DO YOU KNOW GOD OR DO YOU KNOW ABOUT GOD? by Precious C Philip
Do you know God or do you know about God? This may sound like an unreasonable question to some people, but it is a reasonable question many people need to answer today.
In our world today where a lot of people claim to know God, claim to be Christians and go to church regularly, one still wonders why immorality is on the high rise in many nations where its citizens are predominantly Christians. Don't look far for the reason; it lies in the title of this article: many Christians who profess to know God do not actually know Him, they simply just know about God.
There is a GREAT DIFFERENCE between knowing God and knowing about God. You can know about God and not know God. You know about Donald Trump, the President of United States for instance, from print media and news channels. But you do not know him personally. A Buddhist, Muslim, Hindu, has heard about the God of the Bible, but they do not know Him personally. That is the difference between knowing about God and knowing God personally.
Knowing about God is simply having an insufficient information about God or having a head knowledge of who God is, derived from people's opinion and teachings of who God is or stories told by people about God; even testimonies from friends, relatives, colleagues, parents, siblings, neighbors...of the miracles, signs and wonders God does. So you may be going to church, serving in a service unit in church, and still not know God because you were only attracted by what you perceived God can do for you if you serve Him.
On the other hand, those who know God have a heart knowledge, real knowledge and an adequate knowledge of God. They know God personally through a personal spiritual encounter with God that resulted in the radical transformation of their lives and absolute change of their desires, mindset, manner of thinking and reasoning, change of priorities, outlook on life, and purpose for living. They know the will of God through diligent study of the Bible and submission to the Holy Spirit and do the will of God. They know the ways of God through constant fellowship with God in prayers and follow His ways. They know the commandments of God and keep them with joy. They know what pleases God and do it. They have real and true understanding of the nature of God: His holy nature, righteous nature, good nature, merciful nature, forgiving nature, perfect nature..and they have high respect for God. They are God-fearing like Joseph, Daniel, Shedrach, Meshach and Abednego who knew God and feared Him.
The major visible difference between those that know God and those that know about God is categorically stated in 1 John 2:3-6, which says:"If we obey God's commands, then we are sure that we know him. If we say that we know him, but do not obey his commands, we are liars and there is no truth in us. But those who obey God’s word truly show how completely they love him. That is how we know we are living in him. Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did."
Therefore, those who know God live in total obedience to all of God's commandments, whereas those who know about God do not live to obey God- they go to church and join church activities just so they can somehow bribe God into giving them what they want from Him e.g a husband/wife, a car, a house, a child, a job, an admission, money, power, promotion, healing etc. They're not concerned about emulating Jesus and living the life He lived while on earth. They do not care about knowing the will of God and doing the will of God. They do not care about knowing the commandments of God and keeping them. They do not care about knowing what pleases God and the kind of lifestyle He wants them to live. They care less about having a relationship with God. They have no value for God's word to recognize and make its teachings their standard for living and their yardstick for judging right and wrong. They see no need to live holy and righteous life.They don't even understand what being born again is all about and its importance in serving God on earth and making Heaven. This category of Christians also are not heavenly-minded neither are they preparing for the return of Jesus. No one who knows God continues in immorality nor lives an unrighteous life because their loving, intimate relationship with God prevents them from living such life, for God is holy and righteous and demands holiness and righteous living from anyone who wants to have steady fellowship with Him.
You cannot really serve God if you don't know Him personally. If you're struggling to serve God, the truth is that you're yet to know Him, you simply just know about Him. Those who know God do not abandon God in times of trials and challenges. Almost everyone on earth knows about God, but not everyone knows God. Are you among the minute number that knows God or among the majority that knows about God? If you don't know God, you cannot have a real relationship with Him. Because you can only enter into a personal, intimate relationship with someone you know.
Beloved, seek the Lord today. Seek to have a personal encounter with God to know God personally. Cry out to God to reveal Himself to you, to reveal who He is to you, to reveal His divine nature and characteristics to you, to make known to you His ways. If you genuinely cry out to Him, He'll show up and reveal Himself to you.
God bless you.