Knowing God or Knowing About God?

pondering-manAs a child I grew up knowing many facts about God.  Scripture was always held in high esteem.  As a whole we prided ourselves on knowing the Bible.  Even as a child I could name in order the prophets, the kings, the apostles, and certainly the books of the Bible.  I could tell you many things about God and how He had dealt with His people through the ages.  I am glad this respect for Scripture was instilled in my life at an early age.

I grew up hearing sermons which taught that in today’s world God  worked exclusively through Scripture.  I heard many sermons on how that the Holy Spirit dwells in Christians, but only in direct proportion to the amount of knowledge we had of Scripture.  Basically it was often inferred and occasionally stated that God’s  real power today was only through Scripture.  The Bible became as important as God Himself.

This approach made knowledge and understanding of Scripture more important than knowing God.  This places the direction and timing of individual lives in the hand of man rather than in the control of God.  This leaves God out of the equation and places everything in the hands of imperfect men.

The Bible was never intended to be a book of rules telling us facts about an untouchable and aloof God who is watching  from afar both this world and the mess that man has made of it.  Instead it is a book God intended to help man learn how to rebuild the relationship that man had severed with his God so many years before.  Jesus died that man might be reconciled back to God.   Scripture is intended to build the faith necessary to bring man back into fellowship and relationship with God.

Many years ago I became very interested in the life of James Garfield.  In my library I own several books that have been written about his life.  I know many facts about this man.  One of the favorite facts about him is a statement that he is alleged to have made.  Supposedly he said something to the effect that when he became president of this great nation he stepped down into the office of the president from the office he had previously occupied as an elder in the Lord’s church.   In my study of the life of James Garfield I have learned many facts about the man but I do not know him.

It is possible for us to know many facts about God but never know God.  Jesus did not die that we might know facts about God.  God allowed His Son to die on the cross so that man and God might be reconciled.  God’s intent is that each individual regain and enjoy fellowship with Him.  The Lord  intends that we build  relationship with Him on a personal level.  Only when we understand this can we begin to grasp what it truly means to be a child of God.

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4 Responses to Knowing God or Knowing About God?

  1. Judy says:

    Does having a relationship with God mean how we pray to him and talk to him? He answers a lot of my prayers.

  2. Yes, this is the place where we begin. All relationships center around communication and trust. Our relationship with God centers around communication and trust as well.

  3. calledsoldiers says:

    This is true. It is very important that we be not only hearers (or readers) of the word, but doers also.

  4. Jan says:

    There you go, making us think again!!!!
    I was taught just like you when I was growing up. I kept wondering back then if that was all there was to Christianity. As I matured as a Christian I learned that it’s all about relationship with God. I will never stop growing in Christ (if I do that’s when I begin to die spiritually). Very good post Dell. Thanks!

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