A Heart for God

O God, I so often wander. I sway and swoon and find myself far from you. Help me Lord to focus upon you, that I
might learn of your ways and become familiar with your face.

 

How do you grow in your knowledge of God? Any bright faced second grader could read a list of characteristics
about God, but that doesn’t mean they know Him. It seems that real knowledge of God goes beyond our ability to
memorize some religious list of terms. Of course, there is no substitute for an intellectual search of the things of
God, but our pursuit must extend and apply to other realms of our being as well. The Christian is called to “Love
the Lord your God, with all of your heart, soul, mind and strength.” (Mark 12:30) The mind is but one of the
instruments God has given us to delve further into Him. But what is the benefit of intellectually pursuing a greater
knowledge of God without a real heart-felt affection for God Himself? The apostle was wise to state that
“Knowledge makes one arrogant, but love edifies.” (1Cor. 8:1) In other words, knowledge without the foundation
of love is devastating and harmful.

 

The way then to grow deeper with God cannot be a mere scholarly endeavor; however, it cannot be done
without the proper use of the mind or intellect either. No, the only real way to approach spiritual growth is as a
worshipper. “True worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be
His worshippers.” (John 4:23) That is to say, that God wants people to sincerely desire and adore Him. He desires
people to set aside their facades and hypocrisies and pursue Him with a contrite heart. God did not create us to be
as some sort of soulless machine, like a printing press, that just spits out preprogrammed printings stating with cold
indifference the blessed truths about God. No, God desires us to feelingly and affectionately strive to know Him
because He is worth knowing! And as we come to know Him more deeply – praise and awe and reverence will blast
forth from us like a bullet from a gun. In this place our minds will be enthralled, our intellects simply overwhelmed.
This wonder that is plainly beyond our complete comprehension will cause us to desire more and more.

 

The Apostle Paul was a man that genuinely and sincerely desired to know God truly. His first real prayer was:
“Who are you, Lord?” (Acts 9:5) He continued on from there to passionately delve ever deeper in the knowledge of
who God actually is. “I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord,
for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ.” (Php. 3:8)
This same apostle prayed that you would, “know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be
filled up to all the fullness of God.” (Eph. 3:19) This in no way means you can’t understand the truth or the
concept, but that it goes beyond your cerebral capacity.

 

So what does all this mean? Well, most people approach Christ in a passive manner. They go to church and listen to
the messages trying to apply their intellect to grasp the topic being preached. Indeed, those who do so will glean good
principles for Godly living, but this alone will never lead you deeper in the knowledge of God. God must be actively and even passionately chased after. An authentic and ardent love must be the root of our pursuit. We must hunt for Him (which as most hunters know takes great patience, discomfort and quiet), but with great intention and fervency. We often fall short in our studies or prayers because we either don’t know what we are looking for, or we don’t really know why we should study or pray in the first place. Let your reason be that you love the Lord your God with all of your heart, soul, mind and strength and that you truly desire to know Him more. In that posture you cannot help but grow deeper with God.