J.I. Packer, in his book “Knowing God” wrote:
“One can know a great deal about God without much knowledge of Him.” (Knowing God, pg. 26)
We can spend hours pouring over Scripture, reading theology, studying about God, and yet when it boils down to it, we don’t even know Him at all.
In Matthew chapter 7, we read:
“Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ (Matthew 7:22,23)
Seems there is great danger in knowing a lot about God, but missing Him completely.
I, for one, shudder at that thought. Lord, may it not be so with me! I want to know You, closely, intimately, fully.
And even that prayer itself makes me shudder. It’s…scary. I mean, to know God? The God who identifies Himself as a consuming fire (Deut. 4:24)? The God who, when seen, causes men to fall down as though dead (Rev. 1:17)? The God that no man can see (1 Tim. 6:16)? I mean, do we really think through the things we say and sing sometimes?
But yet…anything besides Him is not enough. Anything besides being fully His is…empty. Having everything besides Him is having nothing at all. And truth be told, the only way to know Him is to seek Him and follow where He leads.
And as He leads us, walking along with us, we come to know Him more and more. His Word comes alive to us. He speaks to us in His Word, lighting our steps before us (Psalm 119:105), leading the way in dark times, in hard times. It’s in those trials, those valleys, those places where we never thought we’d end up that He seems to speak most clearly.
It’s in those times that we truly come to know Him for Who He is, to see His will a little more clearly, to find His heart, to realize His love, to understand His plan a bit better…even when it’s hard, even when it hurts, even when it makes no sense…because at the end of it all, He’s enough.
No, He’s more than enough. He’s everything.
And to live this life without knowing Him…is to not live at all.
“Show me Your ways, O Lord; teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation. On You I wait all the day.” (Ps. 25:4,5)