Knowing God is the most meaningful pursuit in life. Jeremiah 9:23-24 expresses the importance of this idea better than anything I’ve ever seen. We read, “This is what the Lord says: The wise must not boast in his wisdom; the mighty must not boast in his might; the rich must not boast in his riches. But the one who boasts should boast in this, that he understands and knows Me—that I am the Lord, showing faithful love, justice, and righteousness on the earth, for I delight in these things. [This is] the Lord’s declaration.”
It’s amazing how many things we sometimes use to try and lift ourselves up in other people’s eyes. We may do this while we’re preaching, trying to be subtle about it—whether it’s name-dropping or listing off big, theological words in a way that makes us sound especially smart. Or we could mention a Master’s Degree, or Doctorate, in conversation, or perhaps even throw in which “cum laude” we achieved.
But God says, “If you are going to lift yourself up in front of others, do it about knowing Me, because if you can’t talk about that, then you really don’t have much to brag about anyhow.”
Knowing God is more than having a religious experience with Him or saying that you somehow feel Him. To know Him is to enter into a relationship with Him so that He is the dominant influencer of your thoughts and actions.
One of the great tragedies for so many of our preachers today is that you can prepare your sermons, study your notes, make your outlines, be aware of God, and have all of your information correct, but never truly know Him.
The pursuit of knowing God is more than information. It is more than study. It is your spirit abiding with His spirit on an ongoing basis. It is to be life’s most authentic pursuit. Jesus spoke of these things in His high priestly prayer when He said, “Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son so that the Son may glorify You, for You gave Him authority over all flesh; so He may give eternal life to all You have given Him. This is eternal life: that they may know You, the only true God, and the One You have sent—Jesus Christ.” (John 17:1-3).
Knowing God must be the priority of every minister and person called to teach His Word. It must be our highest aim. We must search for Him with all of our hearts, as it says in Deuteronomy 4:29. Likewise, the sage says that knowing God is like a man searching for silver (Proverbs 2:4). Where can silver be found? Underground—it requires digging, time, dedication, and intentional pursuit. But the reward is overwhelming and a treasure worth cherishing.
There is no better way to know God than to hide His Word in your heart. Now, I didn’t say to study His word, but rather to hide it deep within. Let it resonate and abide in you so that His thoughts—His perspective—begin to take root and overflow into all that you do. As you come to know Him, you will discover a growing process of intimacy—a closeness that will compel you to want to know Him even more.
Dr. Tony Evans
Senior Pastor, Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship