“There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.”
(Proverbs 14:12, 16:25 ESV)
So I found some of my old writings on a zip disk leftover from my college days. I took time to read them and took a quick trip down memory lane to see how I might have changed. As I was reading I couldn’t help but notice a subtle but profound difference that has taken place. Somewhere in my writing I transitioned from knowing about God to being a quest to know God. As the son of a pastor and a student minister studying religion I was living in a world where everyday I was brought face to face with the Word of God and gleaning doctrine divorced from personal relationship. I was a faithful student of God’s stats, but not his friend. I could have told you the important nuances of a Bible passage and had a great grasp on how to use all the study tools, but it didn’t do me any good. I didn’t grow closer to God, I loved his word, but I didn’t love Him. I look back and I thank God for his kindness toward me in leading me to repentance and real faith in Him.
Just knowing about God caused me to act in such away as if winning a theological argument with another religion student or science major was what it was all about. I studied God’s word to bring me more personal glory. I would risk relationships to show others how superior in Bible trivia I was. Yet when I came to know God, I left it all, and fully embraced the embarrassment of confessing that I had known God’s stats, but missed out on knowing him.
I have seen several pastors hit grand slam sermons out of the pulpit and strike out at home with their own children because their children understood their dad was a phony. I have seen kids walk away from their parents religion because dad and mom were more concerned about what people would think rather than what God thinks. Pride is a dangerous thing. It can keep you in church and out of heaven.
God, I thank you for your grace in reminding me that I need to offer my pride to you again today. It is a dangerous thing to learn about you and not know you. Thank you for interrupting my life with your grace so I wouldn’t be content to study your word without the hope of knowing you. Give me strength to cast down any idol that would stand in the way of knowing you.