to know

To Know or to Know – that is the Question

to knowTo think I know.

“Do you know John Smith?” she asked me.

“If you mean do I know who he is, yes,” I replied. “But I don’t know him.”

There’s a difference.

We might be aware of someone and be able to spout their name or facts about that person. We might have met that someone or had numerous interactions with them, but it does not mean we know them.

Scripture uses “know” as a reference for the sex act. It does not imply intimacy – it only implies a sexual act. Genesis tells us Adam “knew” his wife, and she conceived.  The same words are used with Cain and Judah. [Genesis 4:1, 17, 25; 38:26]. You’ll find them again when scripture talks about Elkanah and his wife Hannah. [I Samuel 1:19]

Joseph recognized his brothers, but he could not prove their hearts until he tested them.  [Genesis 42:8, 23].

In each of these instances, there is a “knowing” because of the sexual act or because of a person’s attitude and actions, but it does not mean there is intimacy.

To have complete knowledge of someone is intimacy. I thought I knew Dave when we said “I do”, and I did. Yet, what I understand about this man is better and deeper than before.

Most times if you ask me what his opinion will be on a matter, I can tell you, because I know him.  My knowledge is not only sexual, but emotional and spiritual as well.

When we truly know someone, we know that we know that person. We don’t have to second-guess ourselves because knowledge and experience has ingrained that in us.

to knowOr to truly Know

We can be aware of God and believe in Him. We can practice worship and attend church, saying and doing all the right things. Yet this does not mean we truly are known by Him and or know Him.

When we want a genuine relationship with God, we will pursue Him so that we can know Him. He is not an aloof taskmaster; He wants to be your spiritual lover.

He wants an intimacy with you that supersedes anything you experience with anyone else, including your spouse. Marriage is a picture of Christ and the church. There is an intimacy that is held by no one else when we truly know our Bridegroom.

Learning to Know

Time. We learn to Who Jesus truly is by spending time with Him. This involves reading the letter sent to us, listening to what He wants us to do about the instructions in the letter, and allowing heart and will to blend with His.

Listen. When we truly listen, we hear the prompting of the Holy Spirit speaking into our hearts and our lives. We can choose to ignore that voice, listen to it but not obey, or completely surrender. To surrender is to become intimate with Him.

Learn. Unless we take the time to learn about a person, we can’t truly know them. We study the person. We pay attention and take note of what matters most and what matters least. We remember what we learn so we can utilize it later. We respond to the knowledge we gained. We choose to please the One we learned to understand.

Refresh. We are never done learning and building intimacy with God. We never “get there”. We keep reading the Word. When we keep reading, we see things we didn’t see before; we find things we didn’t know were there after all the years of reading through the Word.

Intimacy with Christ at its best

Unless we follow Him, we cannot say Who He is.  Hans Denck (1495-1524), a German theologian and Anabaptist during the Reformation said, “No one may truly know Christ except one who follows Him in life”.  We cannot truly know Him unless we become His disciple. Jesus said that if we want to be His disciple, we must follow Him. When we truly follow, we learn what it means to have intimacy with Him.


Pinterest to Know or to Know


Photo credits: Butterfly photo by Hartono Subagio/Pixabay





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  1. Yes!
    To know of God, or to really have a relationship with God, and with Jesus, is different.
    Thank you for that reminder; life tends to crowd out a genuine effort to stay consistently focused on God.

  2. Thank you. Many times what I write is a result of what I am learning or re-learning myself. 🙂

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