I know chess. Bobby Fisher knows chess. (NOT the same thing!)
I know basketball. Kobe Bryant knows basketball. (NOT the same thing!)
I know the guitar. Eric Clapton knows the guitar. (Get the point yet?) :)
I sat and talked with a brother in the Lord. Because Jesus lives in both of us, I can say we “shared” Him. But this morning I woke up an hour before I had to and went to a brother’s house. (I won’t tell you exactly what we did but it was NOT all in that room!) And we shared the Lord! (It was NOT the same thing!)
What DOES this mean? To “know” Him? To “share” Him?
Is that something that’s simply true because we’re Christians? Does it merely mean the same thing as saying that we’re saved? Or is “knowing” and “sharing” Him ACTUALLY an active, ongoing, daily, deliberate thing?
There is a story of a wealthy woman who went to Rome, Italy, and hired the very best professional guide money could buy. She was proud of her own ability to get things done quickly and so she asked the guide, “How long do you think I need to really learn and appreciate this great city?”
And the guide said, “Senora, Una Hora, Una Vita.” (Which, being translated, means…) “Ma’am, one hour, one life.”
I can type this and say to you, “I know Jesus Christ.” I can tell you I know Him. I can share Him with you. (A little bit, over this internet, but how MUCH more if you were HERE!)
AND I, MYSELF, TONIGHT, AM NOT CONTENT TO MERELY KNOW HIM AS I DO RIGHT NOW. (Yes, I am shouting!)
What is this even like? Do you know what I mean?
It's a little like a marriage.
I LOVE my wife. I love here even more because she understands me better now, than ever before. She KNOWS me. And I know her so much MORE now, than I did when we first met nine years ago. And yet, deep down, she hasn’t really changed. (In a way, none of us ever really do.)
The day we met, all that she is now, she was then. (But she's a better HER now. Like wine!) And I knew her. And then we became engaged and I knew her better. And then we got married and I got to know her in all kinds of new ways! And that was as much fun as it was terrifying! (I mean being a newlywed – what’d you think I was talking about?) :)
Still, today, nine years later I’m starting to feel like I know her through and through. But in so many ways I have yet to KNOW her as well as I yet may… in time. I’m still learning how to understand and care for her. I’ll be failing (and hopefully getting better) at that for the rest of my life. Which is a very nice thought! (Hi, Sarah! I love you, dear!)
But I DO know her – all of her – right at this moment. And yet I’m growing to know her more. (And thus, to love her more.) I know her AND I can yet know her more. Both are true. Right Now.
Life in Christ is like that.
We GROW in KNOW-ing… HIM.
Life grows and ripens, like a vine. Like new wine. Always NEW. Wine.
Yet so many American Christians do not seem to speak as if knowing HIM is their central ambition. Not even as if seeking to know HIM more and more is even a high priority, or a necessary thing. So many seem to speak as if they ALREADY know Him, and so now let’s just enjoy life, or else let's just get on with the business he’s laid out for us. (And it’s usually either evangelism or social projects – neither one of which jazzes me up much at all. ESPECIALLY when it steals the center stage and focus of everything... but that's another topic!)
BUT WHAT IS THE GOAL OF THIS EARTHLY LIFE HE'S GIVEN US!?!?! Could He possibly want us... to KNOW HIM? More? And More? (Do you think?)
I DO know Him. Right. Now. And this Knowing Him is NOT an unattainable, unreachable goal, as some have often taught. I do NOT mean that I will keep trying to Know Him. I KNOW HIM!!!! :)
And yet I know Him more… Because I seek to know Him more… AND BECAUSE…
BECAUSE I live among some saints who actively and frequently encourage me to keep on seeking… to know Him… MORE! (And this might just be the most important thing of all.)
This is not a concept, or a truth to be realized.
It doesn’t come from studying the Bible.
He is real. He lives in a place.
You can go there. Anytime.
IF you know the way… (and all Christians do, or once did, and can learn), and IF if you don’t listen to those who talk as if you go there just once, and then you “know”. (That’s not what Knowing is.)
But what is Knowing? We pursue. We press IN. We press ON. For WE are hungry.
For MORE of You, Lord.
Una hora. Una vita.
Gratzi, Maestro! :)