Knowing or knowing about?

The photo above was snapped last night up at the lake near where we live. This one below was taken about 40 minutes ago:

The sky was darkening, the water becoming choppier. Then the lightning began to flash, the thunder rolled and the wind whipped up some more. The rain was really coming down heavily by the time I reached home. Sat here now,in slightly soggy clothes.

It is one thing to know about a thunderstorm, it is another to experience one! Admittedly this was far from the most dramatic one I have ever been in. The ex-Geography teacher inside of me loves to get immersed in such storms (in a safe way of course!)

David Benner in his book “The Gift of being Yourself” reflects on the call for each of us to truly know God and to truly know ourselves. In this, he writes of the importance of ‘transformational knowing’. It is one thing to say we know things about God but what about knowing God?

Consider these words of Jesus, “Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” (John 17:3)

The root word for what is translated here in English for ‘know’ is an intimate word. It means to know through first hand experience rather than just a piece of factual information or speculation.

Is such a knowing of God possible? Well according to Christ – yes it is. It is the essence of eternal life. Perhaps  some people view eternal life as just a vague hope for something to be there beyond the grave.  Yet according to what is recorded in the Bible, it is not vague and not just for one day. Eternal life has begun now for those who follow Christ.

I don’t mean of course, Christians do not die. Clearly physical death comes to all. Yet the belief in a definite not vague hope of life after death is rooted in eternal life begun in Christ now in this life!

Such a gift of eternal life is available to all through Jesus Christ. He made it possible through the cross.

Yet even for those of us who say we are Christians, where are we at in terms of knowing God? Are we growing in truly knowing Him or are we stuck we knowing stuff about Him?

I will not even begin to suggest that I have arrived in what it means to fully know God. I am grateful for the grace and truth that Christ brings (John 1:17) and the Spirit of truth (John 14) at work in us. He that ‘began a good work in you will carry it through to completion until the day of Christ Jesus’ (Philippians 1:6).

Such belief is neither escapist or detached from the world in which we live. I believe that as we know God better, we can get to know ourselves better too. This in turn can have positive impacts in the way that we treat others and how our communities are influenced.

In ICL, we are drawing to the end of a teaching series called, “Spiritually Fit”. The core essence of this is knowing God – all else can then ripple out from that!

Andy

PS It’s still thundering and raining, lots of lightning – time to go and look some more!