Knowledge is not Enough
By Brenda Kuseski
In John 5:39, Jesus gave this solemn warning to the Pharisees: “You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life…yet you refuse to come to me.” This warning might also apply to us. It’s good for us to be intentional in our spiritual lives: to attend church and engage in Bible study; to exercise the spiritual disciplines of prayer, fasting, giving, meditation; and to serve in various ways in our church and our community. But those activities, as good as they are, can still leave us saying, “Is that all?” Francis Frangipane addresses this substitution:
Paul’s cry was “that I may know Him” (Phil. 3:10). It was this desire to know Jesus that produced Paul’s declarations about salvation, church order, evangelism, and end-time events. Out of his heart’s passion to know God came revelation, the writing of Scriptures, and knowledge of the Eternal. Paul’s knowledge, perseverance, and joy were rooted in his experience with Christ. On the other hand, we have contented ourselves not with seeking the face of God, but with studying the facts of God. We are satisfied with a religion about Christ without the reality of Christ. The Bible is the historical record of man’s experiences with the Almighty God…But knowledge about God is only the first step toward entering the presence of God. As Christians, we study and debate the map, yet too often fail to make the journey.
There is a place greater than organized doctrinal knowledge; it is a simple, yet eternally profound place. Here, our hearts are assimilated into the living substance of Christ’s love. This is, indeed, the shelter of the Most High.
Remember, the apostle’s prayer was that we each would “be rooted and grounded in love…and grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,…which surpasses knowledge” (Eph. 3:17-19). As essential as knowledge is, personally experiencing the love of Christ “surpasses knowledge.” Doctrinal knowledge is the door to spiritual realities, but not the substance of them. It is love that causes us to actually be “filled up to all the fullness of God” (v. 19).
To truly know God, we must seek Him until we pass through the outer, informational realm about Him, and actually find for ourselves the living Presence of the Most High.
[Frangipane concludes with this prayer]: Help me, Jesus, to recognize Your love, not as some divine emotion, but as Your very substance! Help me to see that it was neither Pilate nor Satan that put you on the cross; it was love alone for which you died. Remind me again that is it Your love that still intercedes for me even now. From And I Will Be Found By You
This week, examine your own activities—are you substituting “doing” and “knowing”
for actually soaking in the love and Presence of the Father, Son, and Spirit?