My wife, Norma Jean, has a daily devotional book by Sarah Young called Take My Heart, Oh God. Today’s quote, by Jane Rubietta, is: “The more we know God, the more deeply we love God.”
Think about it. Do you know God? Really know God?
Sarah explores the possibility that you may be a believer. A church-attender. A Christian. But she ponders, “Something’s missing….There is an emptiness that hasn’t been filled.”
You see, it is possible to know about God and not know God. It’s is easy to know facts about God. Names. Places. Events. Scriptures that we have memorized. Old Testament history.
What happened on the third day of creation?
How many book are there in the Old Testament?
Who was the man after God’s own heart?
If you are trying to answer these questions, you may be proving my point! Christianity is not “data-based religion” where we become competent in spewing out information like a contestant on a game show. That doesn’t mean I’m in favor of Biblical illiteracy! Certainly, a lack of knowledge can leave us malnourished spiritually. We need to know the Bible. But we need to know God too.
Knowing God is often described as “intimacy with God.” We tend to think of intimacy as having to do with a sexual relationship, or at least a romantic relationship. But it means, “a close, familiar and unusually affectionate or a loving personal relationship with another person or group.” Intimacy does not have to be physical, it can be emotional and spiritual.
Intimacy has to do with a relationship. Mike Cope calls it a “holy hunger.” Martin De Hann refers to it as a “radical reliance.” Joe Beam speaks of it as a “craving.” And author John Eldredge describes drawing close to heart of God as “The Scared Romance.”
Knowing God is about relationship. Community. Commonality. Closeness. Kinship. God wants to be our Father. And He desires that we be His sons and daughters. God desires we do more than believe. He wants us to belong. Belong to Him. Belong to Jesus. Belong to His family.
King David, the one identified as “a man after God’s own heart,” writes about his relationship with God in a most intimate way.
1 O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you;
my soul thirsts for you;
my flesh faints for you,
as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
2 So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary,
beholding your power and glory.
3 Because your steadfast love is better than life,
my lips will praise you.
4 So I will bless you as long as I live;
in your name I will lift up my hands.
5 My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food,
and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips,
6 when I remember you upon my bed,
and meditate on you in the watches of the night;
7 for you have been my help,
and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy.
8 My soul clings to you;
your right hand upholds me.
(Psalm 63:1-8, ESV)
Today. This weekend. Sunday when you attend worship. Consider your relationship with God. How close are you? What is your level of intimacy? Do you really know God?
The Bible exhorts, “Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you” (James 4:8)
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman