Recently, I had a conversation with someone about how their adult children are no longer faithful to God. They were raised in a good home, given all they needed and quite a few wants along the way, but have still grown cold towards the church and God. I’ve wondered why many in the church today seem content with living a good life, attending church services once or twice a week, and learning about God. And therein lies the problem. Many people know “about” God but not many take the time to “know” Him. Many parents teach their children about God, but few live as if they really love Him.
There is nothing more important in this whole world than knowing God. Knowing him is experiencing an intimate, daily relationship. It’s feeling God’s presence in us and through us every second of the day. This is what Jesus meant when he echoed the greatest command, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” (Matthew 22:37). And we can only love him in this manner if we truly know him.
Paul is an excellent example of learning to know God. As Saul, he knew about God. He knew who Jesus was but he didn’t believe he was the Christ. He zealously persecuted the followers of the Way. He was not a foolish man. Paul was well-educated in the law. He spoke several languages and was a respected yet feared man. But somewhere along the way to Damascus, Paul came into the presence of Jesus. After that nothing else mattered. Paul spent the rest of his life learning to know God. He later wrote, “I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him” (Philippians 3:8-9).
We have all been that Christian who knows their doctrine and theology. We know all the right things to say, the correct way to behave, but do we “know” God. The proof is in our lives. When we truly love someone, we can never get enough of them. We will take the time to get to know them, to learn who they really are on an intimate, transparent level. Likewise, it should be our lifelong pursuit to know God. While it is impossible to fully know Him while we are on earth, there is always more to God. He always has more wisdom to grant, more power to experience, more peace to receive, and more love to shower us with.
Knowing God is the highest form of affection we can show. Do you really know Jesus? And if not, do you desire to do so? Pray today that you will come into a greater knowledge and intimacy of God.