Come Learn What You Know

SCHOOLOnce upon a time, I attended seminary in order to firm up my understanding of the Scriptures.

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?

8 thoughts on “Come Learn What You Know

  1. Yes – “pray unceasingly.” Literally? All day? About every little thing? Am I overdoing it? Does God get tired of hearing from me? Actually, I have a lot of ‘yeses’ but so little time to elaborate! I can relate in a metaphorical way about getting “good grades for God knowledge” but still not getting God. Such a work in progress!

    • I hear you, Shel. I’m a work in progress, too. And my progress is slower than I’d like. But I just can’t stop seeking a deeper personal relationship with God. I bet you can’t either 🙂

  2. I’ve done the whole “I know all the right answers … they’re just not working anymore” wandering around Truth existence. Knowing the right answers doesn’t equal Knowing God. Answers don’t equal Relationship.
    And God is, from the beginning of time through all eternity, relational.
    Now how do we do that????

    • “Answers don’t equal Relationship.” Brilliant summary. “And God is, from the beginning of time through all eternity, relational.” Wow. Yes. Even with a powerful statement like that my first response is to think about God as relational rather than move toward Him in relationship. Why?

  3. I’ve jumped in and out of the “knowing about God” and “knowing God” pools, so to speak. When I face a new situation, sometimes, I revert to the “knowing about God” for one reason or another. Usually, it’s because I don’t yet trust Him enough to carry me through the situation.Which really is silly. But, when I lean into knowing Him and being known by Him, peace comes for every situation. For me it comes down to the question, Am I willing to trust Him enough with all of who I am, and to seek to know His heart for the people and situations He allows into my life? The answer determines which pool I end up in.

    • Jeanne, I love that word picture. I’ve spent far too much time in the wrong pool. Maybe trust is an issue with me, too.. I have a habit of raising questions in my head like, “What’s God up to? What is He doing? What does He want me to do?” rather than approaching Him directly, asking and listening. I want to swim in the knowing God pool and stop sinking in the knowing about God pool. Thanks for sharing your insights!

  4. My greatest “Aha!” Moments in life have been when something finally filters from my head down into my heart. Once it becomes an issue of the heart, everything changes. It becomes really hard to ignore, impossible to rationalise away and it compels you to act upon it. The truth of Christ and Him crucified, when it touches our hearts does all of these things. Yet, there is so much in His word that remains a mystery to me – almost seems contradictory. I am so thankful that The Lord is gracious and patient. As Shel commented – I am such a work in progress.

    • I agree with you, Graham. Intimate personal encounters with God and heart-transforming connections with His truth are so beautiful and compelling. I cannot stop seeking a deeper relationship with Jesus.I still feel very much like a beginner in relating to God. My progress isn’t coming along as fast as I’d like.But, as you say, God is gracious and very patient with us. Thanks for your comments!

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