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Monday, 1 June 2015

To Know and To Know Not

I have written previously, about our belief structures, in a post titled Is vs Does

I would like to continue with this idea a bit further, part two if you like, by asking this question. Do we know God, or merely know about  God

A great many people know about God, they've at least heard about him. Many may even profess to have a degree of knowledge about God, they've read and heard some stuff and formed an opinion about him.

For this latter group of people, theirs is head knowledge. They are analytical. They will judge the beliefs and actions of others, purely in accordance with what they know and the opinion they have formed. Their knowledge, I believe, is very similar to the law based world view of the Pharisees.

There are some good examples of these people in the Bible.

Samson. Whose whole calling and experience was handed to him on a platter. He did not respect it. He did not nurture it. When the Spirit of God departed from him, he was unaware of it. Judges 16:20.

Saul. Another one that stumbled into his calling, rash and impetuous. He did not know how to seek God.1Sam 9:5-10. He did not know how to trust and follow God. 1Sam 13:9-13. In the end he was stripped of his throne in favour of "a man after God's own heart." 1Sam 13:14.

The Pharisees. They were experts in the law. Dedicated in their forms of worship. Yet blind to the presence of the Messiah, the living God, walking amongst them.

Philip. One of Jesus' own disciples, of whom Jesus asked, "Don't you know me Philip, even after I've been among you such a long time?" John 14:9a. NIV 2011.

For believers such as these. Their Christianity is a veneer and easily peeled away.

It is based on superficial experience.

It has a superficial expression.

They have "a form of godliness, yet deny it's power"  1Tim 3:5.

The men of Nazareth, Jesus' home town, said they knew him. Sadly their familiarity filled them with unbelief. For they knew him only as the carpenters son. Matt 13:53-58.

This is a world away from knowing him.

As for those that truly know their God, "they shall be mighty and do exploits" Daniel 11:32 KJV. Jesus said, "My sheep listen to my voice; I know them and they follow me." Jno10:27 NIV 2011.
These people, a great many of them, are also found in the Bible.

David. A young shepherd boy, who wrote songs of praise, to the creator of the stars he slept under. He slew a giant the king was hiding in fear of.

Daniel. Who stood before pagan foreign kings, refusing to bow to their gods, stepping unscathed from the lions den.

Philip. A young believer, chosen to serve at tables because of his faith and dedication. Acts 6:1-6. He preached the Gospel in Samaria, confronted Simon the Sorcerer and baptised the Ethiopian Eunuch. Acts 8.

For believers such as these, their knowledge is heart based. It is deeply rooted and not easily shaken.

It comes from a personal revelation.

It becomes a personal relationship.

 The men of Samaria said to the woman from the well. "We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the saviour of the world." John 4:42 (Italics mine)

If you were to look at my left hand you would observe that I wear a wedding ring. You might come to the conclusion that you know I am married.

But I know my wife.

Do you know?

Or do you simply know, about?

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