve percent. I then ask where they got their knowledge of God. Certainly, God can reveal aspects of Himself in a variety of ways, but revelation recorded and preserved that speaks of His character and informs us of Who He is and what He likes and dislikes, must not be overlooked or underestimated.
If I were to ask a stranger to buy my wife a birthday gift that would bring her great pleasure, prior knowledge of what pleases her is crucial – otherwise it is mere guesswork. Consider the idea that you might be able to answer a phone call and when hearing the voice of the caller, know who it is when someone else would have no idea at all.
Jesus, Who increased in favor with God stated, “‘Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter by the door into the fold of the sheep, but climbs up some other way, he is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is a shepherd of the sheep. To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he puts forth all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. A stranger they simply will not follow, but will flee from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers.’ This figure of speech Jesus spoke to them, but they did not understand what those things were which He had been saying to them. So Jesus said to them again, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. He who is a hired hand, and not a shepherd, who is not the owner of the sheep, sees the wolf coming, and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. He flees because he is a hired hand and is not concerned about the sheep. I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me, even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will hear My voice; and they will become one flock with one shepherd. For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life so that I may take it again. No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This commandment I received from My Father.'” (Jn.10:1-18)
“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him.'” (Jn.14:6-7)
 sakal – to be circumspect and hence intelligent (Strong’s Hebrew and Greek Dictionary).
 yada – this word is “used in a great variety of senses, figuratively, literally, euphemistically and inferentially” (Strong’s Hebrew and Greek Dictionary). Once such usage is related to knowledge by experience of acquaintance.
 Unfortunately, unlike God, many artists are not people with which one would want to develop a relationship.