Knowing, Not Knowledge

January 22, 2021

You search the Scriptures because you think they give you eternal life. But the Scriptures point to me! Yet you refuse to come to me to receive this life. John 5:39-40 NLT

God desires an intimate relationship with us, and we want that. But at the heart of a deep relationship is trust. We can seek a close and satisfying relationship in ways that don’t have a chance of producing it. This seems absurd, but I actually know of a marriage where the dating period was very short, but one of the parties was convinced the marriage was a good bet because they obtained thorough private-detective reports on their intended. They memorized likes and dislikes and became familiar with every past detail. It didn’t work, however. It wasn’t long before the relationship dissolved. Why? Because knowledge about someone has a limited effect on knowing. 

Intimacy is not obtained by gaining information. It’s been that way from the beginning. Adam and Eve destroyed their intimacy with God by valuing knowledge over obedience. Jesus said to the religious leaders of His day, many of whom were walking encyclopedias about religious things and the Scriptures that were available to them, that they were misdirected. They thought knowing the verses and storing up knowledge was the big deal. But Jesus said life was not in the Scriptures—it was in Him! 

Today we have taken this search for knowledge to the highest level. We have more Bible translations and books than imaginable. We have sermons, podcasts, music, TV shows, documentaries, commentaries—so much more. And some of these are very good. We can be thankful. But much of the time the knowledge doesn’t even transform the messengers. How many people have been prominent leaders, with more knowledge in their little finger than you will ever have, but they ditched their relationship with God, and everything they built came tumbling down? Knowledge without knowing fuels our pride, causes us to look condescendingly on others, and ends up replacing our trust in God. 

We don’t need to constantly pursue something new: another Bible study, a new church, a new charismatic leader. Our goal can never be more knowledge. It must always be knowing Him. Knowledge will not do it. God through Jesus has done all the hard work. Now He wants me to deliberately choose to prioritize knowing HIM. It begins with me deliberately deciding to trust Him, despite what I do not know. You choose to trust what you cannot see. 

  • You may never have the knowledge you’d like to have. But you can be wise and fulfilled if you concentrate on KNOWING, not gaining knowledge. You can only get to know the ones you choose to trust. An old, old hymn testifies, “Those who trust Him wholly find Him wholly true.”