Did you know that you can believe in God without believing Him? You can acknowledge His authority and sovereignty and still not submit to Him. You can know God and not know Him at all. James said “You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that – and shudder” (Jas 2:19). The demons, who are fallen angels (Matt. 25:41, Rev. 12:9), know very well who God is. They knew who Jesus was (Matt 8:28-30 They do not lack knowledge. They lack love.
Knowing God is not the same as knowing about God. One is knowing God with your head. The other is knowing God with your heart. Knowing God by heart is rooted in love and is visible to others. Paul said “If I have can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing” (1 Cor. 13:2 – emphasis added).
I graduated from seminary with a 3.95 GPA (one lousy B!). I am currently in graduate school at the Bible college where I work and hold a 4.0 GPA. But I was recently told, that for all my A’s in seminary, I am not a godly example for those closest to me. I hope that is not true. That means that all I’ve learned is only “head-deep” and has never made it to my heart. Jeremiah said, “Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom . . . but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows Me . . .” (Jer. 9:23-24). The words used here are insightful. Understanding God is gained by “proper learning and observation.” Knowing God comes through intimacy. In other words, the more we know God – not just know about God – the more we will love God. The more we love God, the more we will love others.
I never want to be puffed up with knowledge. My heart’s desire is to build up others with love (1 Cor. 8:1). I don’t always get that right. But I’m trying. Beloved, do you know God? With your head or your heart? If you don’t know Him with your heart, how will you ever love Him? How will you ever love anyone?