Coming to a knowledge of God has very little to do with how many books you’ve read or how many Bible studies you’ve attended. Don’t get me wrong I love reading and would let you borrow some of my books in a heart beat if you were interested. What I’m talking about is a knowledge that only comes from getting to know a person. For instance the Bible says, “Adam knew his wife Eve.” This isn’t talking about sitting down and interviewing her to find out what her favorite color is or when her birthday is. This means Adam became one with Eve. This is an experiential knowledge of someone that only comes with spending intimate time together.
When the Bible talks of knowing God it means a knowledge that only comes through walking by faith through some hard stuff. In this case it’s learning who God is by how he always keeps his promises. Getting to know someone and their character can only come about over a period of time living with them.
Do you remember the story of Job? According to the Bible Job was an upright man and yet God pointed him out to Satan and let him bring all sorts of pain and loss into his life. Throughout the story we find all sorts of thoughts and ideas about why Job was going through all of the turmoil. Eventually God says to Job “Let me ask you a few questions.” He proceeds to grill Job about things Job knows absolutely nothing about to prove a point. Job had really no business questioning God’s character as to why he does what he does. Before Job’s trials he had an idea about who God was but now on the other side of the test he “knows” God. He says, “I have heard of you by the hearing of the ear; but now my eye sees you; therefore I retract, and I repent in dust and ashes.” It was only after going through some difficult things that Job really came to know God.
The Apostle Paul is another man that thought he knew a lot about God but discovered he was wrong. We’re introduced to Paul as a very religious, intelligent, zealous man. He thought he was doing what God wanted him to do by persecuting followers of Jesus thinking they were being lead astray. After meeting Jesus Christ on the road to Damascus he was changed. He had been introduced to who God really was and spent the rest of his life in pursuit of Christ in order to know him more intimately.
In Philippians 3 Paul runs through a long list of his accomplishments. He said he was “circumcised the eighth day, he was from Israel, the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the Law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to the righteousness which is in the Law, found blameless.” In other words, if there were ever anyone that we would say knew about God it would be Paul. If you keep reading though you will discover after he came to know Christ he thought all his accomplishments and credentials were nothing more than rubbish. He said, “I have counted all of this as loss… I count them as rubbish so that I may gain Christ…that I may know him and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of his sufferings… Wow! Did you catch that? Paul came to understand that to really know Christ one has to suffer with him. You see, when you suffer through something with someone you get to know them in a way that is unattainable otherwise. My prayer is that we can keep my eye on Christ through the suffering knowing he is ever-present in it.
Knowing Christ involves a little bit of suffering, but “I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed in us.”
Written by Louie