One of the concepts that spoke to me in J. I Packer’s Knowing God is that knowing God – having an intimate relationship with Him – is not the ssame thing as simply knowing about God. Since my temperament leans strongly toward thinking and analyzing, I need to be reminded of this truth.
…interest in theology, and knowledge about God, and the capacity to think clearly and talk well on Christian themes, is not at all the same thing as knowing Him. We may know as much about God as Calvin knew – indeed, if we study his works diligently, sooner or later we shall – and yet all the time (unlike Calvin, may I say) we may hardly know God at all…The question is not whether we are good at theology, or “balanced” (horrible, self-conscious word!) in our approach to problems of Christian living; the question is, can we say, simply, honestly, not because we feel that as evangelicals we ought to, but because it is plain matter of fact, that we have known God, and that because we have known God the unpleasantness we have had, or the pleasantness we have not had, through being Christians does not matter to us? If we really knew God, this is what we would be saying, and if we are not saying it, that is a sign that we need to face ourselves more sharply with the difference between knowing God and merely knowing about Him.
– J. I Packer, Knowing God
But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ?the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith.
– Philippians 3:7-9 (NIV)