Ephesians 1:15-23, Philemon 1:4-7, 2 Corinthians 4:3-6, Psalm 8:1-9
It’s been said that the longest distance in the world is the distance between our head and heart. Though close in proximity, head knowledge and heart knowledge can stand miles apart.
Hosea 6:3 says, “Let us know; let us press on to know the Lord.” But what is knowing? On one hand, it simply means gathering data, like this: My name is David, I am six feet tall, I have hazel eyes and brown hair. Now you know me. Google and smartphone apps allow us to know almost anything within seconds.
But it is a vastly different sense in which I know my wife. I know what she looks like, but I also know what she likes and dislikes, what she needs and doesn’t need. I know her personality type—how it meshes with my own and how our differences sometimes bring us into conflict. I know what makes her feel happy and loved, fearful and ashamed. I know what brings her life. I know her spiritually—why she loves Jesus and how she engages with Him. I know her physically, even intimately.
I have a deep relationship with my wife. I truly know her. I know her in many ways that I do not know, nor care to know, the celebrity on my television screen. I know about celebrities, but I know my wife.
This is the sense in which the word “know” is used in the Bible. It is not mere knowledge about something. It is intimate, relational knowledge.
Paul has just finished telling the Christians in Ephesus about all the spiritual blessings they have in Christ Jesus. They know it. And they are living it out through “faith in the Lord Jesus and love toward all the saints” (Ephesians 1:15). They get it, but they don’t. And neither do we. It is the Ephesian church that Jesus Himself will rebuke in Revelation 2:4: “But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first.” How could a group of people get it but not get it, know it but not know it? Because all too often head knowledge trumps heart intimacy.
We know random details about every friend on Instagram, but we know few, if any, of those friends on a heart level. We know theology but not the “theos” Himself. We know Scripture but not the God of Scripture intimately.
What is the cure for this heart forgetfulness? Paul prays. He seeks the Lord, praying for a heart enlightenment. He prays for knowledge of Him who gives us hope in despair, whose salvation is sure. He prays that we would know we are His treasure. He prays for knowledge of Him whose resurrection power works in us to transform us into the image of His Son.
When we are adopted by the Father through the Son, God gives us a new identity. He gives us hope, and empowers us with His very own Spirit. If we know this within our hearts, it will change our lives. Pressing on to know this God of immeasurable greatness is our life’s goal.
written by David Henderson