I like to understand how things work. Even as a kid I loved to figure out what made things tick. As an adult (that sounds really weird when I say it to myself) things have not changed that much. I particularly like to understand the details about how my faith works. My curiosity about the inner workings of my faith has turned into somewhat of an obsession. Deep inside I suppose that I used theology to validate and affirm my beliefs, which isn’t wrong in any sense. However, my theological studies turned legalistic quite fast. I would ascribe more value to studying about God than spending time with Him.
Slowly but surely, I began to substitute relationship with my Father for knowledge about my Father. Knowing things about God is great but in the end it has little value. You could know everything there is to know about God and still perish because knowledge of God does not atone for sin. It’s what happened to the Pharisees. They knew tons of stuff about God but when their lives came to an end they were called nothing more than whitewashed tombs. Knowledge without relationship is valueless. It’s actually kinda sketchy. An equivalent would be stalking someone on Facebook. You can figure out what a person likes and dislikes based on their profile page. However, until you have some sort of interaction (preferably face to face interaction) with this person you are just a stalker.
Admittedly, I am a Pharisee in the worst ways possible. Half-heartedness, hypocrisy, sin are my defining qualities. The good news is that it never has mattered what I am. It has and will always depended upon the person and character of Jesus Christ. While I was and still am in my sin Christ came and died to pay for the wages of my sin even though he was blameless. He took upon himself the full just wrath of God and exhausted it completely on my behalf. He did all of this so that it could be possible for a perfect God to relate with an imperfect man. God has taken all of the responsibility in the relationship upon himself. All that is left for me to do is to look upon what he has done for me and position myself to respond to his goodness. Striving can cease and relationship can continue.
Knowledge does not reverse the death brought about by sin. Knowledge cannot give life. On its own knowledge leads to a secure sense of false friendship. With relationship knowledge become a beautiful thing. Who doesn’t know things about the people they are meaningful relationships with? Knowledge should arise naturally out of relationship because it is a demonstration of intimacy. They more intimate you are with a person the more you tend to know about them. I let things get carried away and before I knew it I thought I knew God a whole lot better than I really do.