1 You have searched me, Lord,
and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar. (Psalm 139:1-2)
The first two verses of Psalm 139 provide us insight into a pervasive truth in the Bible… God knows us! When we talk about God knowing us, we mean much more than facts and stats. Sure, God could answer any personal trivia about you. What’s your favorite ice cream? He knows! How many hairs do you have on your head? He knows (even when we don’t!). But God knows us with far more than mere intellectual knowledge—it is an intimate knowledge. It is a kind of knowledge that cares tenderly and affectionately. David calls God’s knowledge of him “too wonderful” (Psalm 139:6).
God’s knowledge of us should spur our desire to know Him more.
Here is what we mean.
Knowlege is evocatively a relational term. One cannot sustain any relationship apart from at least some knowledge. Yet, a growth in knowledge (the kind of knowledge God models) is essential for growth of relationships. Husbands, you can only love your spouse to the degree that you know her. Wives, likewise. Knowledge is the basis of love. In that regard, it is easy to conclude that we can only love God to the degree that we know Him.
It is important to clarify what we are not saying. We are not saying that you need to lock yourself in a room and memorize the Bible cover to cover. Also, we are not saying that God favors those who can best articulate truths about Him. And we are not saying that your Christian maturity is strictly based on your biblical literacy. We are saying that knowledge plays a vital role in connecting with God.
God is inviting us to know Him, as we are fully known by Him (see 1 Corinthians 13:12).
This, friends, is the task of theology. Theology, in its most fundamental form, is the study of God: Who He is and What He is like. Unfortunately, many people chalk theology up to being a task for scholars, academics, and sometimes pastors (but only those boring preachers who don’t know when to call their sermon quits). But is this the case? Hopefully, you are already beginning to see it is not…
Theology is simply shorthand for the journey of responding to God’s invitation to know Him intimately. It includes intellectual knowledge, but it is far richer and more satisfying. It is the art of knowing the One who knows you intricately and still is whole-heartedly dedicated to loving you still. It really is a picture of what marriage is like. When two people begin dating, they cannot get enough knowledge about one another. They want to know everything about the person: their childhood memories, future aspirations, pet peeves, joys, etc. It is like an endless well to keep pulling from! But not just romantic relationships are like this… a parent to a child; a friend to a friend; basically all relationships have an implied interest in knowing the other person with the eagerness to more effectively befriend, help, and even enjoy them!
The more you know someone, the more you can enjoy them and appreciate them for who they are.
Taking this back to God again: He is not a random person amongst the billions in the world at the present. He is the One who dreamt of you and then fashioned you for the highest aim of relationship with Him. He knows you and wants you to know Him, too. This is why theology is important for every-single-person. Perhaps we can redeem this word in our conversations?
But where do we go from here?
Our challenge to you is simple to explain, but challenging to enact! Pull up your calendar (whether it be on your phone, laptop, or paper and pen calendar). And make a daily appointment with God in your calendar. This may include things like prayer, Bible reading, meditation, contemplation, worship, etc. This is a time for you to be with the One who knows you more and loves you better than anyone in the world does! We can promise you this:
Those who make it a priority to be in His presence never regret it.
We believe this is (in part) because when we increase our knowledge of Him, we experience the joy of being known by Him. After all, Jesus Himself stated that knowing God is the essence of eternal life:
Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. (John 17:3).