But something happened on my way to learning even more about God than I already knew.
While I was receiving good grades for my God-knowledge, the Spirit began revealing to me that I didn’t know God very well at all. Although I had acquired some good informational knowledge of God, what I really needed was a deeper relational knowledge of God. Only through relating to God more deeply as a living Person would I ever gain the spiritual understanding I was seeking.
But that raised a very uncomfortable question.
How do I get to know God personally?
I had the right textbook answers. But those answers seemed to leave me with even bigger questions.
So, when I left seminary, God really took me to school. He ripped apart my life as I knew it–board by board–and constructed a school from the pile of scrap. Then the Teacher came to me with His invitation.
“Come with Me, and I will teach you what you already know.”
Jesus once told the religious lawyers, “Go learn what this means.” It seemed that He was looking at me, with all my accumulated Biblical data, and saying, “Come learn what this means.”
So, I started from the beginning. Who is God? How do I relate to Him? What is faith? What is prayer? What is spiritual community?
I’ve learned that truth is, first and foremost, Personal. I have to continually encounter the Person of truth in order to engage wholeheartedly in the practice of truth. And that still seems counter-intuitive to me. My old habits of study can make relational learning seem hard. I can make something difficult out of taking up Jesus’ easy yoke.
I know I’m not the only one.
I was sitting in a men’s meeting one evening and the topic of discussion moved to spending time with God. At one point, a man blurted out in exasperation, “What does that even mean?”
I feel you, brother.
Have you ever looked at Biblical truth and found yourself asking the same question?