I recently met an uncle that I always knew about but had never met (long story, crazy family history as to why not). I was pretty nervous knowing he didn’t really want anything to do with anyone related to my mother (if you know my story you will understand why). My uncle says he is an Atheist, when he told me this I got more nervous than I already was. This was not because he was an Atheist but because I am a lover of Jesus and that makes me so VERY opposite to him.
On my last night, I am not sure how it started, we got into a religious discussion. Most would call it a debate but I want to call it a discussion because we listened to each others reasoning and respected each others opinions. We tried to convince each other of why we feel the way we feel. I surprised myself because I was very calm and did not allow my passionate emotions to take over. He got very passionate about his points and a lot of these points and questions he asked were real. His points were valid and they are normal questions everyone asks when they are a non-believer. For me it is a given, I just know deep down God is real. However so many people want proof and evidence and don’t believe the evidence and proof in the bible.
This 4 hour discussion, had me often turning to google for answers, not because I didn’t know, but because I needed more evidence more hard facts. I felt I was really the wrong person to be having this discussion. I have not done 3 years bible college like Mike, nor have I studied 7 different versions of the bible or have real in depth knowledge of the whys and hows. I kept joking and telling him, I am the wrong person to have the discussion. I do not know the whys and hows, I just know that Jesus is real. I have encountered him, I have experienced him, I have felt him in the pit of my stomach. Kind of hard to explain to someone who doesn’t believe or doesn’t want to believe.
This made me go to bed that night thinking about how many of us claim to be Christians and know about God and quote the popular common scriptures. But do we really KNOW God? Knowing about God and believing He is real is very different to KNOWING God and having an intimate, real, passionate relationship with Him.
For those that know me, know that I was most definitely not brought up in a Christian home. There was just something in me that knew right from wrong. That in itself was a miracle because all the wrong stuff in my life was my normal, so I should not have known the difference. I knew God was real, knew Jesus was real. Something in me longed to know more about Him. From a young child, something in me would just talk to Him, pray to Him. He directed my path in life that brought me closer to Him. He directed my life to one that passionately served Him.
Don’t get me wrong, I strayed away from Him, I got angry at my parents for things they had done and decided not to rebel against God but to rebel against them. It didn’t last long, because every time I would go to night club, I would wake up the next day thinking, why did I do that, why did I go? But God knew my heart. It was not long before I decided I cannot serve God and believe in God and know He is real, and follow the ways of the world. Lets be honest if you truly KNOW God the ways of the world, and the ways of man are not exciting. They are not enjoyable. You start to see drinking and clubbing and girls being provocative in their dancing or dress and boys, men smoking and swearing as a world you don’t want. A world rather unenjoyable, well it was for me.
After my chat with my uncle, I started to think about the statement, Do I know about God or do I know God? I do know about God. The things, I have been taught, the things I have read, the things even the world knows about Him. I also realised I do KNOW him. But do I KNOW Him as intimately and deeply as I should or can? I realised that it does not matter how knowledgeable or unknowledgeable about the bible you might be, there is always room to grow your relationship with Christ.
In your relationship with your finance, or your husband, with your children or your parents you cannot KNOW them or what is going on in their lives unless you talk to them. You need to engage with them, spend time with them. Marriages fail because couples don’t talk. Children go down the wrong path because they don’t talk to their parents, or parents don’t have time for them. The same goes for our relationship with Christ. It does not matter how well you THINK you KNOW Him, you can always improve your relationship with Him.
After the chat with my uncle,I realised, I do know God, I do know Jesus. I do not ever doubt them nor am I ever embarrassed to say how passionately I love them or believe in them. I do KNOW God, but I can KNOW Him so much more passionately and with a much deeper knowledge of who He is than I already do. It was a lesson that we can always grow in our relationship with Him.
While chatting, all the people who would have done so much better at explaining the points I was trying to explain kept going through my head. Fiona des Fontaine one of the most incredible and knowledgeable pastors I have ever had the privilege of being under. Marc Poree my current pastor who has witnessed miracles with his own eyes and experienced Jesus so many times in his own life. My awesome husband who is so passionate about God, about Jesus and the bible and also so knowledgable and has such a tactful calm way about explaining it.
I got into bed that night or early hours of the morning and thought, maybe I was the perfect person to talk to him. Maybe my gentle, unwavering, passionate love for Jesus was enough to make him question His thinking. It may or may not have, but one thing I took away from my chat was that I can always spend more time with God. I don’t need to know the bible backwards to be able to have these conversations or prove God is real. I just need to KNOW Him, really deeply and intimately KNOW Him and this will allow Him to speak to others through me.
From this conversation I have been prompted to go and study scripture more. Not just read my bible but actually go and study different events of the bible, read the different versions of those events in the different bibles. This is not because I feel this will bring me closer to God, because that is not what builds your relationship with Him. It is for me to be more knowledgable about something I love with all my heart. I have come to understand you can have all the knowledge in the world about the bible and still not truly KNOW God. My uncle quoted scripture to me, knew events in the bible basically word for word, but he did not KNOW God. You can be so well educated in the word of God and still not have ANY understanding of who God truly is. So this leaves one question.
HOW DO I REALLY GET TO KNOW GOD?
Make time to get to KNOW God, have coffee with God, share your dreams and desires with Him. Put as much time and effort in your relationship with Him as you do with your other relationships. Play less games on your phone and spend more times praying. Watch less tv and spend more time in the word. Allow God to speak to you through this incredible book with an abundance of knowledge and amazing scripture. Spend time with God and watch your life change, watch how you change. We can read the word and quote scripture but without that intimate understanding relationship with God, you will not understand the scripture you are reading. It will have no life, no meaning. But form a deep, passionate relationship with Christ and then the word, the scripture comes alive.