Christians are people who believe that they know God. They have a relationship with God. The deeper the knowledge the deeper the relationship. Or so we like to think.
In the Christianity where I live (and the same is true for most of you reading this) – i.e. evangelical, biblically oriented, non-charismatic, evangelistic, mission-minded – we equate knowing God with gaining knowledge of God. In our minds the more knowledge the more we know God. And we’re sincere.
But is that the biblical understanding of knowing God?
Is that what the Apostle meant when he wrote, that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death (Philippians 3:10)?
If anyone knew about God it was the Apostle Paul. He had been personally taught by God Himself (Galatians 1:12), a claim none of us can make. But there was still a longing in his heart to know God. Wasn’t his knowledge enough?
Don’t misunderstand me. I love learning about God. I spend hours every week as a pastor studying the Word of God. It’s my favorite thing to do.
But knowing God has to be more than a knowledge-gathering pursuit.
I read a statement several years ago that said a collection of information is not the same thing as knowledge.
In other words you can know a lot about God without knowing God. James says that even the demons know about God (James 2:19). That’s not very good company of knowledge gatherers.
Knowing God – really knowing God in a biblical sense – goes much deeper than the gathering of information. It is something that touches the soul and changes your life.
Without life transformation on some level you can’t say that you know God.
I’m not talking about an I’m saved and going to heaven instead of hell transformation.
I’m talking about an, I’m saved so I hate the sin that corrupts and destroys my life transformation.
An, I’m saved so I’ll sacrifice my own happiness and comfort for someone else transformation.
An, I’ll do anything to be more like Jesus transformation.
An, I’ll give it all up for Jesus if that’s what He wants transformation.
The same author I quoted earlier said most American Christians do not know God – much less love Him.
That’s a serious indictment.
Could it be true that while we claim to love God we don’t even know Him?
So how do we go from a knowledge-as-information-gathering to knowledge-as-life-transformation? And show that we not only know God but that we love Him.
Here are three easy things you can do,
1. As you read the Bible ask God, What do you want to change in my life today?
2. As you go to church ask God, What do you want to teach me through the sermon this week?
3. As you meditate on the Word of God ask God, What is it in my life that you want to transform into Your image?
It’s more than knowing more. It’s knowing more with the ultimate goal of life-transforming change.
It’s not about the knowledge. It’s about the change.
Stay in the Word