“His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.”

–2 Peter 1:3 (NIV)

It is possible to have a lot of knowledge about the golf swing, yet not be able to hit the ball to save our lives.  Yet, it would be extremely difficult to hit a golf ball very well without some knowledge of how the golf swing works.  In the same sense, we could know everything there is to know about the game of golf and have all the rules of golf memorized and still not be a golfer.  However, we would be hard pressed to call ourselves a golfer without some knowledge of the game and its rules.

In the same way, we can have a lot of knowledge about God without truly knowing God.  We could spend countless hours studying who God is—His character, His attributes, and His actions—and have a lot of information about Him, but still not be a Christ because we have no relationship with Him.  However, God created each one of us to know Him and live in a life-giving and joy-filled relationship with Him.

On the other hand, it is impossible to have a relationship with the Living God without knowledge of Him, for He has made Himself known for the very purpose of us living in a relationship with Him.  Many people call themselves spiritual and say they have a relationship with God, yet they have never opened up God’s Word to see who He is.  These individuals have created there own god in their minds and do not necessarily know the God of the Bible.

There is a major problem with both extremes.

Almost every Biblical author at some point exhorts his readers to seek knowledge of God, but this knowledge of God was never the goal or end result of the Christian life.  Instead, gaining knowledge was simply the means to the end, which was intimacy with our Creator and maturity in our relationship with Him.

The Bible is very clear that our knowledge of God should always lead to a response.  In other words, the more we know about God as He has revealed Himself to us should change who we are.  The knowledge in our heads should sink down into our hearts and flow out through our hands as we love God and others more and more.

The Scripture above introduces an ongoing theme in the book of 2 Peter that our knowledge of God’s glory, goodness, and power will provide everything we need to live a life of godliness.  As we meditate on who God is and what He has done, may we be so moved to respond by living a life of effectiveness and productivity for the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

(This devotion was motivated by my reading J.I. Packer’s Knowing God, and I recommend this book to anyone looking to grow in their knowledge of God as a means to an end—intimacy with our God.)

-Written by Steve Burdick, CGF West Region