When I first started coming to Regeneration to break free from lust, I read a lot. And it was incredibly helpful. But it wasn’t near enough.
At least since the enlightenment, we’ve operated under the ideology that knowledge is our most important need.
And it is incredibly important. Even so, we can (and I believe we do) elevate it higher than it deserves. This is where I found myself in my own journey.
Knowing the ins and outs of what was going on for me, knowing quality strategies to replace my negative behavior with positive alternatives, understanding why I was returning to these sins again and again, and even knowing applicable Scripture passages, all of it was tremendous for me. Yet it fell short. I was confounded how I could know so much and still return willingly to my sin.
There’s something far more important.
This is why Paul wrote that “knowledge puffs up, but love builds up” and that if I have all knowledge but not love, “I am nothing.”
And even more to the point, this is why, when God sought to rescue us, He didn’t send helpful articles, or start a blog, or even remind us again how important it is to read our Bibles (which, to be clear, it is).
He came to us.
There’s a difference between learning about God and getting to know God, between learning God’s truth and becoming one with Him.
What the law could not do, perfect as it was, Christ did. He came near, lived with, dwelt among. Gave Himself to become one with us. This is what the gospel is about—union with Jesus Himself. The vine and the branches speaks to this, baptism is all about this, and so is the last supper.
And this is why the image God uses most throughout Scripture to convey His desired relationship with us is not Teacher and student (one conveying information to another), but Bridegroom and bride (one uniting himself with another, giving his life to her, even pouring his life into her). He means for us to be “naked” with Him, to spend time with Him, to get to know Him and to be known by Him, intimately.
This is His desire with you. He’s inviting you nearer even now. You’ll need grace. He gives it. You’ll need faith. He has that, too.
This is what I want. And oh how I forget it and too often settle for knowing about Him. Jesus, have mercy. I want to know You.
I’d love to hear your thoughts: What are ways other believers have helped point you to or usher you into the presence of Christ?
Wanting to know,
Josh, I am experiencing the poverty of having a wealth of information!
I’ve learned so much about myself and why I do what I do. And yes, that’s been helpful. But it’s not nearly enough. That’s frustrating! And that frustration over my inability to do what I need to do, based on my knowledge, is helping me to accept that I can’t DO anything, apart from true union with Christ.
Thank you for communicating this truth so clearly.
I’m with you, Mark. Thanks for reading.
Right on, Josh!
The Bridegroom waiting for His bride is so invitational.
Wow!! Thank you.