I have a very special friend that I’ve been close to for over 40 years.  We were in each other’s weddings, raised our babies together, celebrated, grieved, and laughed often.  But imagine what our “friendship” would be like if I’d chosen 40 years ago to just know about her, rather than share her life.  Suppose I got daily intel reports on her:  her grades when she was in school, her job evaluations when she got out, the mileage on her car.  Suppose, I had hired someone to go through her trash and see exactly what she throws away or to interview all her other friends to see what they said about her.  This person would also provide me with updated pictures of her shopping or working so I could see her style of dress or how she’s aged.  What if I learned all about her history and habits: where and when she goes to church, the competence of her dog groomer or nail tech.  What would our friendship be like if that was our history?  It wouldn’t be friendship at all.  She would be someone I know about, not someone I’ve shared my life with.

Gratefully, forty years ago, I chose a friend, not a topic of study.  I have a precious relationship, not just an accumulation of information.  God created us for relationship like that, with each other and with him.

Gods knows all the information about us, but he also knows our hearts.  He has counted the number of hairs on your head.  He has seen every tear you’ve ever cried.  He knows the people who have hurt you, and the people you have hurt.  He has seen you struggle; he knows your exhaustion and your pain, your frustration and your disappointment.  He knows what you’re going to say before it comes out of your mouth.  He knows when you get up and when you go to bed.  There is no where you can go that you are out of his reach or presence.

But the problem is, we don’t know him like that.  When Christians show up for church without meeting God there, we don’t know him.  When we learn about God’s relationship with others in Bible study without seeking his presence in prayer, we don’t know him.  Showing up and learning about is not the same as relationship. 

To some extent we can’t know him like that because he’s infinite, and we’re not.  He is so much bigger and holier and powerful than we are, we are incapable of grasping all of who he is.  But every one of us could know him a lot better than we do.  Because he is God and we are not, we have to study his behavior and responses and law in the Bible. But if all we do is study the stories of his interaction with other people, we will only know about him; we won’t know him ourselves.

He wants us to know him….and that requires quiet time alone in his presence, so that we can know more than just “about” him.   Paul talks about this in I Cor 13 when he says, “Now we see but through a glass darkly; then we shall see face to face.  Now I know in part, but then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.”  What needs to change for you to know God better? 

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