Here I am the night before a post goes up with a completely blank screen staring at my face. I had a different post all nicely planned out, but for some reason I feel like it's not the right one for this Tuesday. So please forgive me if my words are mixed up...it's getting late over here. ;)
Last week I wrote about Who God is. I started with a list of the different Names of God and went from there. I could have covered so much more ground had I the time, the space, and the wisdom to do so. But I don't know Who God is. I know bits and pieces. I know some of His characteristics...loving, true, faithful, pure, righteous...but I don't know exactly Who He is.
Today I was reading John 17. I came upon this verse...
John 17:3, "And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent."
Eternal life comes through knowing God and the One He sent. But...what if we don't know Who He is? It's impossible to fully understand anyone, much less the Creator, the Great I AM, the Everlasting God? What type of "knowing" is this? Is this a Saber or a Conocer type of relationship?
Using an online site called Bible Hub (I have only recently begun using this site, yet it has been very helpful in my research.), I dug deeper by looking at the text in its original Greek. The word for "knowing" is γινώσκω (ginóskó). They offer several different definitions in English, but most of them meant, "to learn to know, come to know, get a knowledge of..."
I felt like God put a thought into my head.
What if being a Christian wasn't about knowing God. What if it was about coming to know God? About constantly pushing farther, digging deeper, searching harder. What if John 17:3 read something more like: And this is eternal life, that they may come to know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.
Is it possible to know every aspect of God? Of course not! Thus, doesn't it make sense that abiding in Christ means that we are getting to know God?
Perhaps you can think of it this way. Before you get married, you take time to know your fiancé quite well, obviously. Before you say your vows to marry "until death do us part", you know the groom's beliefs, opinions, thoughts, future plans, etc. But after you marry, you get to know him much deeper. You start to learn his favorite foods, silly quirks, make inside jokes that only the two of you understand, and become best friends. At your 50th anniversary, you should truly know him by heart. Even so, you will never understand him completely. A human being is so complex and unique that it would be impossible for you to know another soul like you do yourself.
Is this a picture of our relationship with God? Before we become Christians (or marry into a relationship with Christ), we know about Jesus' sacrifice, His love, His mercy, etc. But after we take the leap of faith to pursue a relationship with Him, we discover deeper truth. We read the Bible and understand how God has been working throughout the history of the world until this day. We see Him working in our own lives. The "knowing" isn't over...it's just beginning! Yet even if you live to be 100 years old, you will never reach the point where you have "mastered" God. You will never understand Him completely. You could listen to sermons, memorize the entire Bible, go to conferences, and still badly fall short of knowing Him. Why? Because He is impossibly bigger than our minds can fathom!
As a Believer seeking to abide in Christ, we cannot stop and admire the scenery. We cannot declare our thankfulness and joy in being saved and not press on towards bigger things for His Kingdom. Our chains are gone...but if we stay in the prison cell, we aren't doing any good.
To abide in Christ, we need to be getting to know Who He is. We can't stop with our being set free. We don't meet God once and stop there. We need to be ginóskó-ing God - learning to know Who He is. It will take a lifetime (and beyond!), but wouldn't it be worth it?
How can we do that in a practical way? How can we take the first step?
Here are a few simple ideas...
Those are some thoughts to start with...but these are my questions for you: How can we be learning to know Who God is? And how are YOU going to start doing that today?
I shared this quote before, but it is so true: "Christianity is not a religion; it's a relationship."
Don't worry if you don't understand Who God is completely. No one truly does! Just take a step of faith, and begin the process of coming to know Who He is.