Knowing God vs. Knowing About God (And How to Know Him Better)
For a lot of my life, I thought I knew God. I was a pro at completing devotionals, had a stack of notecards of scriptures I was constantly memorizing and could tell you every title a new Christian author would release. Sounds like an A-plus Christian student, right?
There was just one problem. I had mastered mirroring what many other people had to say about who God is, but I wasn’t very confident in what I thought about him, myself.
There’s a big difference between knowing a lot about God and knowing God, yourself.
The Problem with Only Knowing About God
In our world, we have easy access to engaging books, devotionals, and podcasts, which can be great resources to help you grow in your faith.
The problem comes when these resources replace your time opening God’s word and learning directly from the source. Having been taught to consume what others have to say about Scripture, you might never develop the skills to study the Bible on your own.
Sooner or later, you’ll start to feel the effects of this lack.
Ever felt scared to share your faith with others? If you only know about God, then it makes sense that you would be! How are we supposed to share what we believe with others if we aren’t fully equipped with the knowledge to back it up?
It would be hard for anyone to take you seriously if you yourself are unsure about the point you’re trying to make. And it’s tough to enter in to a conversation when you don’t feel equipped to respond to challenges or requests for more explanation.
Have you ever felt intimated at the prospect of finding a church with solid teaching? How do you decipher this if you aren’t sure what “solid” teaching is?
Knowing God directly from the source (the Bible) isn’t just a good goal for something to grow in over time, it’s something that we must be growing in now if we want to see any consistent change in our lives.
God Wants You to Know Him
God wrote the Bible to us and for us. It’s not only for theologians and pastors. Or for women with big platforms and who write bestsellers. It’s for you!
God wants you to meet with him through praying and reading his word.
Of course, there is still a need for guidance from seminary-trained leaders and teachers, but we also have minds to read and understand this book for ourselves. And when you change how you consume scripture, you’ll find yourself meeting with God in a whole new way.
How To Know God
So, what do we do with all of this? How do you grow in your ability to connect with God through his word and get to know him better?
- Grab a resource or person to teach you how to start. Jen Wilkin’s book Women of the Word is the perfect place to begin.
- Invite God into the process. Pray that he would help you understand.
- Ask a friend to learn along with you! It’s always more fun to experience something new alongside someone else.
Do this and you’ll quickly grow your biblical literacy—your ability to read and understand the Bible.
When I first started hearing the phrase “biblical literacy” (and understood what it meant), I knew I wanted that! Around that time, an older woman in my church started helping me with this. My confidence grew as she taught me to ask simple questions such as, “What do we learn about God’s character in that passage?”
She taught me why I pay attention to the authors of each book, who they were writing to, and what was going on around them when they wrote it. My mind was blown!
For the first time in my life, the entire story of the Bible was starting to make sense. All the small, seemingly simple stories started to point me towards the bigger story of scripture. I woke up every morning excited to read and learn more. I was eager to share what I was learning with others and teach my friends how they could do this too.
I fell in love with a Jesus who wants to know me personally. And it changed my life!
We live in a time where we can consume anything we want with the touch of our fingers. Let’s be a generation who chooses to “consume” time with God, getting to know him. Then, we’ll become people whose view of God isn’t shaped what others have to say about him. We’ll know him personally.
Ever get overwhelmed about the idea of reading your Bible? Join Samantha and Christian on Going There as they give you helpful and tangible ways to get in God's word!