Wednesday, December 19, 2007

To know Him is to love Him (or vice versa?)

I think one of the biggest areas I struggle with is knowing vs knowing about God. I mean, I think I have faith. But how do I know. Do I really have faith if it is never tested? How do I know the difference between the "Hand of God", serendipity, and circumstance? Is there a difference?

In his book 'Waking The Dead', John Eldredge says this:
Having a doctrine pass before the mind is not what the Bible means by knowing the truth. It’s only when it reaches down deep into the heart that the truth begins to set us free, just as a key must penetrate a lock to turn it, or as rainfall must saturate the earth down to the roots in order for your garden to grow.

So the question that keeps coming back up is "how?" How do you get faith? How do you get to know God? I know all the right answers about prayer and reading Scripture. But I struggle with understanding what is meant by certain parts of the Bible or how it should be interpreted.

So is the answer to simply do it more? I mean, if I can't often make heads or tails out of what the Scripture is saying, will reading more often and more fervently help me?

I feel like a lot of the 30 - 50 year old crowd is walking around with a "Bible Story" view of Christianity. That is, we all hold onto the Bible stories we learned in Sunday School or "My First Bible" as kids. But it is the part about going deeper that is the stumbling block.

That leads me to ask the question: Who has the responsibility to equip a person with the things needed to grow as a Christian? Is it the "corporate" Church on Sundays? Is it the Christian community at large? Is it the individual himself in a sink-or-swim sort of situation?

I feel like it really comes down to Love: God's love for us, our love for each other, our love of God, and more. It's more of a feeling than a fact. But perhaps that signifies faith in the end.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16 NIV)

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres... And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. (1 Cor 13:4-7, 13 NIV)