Are You in the Know?

by APC on December 28, 2017

Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead (Philippians 3:8–11, KJV).

Thinking You’re in the Know

There’s nothing worse than being on the outside looking in—being the last person to know, especially when you think you already know what you need to know.

This is where Paul (Saul) started his journey. He thought he knew everything there was to know about God. He thought he was doing the Lord’s work. But, then he discovered through a miraculous encounter with Jesus Christ, that he was in fact persecuting the Lord. He learns everything he knew was false; he wasn’t working for the Lord, but against Him. He became blind, but through his blindness begins to see.

Years later, Paul decides it’s his utmost desire to seek the God he was persecuting. A conversion happened in the life of Paul (Saul). He changes his outlook and life’s pursuit. And, through his conversion to knowing God, he makes a life declaration. But, what were the foundational elements noting the difference between a persecuting Saul and hungry Paul?

Time—Knowing Jesus is a Life Pursuit

When Paul decided to learn truly who God was, he knew he had to change his lifestyle. Long before Paul started his missionary journeys and plight to establish churches, Paul spent time learning the Gospel message. He spent 3 years in Arabia studying and seeking the Lord as well as time with the Apostles in Jerusalem. There was a reason Paul would claim the Gospel didn’t come to him by man, but by God (Galatians 1:12).

Paul noted he only understood God in part, but he wanted to pursue God to know Him in full. His desire was to see clearer day by day (I Corinthians 13:11–12). Over time, God showed more and more of Himself to Paul because he was hungry and because Paul had made knowing God his life’s pursuit. Time was a key factor of changing Saul into Paul.

Priorities—Knowing Jesus is a Loss and Gain

If we truly want to know Jesus, we must realize we’re going to need less of ourselves (loss) and more of Him (gain). Paul put values and priorities in his life and realized everything about God was gain (Philippians 3:8). He would lose everything else in his life if he could only know God. He traded what he knew and/or previously wanted all for something greater in God.

In our walk with Jesus, sometimes people change themselves without knowing why they’re doing it. But, unless you have answers (knowledge) as to why you’re making changes, your faith cannot be built up. You must know what you know!

Experience—Knowing God Requires More than Knowing Facts

Memorizing Bible verses or general knowledge about God isn’t the same as truly knowing Christ. You can study anyone or anything and become an expert in this day an age. But, knowing someone will require relationship and interaction.

When Paul received His sight, he arose, was baptized, and started preaching Jesus. Knowing God isn’t just about head-knowledge—it’s experience, intimacy, and relationship. It’s application that makes the facts of our faith useful.

There are some things we won’t know about God until we know Him. If we ask God, and seek after Him, we will find what we’re looking for (Luke 11:9–10). We can’t know a stranger or have an intimate relationship with them. The same is true for God: we must have a relationship with Him.

Love—The More You Know Him, the More You Love Him

God’s love radiates to us and then is reflected back to Him. We love him because He first loved us (I John 4:19). In Scripture, love is an important principle, and is demonstrated through the bride and bridegroom relationship we have with Christ. When we truly love Him, we will delight in His presence, take time to pray, take time to praise, and offer God true worship. To know God is to love Him.

We are commanded to love the Lord with all our heart, soul, mind and strength (Mark 12:29–30). If we love God, we won’t put anyone or anything else before Him. Our love for Him will bring out the deepest emotions in us, but will also drive us to action and obedience: worship, church attendance, reading the Word, etc. The truest way to show our love is through our obedience (John 14:21). When we obey His commandments, He’ll love us and reveal Himself to us.

Adapted from Wednesday Night Bible Study on December 27, 2017 with Pastor Nave