This is new territory to me. I have only recently realized how much time and attention I have put into learning the Scriptures and understanding about God versus the time spent in relationship with him; actually growing in relational knowledge with Him.
In the past; my struggle has been to lean towards religious obligation to learn about God through the Scriptures. I have been obsessed with the Scriptures and “perfecting” my doctrine of God. I searched the Scriptures but, neglected to see how they all point to Jesus! (John 5:39) It reminds me of when I was a kid…
I was obsessed with my baseball card collection. I had thousands of cards and I would spend hours every month; memorizing the stats on the back or searching “Beckett’s” price guide to keep up to date with every nickle change in their value. I had a statistical knowledge of baseball players that no kid should have but, I could’ve probably walked past them in the store and not even recognized them.
The truth is that we can memorize the entire Bible and still lack relationship with Jesus. Jesus taught relationship with Himself; the Good News! Religion teaches facts or information about God.
The Scriptures record knowledge about God so that we may understand how to know God. But the logos/Word of God IS God; Jesus (Rev.19:13 and John 1:1) . The original Greek text uses 2 different word for “knowledge” that are unfortunately both translated “knowledge.” One is scientific or information knowledge and the other is relational, intimate knowledge.
2 Peter 1:3-8 uses both of these words and lays out a good description of how they differ. It’s worth a quick look into how the 2 uses are contrasted!( 2 Versions actually do interpret these contrasting concepts of knowledge differently. The YLT translates “intimate knowledge” as acknowledgement and the NASB translates “intimate knowledge” as true knowledge.) How awesome is it that we have free and easy access to such valuable tools to increase our scientific knowledge of God’s words!? We are so blessed!
We are called to relationally know Jesus, the Word of God and not scientifically know the Bible. One knowledge grows relationship with the Creator and the other creates walls to keep him out of our lives. “We know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffs up but, love builds up!” (1 Cor.8:1)
Basically; We all have information knowledge but, that makes us conceited and love builds up! If anyone thinks that they relationally know him; they do not relationally know him as they ought to relationally know.
Because we will never “arrive” in our relationship with the Lord. We just keep growing more and more like him and in him; as we perceive him! (2 Cor.3:18)
Interestingly this is the same relational knowledge that Jesus spoke about at the end of the “Sermon on the Mount” in Matt.7:22,23 ~ “Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never (relationally) knew you.”
I did not understand any of this until very recently. I believe that the Lord showed me this because I asked him about this verse. Within the week; he began showing me how little I relationally knew him. He encouraged me with a word about life with him earlier this week that has completely changed my perspective on life.