But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God...(Galatians 4:9).I suspect (this is speculation) when Paul wrote the first line, "But now that you have come to know God...", He paused, shook his head and said "bad theology". Then he continued " or rather to be known by God"
The truth is that, we cannot know God, unless God first enables us to know Him: "No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him." (John 6:44). This truth is consistent with other portions of Scripture.
In Romans 3:11-12, Paul wrote: "no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.” John also said "In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins." "We love because he first loved us." (1 John 4:10; 19).
Throughout human history, it is God who comes seeking after His own. When Adam blew it, it was God who came seeking for him in the cool of the day. It was God who called Abraham from a pagan home to bless him and make him Father of many nations. While Jacob fled from Esau, it was God who pursued him. When Moses fled Egypt, with all hopes lost, it was God who pursued him. When David was dying under the weight of his adultery with Bathseba and murder of Uriah, it was God who pursued him. When Jonah run away from the presence of God, it was God who pursued him.
When Jesus met the samaritan woman, it is clear, that it was Jesus who pursued her to give her life:
And he had to pass through Samaria. So he came to a town of Samaria called Sychar, near the field that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there; so Jesus, wearied as he was from his journey, was sitting beside the well. It was about the sixth hour. A woman from Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.”(John 4:4-7).Note the first line: "And he had to pass through Samaria" That route, it is believed Jews avoided, because they will have nothing to do with Samaritans. The verse 9 of the narrative explains this best. "The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?”(For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.)
"Jews have no dealings with Samaritans". But not this Jew. He was on a mission. He was pursuing a soul. A soul seeking for fulfilment in wrong places. "Give me a drink". He initiated a conversation. If He hadn't, probably this woman would have avoided Him. It is indeed God who always comes to seek us out. He told Jeremiah, "I have loved you with an everlasting love".
When Peter went back fishing, abandoning his call, it was God who pursued him, brought him back and restored him into fellowship. When Paul was causing havoc to the church, it was God who stopped him in His tracks: God pursued him.
God said about us also;
“Those who were not my people I will call ‘my people,’and her who was not beloved I will call ‘beloved.’” “And in the very place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’there they will be called ‘sons of the living God.’" (Romans 9:25-26).
We must never come to the point where we pride in knowing God. In all of this, it is "by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast." (Ephesians 2:8-9)