Thursday, April 2, 2015

Why Knowing God Is Better Than Knowing About God

Easter is a reminder that we were created to know God, not just know about God.

Those words are painful for me, because I love to know about stuff. I love attending interesting conferences, listening to new podcasts, and reading good books. I love learning. Every year I try to include some biographies in my reading. The lives of great people are fascinating and often inspiring.  As well written and informative as some biographies can be however, they only help me know about the person.  Reading Jon Meacham’s incredible book on Andrew Jackson, American Lion, doesn’t cause me to know Andrew Jackson. I know more about him, and my life may even be impacted by that knowledge, but I have no relationship with the man, Andrew Jackson.  We live in a society obsessed with knowing about, yet we have a frightening lack of the sort of courage that allows us to attempt authentic relational knowing.

Knowing about God allows me to have more well-informed conversations and teachings. Knowing God causes me to give money to others that I really want to spend on me.

Knowing about God can make you appear intelligent or even holy. Knowing God will often make you appear odd.

Knowing about God is like reading a book on dance or perhaps even taking a dance class, where you practice movements on your own over and over. Knowing God is like a dance on your wedding day. You take your spouse in your arms and slowly you find ways to move together, matching each other stride for stride. Finding a pace and rhythm that’s all your own and differs from everyone else on the dance floor.

Knowing about God can often make us arrogant, judging those who don’t agree with what we know. Knowing God always makes me more humble, loving others with the love of the God I know.

Knowing about God is safe and predicable. Knowing God can lead anywhere, often to places that make me uncomfortable.  The discomfort doesn’t matter though, because God is there as well.  

Knowing about God can lead to heated debates on Facebook and Twitter where we offer jabs and churchy one-liners. Knowing God can lead you to make phone calls and write cards filled with encouragement for people who are hurting. The goal of knowing about God is to be right and point out those who are wrong. The goal of knowing God is to get used to the fact that God loves us even though we are often wrong.

Knowing about God can often lead to knowing God, but it doesn’t always.  Knowing about God without knowing God is worthless.  Our souls crave to be in relationship with God. Our fear demands we know everything about Him first (as if that is remotely possible). When we give in to our fear, we give in to a life of knowing about God from a distance, which will never satisfy us.

I hope this Easter finds you falling more in love with God and less obsessed with facts about Him. 

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