Growing in God vs. Growing in the Knowledge of God
As Christians we desire to grow in God. We regularly attend church, attend Bible studies, buy Christian books, or whatever else we can to become a better Christian. I assume that you are reading this article because you want to be growing in God.
However, most of these things we are doing is only helping us grow in the knowledge of God. There’s a difference.
The Pharisees of Jesus day had the most knowledge about God, yet they were the ones that gave Jesus the hardest time. They are the ones that handed Jesus over to the Romans to be crucified. They had knowledge of God, but missed knowing God. How are we to avoid this trap?
Deepening Our Awareness of the Love of Christ
Recently I have been meditating on the end of Ephesians 3. In it Paul prays for the Ephesians to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ that they may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God (Ephesians 3:17-19). If we want to be filled of all the fullness of God (be growing in God), we have to focus on trying to understand the love Christ.
This is the power we have as Christians. It is not about knowing every details about God; it is exploring the expanse of the love of Christ. In fact, it appears we would limit our capability to be filled with God if we don’t grow in our understanding of the love of Christ.
What is the Simple Step?
So, what is the one step to increase you growth in God? Dive into the love of Christ.
- What does it mean that God would send His own Son to die for us?
- What does it say about His love for us?
- How does that affect how we treat others?
- What will God withhold from us if that demonstrates His love for us?
- How could Jesus do such a thing while we were still sinner and in active rebellion with Him?
- How does this frame how I interact with the people in my life?
I feel like growing in our knowledge of God helps us become more aware of how great and exalted God is. But, growing in our knowledge of the love of Christ helps us become aware of how great and exalted God thinks of us.
But wait, what about pride? Wouldn’t that make people prideful? No, because it is based solely on the love of Christ. We are amazing because He thinks we are. We can live out of this magnificent view of ourselves only by realizing He is calling it out of us, and this same view He has for us, He has for those around us. None of us have earned it; we just receive it and give it to others. The love of Christ gives structure that enables us to hold God inside us.
Filled to the Measure of All the Fullness of God
I believe the measure of all of God in us is in direct measure to the our awareness of the grandness of the love of God. As we grow in our concept of just how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, we can be entrusted with the fullness of God. The power that raised Christ from the dead can be released in combination with how much we are aware that Jesus loves those around us.
We can look at people so full of hate and have compassion. If people disagree with us, we can still minister to their needs. We can comfort those who have been unjustly abused and still find room in our hearts for the abusers. God enables His power released in us as we move forward in the love of Christ.
Growing in God is Surprisingly Simple
Growing in God is surprisingly simple; we just dive into experiencing the full measure of the love of Christ, which we are told comes through the body of Christ in just the following chapter (Ephesians 4:11-16). The love of Christ is infinitely wide and infinitely long, infinitely high and infinitely deep. If we explore it for our entire lives, we would have only scratched the surface of what is available for us He created.
Allow this to enhance you prayers. Spent time with God throughout your day. Talk to God about people you come in contact with. Quickly move in to pray with others about whatever it is they are facing. God wants us all touched by His love. It is near to you and your awareness is enhanced as you bring it to others.
Kevin Shorter is the founder of this prayer-coach site and have served for several years in ministry and churches teaching on a variety of Biblical topics. Go to the contact page to request him to speak at your conferences and seminars.