Pastor’s Pen: Do you know God, or only about Him?

Rev Bobby Allen.
Rev Bobby Allen.
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By Rev Bobby Allen

Rory McIlroy’s recent phenomenal success in golf rivals the success of Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods, who he may yet overtake in the years to come.

I only know about Rory through radio, TV and the press, not personally. However, I’m always excited to hear about his successes and as we in Ulster say – “Good on ye, Rory. Go for it!”

I’m always pleased to hear of someone having done something noteworthy, but more so, and proud if I can say “I know him or her personally,” not merely knowing about them, but know them personally.

At an afternoon worship service I conducted in a nursing home, the congregation comprised of elderly folk. One gentleman was brought to that service in a wheelchair, virtually asleep, as he sat slumped over. During my short address I mentioned the Rev. Studdert Kennedy, who had been a padre in WWI.

Suddenly the old gentleman, whom I thought asleep in his wheelchair, suddenly sat bolt upright, wide awake. Excitedly he exclaimed, “I knew him, I knew him, he was my Padre.” That old gentleman knew Studdert Kennedy personally.

Dr. Jim Packer wrote in his book, ‘Knowing God’, that “Knowing God is a matter of personal dealing, as is all direct acquaintances with personal beings. Knowing God is more than knowing about Him, it is a matter of dealing with Him as He opens up to you, and being dealt with by Him as He takes knowledge of you.”

There is no greater privilege than to know the living God personally. It would not be a fully personal relationship otherwise. To get to know someone you must commit yourself to his company and interests, and be ready to identify yourself with his concerns.

“Knowledge by participation,” is the way the New Testament speaks of our knowing God. True knowledge of God comes through commitment, trust and participation in Him - obedience of faith.

Most importantly, there is only one person who can lead you to a true knowledge of the living God, Jesus Christ, Son of God, Saviour of the world who said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John Ch 14:6.

You can know God by receiving Christ into your life though simple trust and faith. I hope you will come to know God personally through Christ if at present you only know about Him.

“Now this is eternal life: that they may know You the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” John 17:3.