"Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth."
First, God commands us to be still, let go, relax. If we are to know the living God, our spirit must be free from the worries, anxieties and strife inherent within the world system. The prince of the power of the air incessantly seeks to sow seeds of discord, discontent, distraction, and destruction. He would have us stare at circumstances, dwell on situations, and be consumed with the cares of this world. And the degree to which we do so, is the extent to which we forfeit knowing God intimately and His peace personally.
Resting in the Lord is a byproduct of submission to His sovereignty. The greater our willingness to consider all of life as permitted by God's providence, the more consistently we will experience His peace. To the extent we chafe against His established throne in the heavens (Psalm 103:19), is the degree to which we lose His peace. Submission is an act of the will which may not be joyful, but sorrowful (Hebrews 12:11), yet the inner tranquility is peaceful fruit of righteousness.
Secondly, we are directly commanded by the living God to know Him. Contrary to the world's worship of the adage "know thyself" as the highest knowledge, the Creator of man asserts "know Me." Is this distinction crucial? Immeasurably!
Man in his ignorant arrogance is convinced that he knows his own heart, that it is a trustworthy source of truth, and therefore he needs no god (nor does he desire one). This perspective dovetails nicely with the prevailing notion of evolution, whereby it is denied that man is a creature (which implies accountability), and is seen as simply a highly-evolved animal. With the pervasive teaching of this God-excluding hypothesis to the point it is "generally assumed", the enemy of man's soul has enhanced the spiritual blindness of millions.
By contrast, the God who created mankind in the first place is the only One who really knows the heart of man: "I the LORD search the heart, I test the mind," (Jeremiah 17:10). Thus, being "intimately acquainted with all our ways" (Psalm 139:3), He knows that our greatest need in the quest to know ourselves is to know Him. In truth, the only way man gains correct perspective of his true nature is by knowing intimately the One who created him.
How is this possible? By looking to the Lord Jesus Christ in saving faith, who said, "He who has seen Me has seen the Father," (John 14:9). The Lord Jesus, God personified, is "the exact representation of His nature," (Hebrews 1:3); only through Him can one begin to know the living and true God.