Knowing God vs. Knowing About God

You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.—James 2:19

Years ago, I worked for the popular pastor of a large church. People were draw by his charismatic personality. He shared so many personal anecdotes in his messages that people felt they knew him. This made for some borderline creepy scenarios, both in person and via email. 

With the preponderance of media in our technology-driven world, it’s easy to feel as if we know someone. We have Facebook friends we’ve never met but who share common connections. We follow people on YouTube and Instagram who become familiar to us. We become founts of knowledge about actors and artists whose lives and careers we follow.

In all these cases, if we are honest, we can say we know about these people without really knowing them. So it often is with God. Many people mistakenly feel they know Him when they only know about Him.

Knowing someone involves a relationship, and a relationship involves an investment. You dive deep into who someone is and what makes that person tick. You try to understand that person’s worldview from the standpoint of his experiences. You value that person and pour into her. You spend time together, and by your actions, you identify yourself as her friend.

Knowing God requires a relationship. Knowing about God requires little knowledge and sometimes a tremendous amount of effort.

People often have a cursory knowledge of God. They learn about Him from disparate sources and try to collate what they glean into a cohesive comprehension of Him. But just as some media can’t be trusted, neither can some sources who tell you who God is and how you can know eternal life.

And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.—1 John 5:11-12

God has revealed Himself to us through His only Son, Jesus. He has also revealed Himself through creation and through His word. This leaves us without excuse. It also leaves us with only two options. We can choose to acknowledge our weakness and failures and place our trust in Jesus, who sacrificed Himself so we could come to God unashamed and unstained by our sins. Our other option is to take our chances, live our way and hope everything comes out okay in the end—because there will be an end. But that end is the beginning of an eternity spent either with God or suffering eternal punishment (because we rejected Jesus’ atonement on our behalf) and alienation from Him.

Whoever says “I know Him” but does not keep His commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps His word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in Him: Whoever says he abides in Him ought to walk in the same way in which He walked.—1 John 2:4-6

Time is short, my friends—too short to spin the dice and take your chances. If your life is like mine, people around you are dying, and your time is coming. Evaluate your relationship with God. Do you know Him or simply know about Him? 

We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.—2 Corinthians 5:20

God longs for a love relationship with you. Trust Him today. I’m here to help you take the next steps.