The prophet Jeremiah wrote, Jer 9.23 “Thus saith the LORD, Let not the wise [man] glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty [man] glory in his might, let not the rich [man] glory in his riches: 24 but let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I [am] the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these [things] I delight, saith the LORD.”
Would you note dear ones that God desires that we know Him. We are living in an age where bible information abounds on a scale unparalleled in the history of the church. And yet, the question that we all need to ask ourselves is this. Am I learning more about The Lord, than I am growing in my personal relationship with The Lord?
How careful we need to be in discerning the difference between information about Jesus and a living relationship with Jesus. They are not the same, beloved. Jesus Himself said in John 17:3 “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent”. That word know speaks of intimacy. This includes our understanding of Him from Scripture, but it is much more than that. It is a knowledge of Him and His voice that could be cultivated if we were stranded on an island with no printed bible at hand. It is the same kind of intimate knowledge that saints for ages had with Christ before the days of the printed bible. I am aware of the extreme and heretical stories about alleged experiences with Jesus that are scary, but the fact remains beloved that Jesus is a Real, Living a Person Whom we can know and grow to know in an intimate way.
Remember the exhortation that the aged David gave to his son Solomon? 1 Chronicles 28:9 “And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the LORD searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever.” This exhortation to know and seek God was to be understood as far more than an academic exercise of bible knowledge that we usually equate with knowing God.
Paul was soundly saved when he wrote, Philippians 3:8 “Yea doubtless, and I count all things [but] loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them [but] dung, that I may win Christ.” I am absolutely certain that when Paul was taking about growing in the knowledge of Jesus, he was not necessarily referring to knowing more Scriptures about Jesus, as he was craving for a deeper personal, intimate knowledge of Him as Lord, Shepherd and King.
When Jesus said, “My sheep hear My voice and know Me”, He was not limiting His voice to the letter of a Scripture alone. A cursory reading of Scripture reveals how often God would speak to His people on rooftops, islands, threshing floors, prayer meetings. You get the idea. Let me clear here. I am not saying, toss our bibles away! That is ridiculous! But it is just as ridiculous to think that God does not speak to us as He did in days gone by with words of direction, instruction or correction. What was a part of Paul’s prayer for the saved and sealed saints at Ephesus? Eph 1.17 “That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him.” He prayed that they would know Christ more and more.
How can we tell that we are growing closer to Jesus? 1 John 2.3 “And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. 4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.” The proof of real intimacy with Jesus is obedience to His will. And His Word tells us that knowing Jesus and growing in grace and in the knowledge of Him is the result of spending time with Him in the dialogue of prayer, in times of adoration and worship.
Beloved, do not allow your relationship and fellowship with Jesus become a cold, impersonal, academic, intellectual thing. May our lives become a life of growing sweetness and intimacy with Him Whom we love and adore, and will see one day face to face.