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THAT I MAY KNOW HIM

Updated: Dec 26, 2022



The inner yearnings to find out more is native to humans. That curiosity, the drive to launch into the deep, break up fallow grounds, pull down iron curtains, beat gravity, pierce the sky, jet out of earth without dying, and the giant leap from the moon did not begin with the quest to land on Mars. Perhaps it began in Eden.



There it stood, in the very middle of the luscious garden, the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Yes, you know it. One planted by God to be dressed and kept by man as the exclusive preserve of the creator. You can be sure, its fruits were hard to resist, such that many interpreters still yield to the temptation of calling it an apple. By the time Eve and Adam had finished munching of the tree so desired would make one wise —thereby admitting that they were created as fools— they were found ashamed covering selves with fig leaves, evicted with death sentence trailing. Then, one tend to ask, is knowledge really about coming of age? Suddenly, they were no longer adult babies who knew God without any man teaching his neighbour. As it turned out, the knowledge in that tree was only about good and evil, not knowing God. That tummy rumbling, eye watering knowledge we often chased after is an admixture of good and evil, not one without the other. I bet you have no doubt that same rocket science of knowledge by which mankind today live in the space station had never more brought total nuclear wipeout a click closer, good and evil.



Whereas, when it comes to knowing God, it’s readymade as the tree of life. Call it the tree of life eternal if you will, the vine giving life in abundance. One they were meant to know more and grow on. It appears it’s often on purpose that it’s not as obvious as one the garden centre, but a treasure kept in plain site. I wished it’s called the tree of knowledge of life but it’s bigger than all knowledge as we know it such that the word knowledge isn’t even used for it in Genesis. In fact, it’s possible for one not to know that one know it already. Like Eve not knowing she was already made wise in the likeness God —male and female He made them. One may even not know the extent to which one knows, just like the little Samuel hearing God for the first time. Amazing, how this is such a knowing that comes after us, not like one pursued after at first, but one that has already found us. One that we are only to grow into, and burn our inner yearnings on.




In the same way one might not know that God is making himself known to them, as was with unashamed Eve and little Samuel, it’s commonplace to have some knowledge of God and thinking one has it all. To think that one has known God, and then go all out for the tree of admixture just as those who knew God in Roman 1 vs 21 and have even outgrown that knowledge to the extent that by vs 28, they didn’t retain the knowledge of God. That in fact, is partly why the word ‘knowledge’ was avoided in this cover page. Not that one can’t have had some knowledge of God but can’t yet have known God, we keep knowing Him. It takes all, not one till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;.



If you look at it keenly, you can tell that the mid-garden knowledge itself isn’t a bad thing to have, just that it can be good but bad at the same time. Whereas knowing God is life eternal, far better than good. Whereas knowledge is absolute acquisition of an awareness, knowing is a continuous acquisition of that awareness. So very similar that you might wonder why separating them at all. Yes, they are always in the same garden of our choices but not the same. Knowledge an adult, knowing is a child. Knowledge has stopped growing and is outgrown, Knowing is growing. Knowledge can be proud but knowing, you can tell is not. And it’s okay in knowing not to be sure how much you know, hence giving room to growing, to know more. Eve wasn’t sure what she knew, but could have gone to Adam first - if he knew better, for the man was not deceived. Samuel wasn’t sure he knew and he went to Eli instead of the serpent.


At times, knowing God is used as having knowledge of God in the scripture, and this is understandable. But you can tell a verse speaks of knowing God when you spot the knowledge as one that keeps on growing, not one that has outgrown God. You might be shocked as I was to find out that what actually makes knowing God different from wisdom and understanding, which are often confused with it is growth. By knowledge you aware that you are hungry and should increase the food in your tummy. Through wisdom, we put that knowledge into action, applying it to life. Wisdom makes you get the food and eat. Understanding on its own part is a complete grasp of the entire thought process inside out. That if you know you are hungry, and have the wisdom to get food and eat, you will be full, live until you are hungry again, and if you don’t you might not. Put succinctly in the words of the wise king Solomon in his proverbs 24:3, “Through wisdom a house is built, And by understanding it is established; By knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches.” You can see that wisdom has do so with action, application- building. Understanding is stepping back, looking inside for a global view, and one may not move an inch. Whereas, knowledge increases, one that gets to fill the earth as the water covers the sea, it grows, And that’s the one we have been talking about. One that grows!



So, it’s important we know that it’s difficult, if not unlikely, at least in time, that we understand God like a textbook cover to cover. We aren’t called to understand Him, we are called to believe Him, and we are established. And even the entrance of His word gives understanding, only when we are simple. Of His wisdom, we are to fear Him to begin with and ask from Him who gives it liberally without reproach. Having exhausted what this knowing is not, can we now fully focus on knowing Him?





Giving that we now know that this knowing found us first and we can only grow in it, how do you grow in what you do not know? That’s the question I see someone asking, like Philip, what exactly is knowing God?




John the beloved couldn’t help break it down any further. That knowing God is Loving God. “Whoever doesn’t love doesn’t know God, for God is Love.” And that’s what this edition is all about.

Oh! Isn’t that interesting, that that love, the only God commandment He gave us is what it came back to means to know Him? Isn’t it rather confounding how the gift of tongues, prophecies, faith, martyrdom, philanthropy of 1 Corinthian 13 can all amount to show offs without love, without knowing God.



Having those gifts then without loving God which is knowing God to me is scary, especially with having all knowledges. What! You might have to read the verse 2 of 1st Corinthian again to be sure you didn’t miss out a thing here. Having all knowledge such as mentioned earlier include any which has outgrown God. All schools of thought exalting themselves above the knowledge of Christ. This ranges from those that says Christ is never coming back to religious ones claiming they know the very day he will return and everyone inbetween. Little wonder extreme academia on its part capped with so much incredible success even with philanthropical feats often lack God. Nurturing and branching out the tree of knowledge of good and evil and obviously lack love. Such was Athens, Act 17 where an altar was raised to an unknown God in verse 13 amidst global idols, in order not to missed out on any deity. In attendance were echelons of philosophy at the time Greece was world superpower. Areopagus among them ended up believing in Christ when Paul filled the missing God in their heart with the love of Christ in a public space.





I realised that God’s knowing is so personal it became the dying prayer of Moses at the mountain of Horeb. Just about when God’s anger towards the stiff-necked Israelites had him saying He would withdraw his presence. Moses goes; “Now therefore, I pray, If I have found grace in your sight, show me your way, THAT I MAY KNOW YOU…” . He made that prayer nearly a century after bagging the best of education from Egypt as her adopted prince at a primetime Egypt was world superpower, the very root of arithmetics and grubs. So, it wasn’t lack of knowledge of good and evil that made him prayed. It wasn’t lack of seeing miracles either, especially those through him. By the time he was making this prayer in Exodus 33: 13, he had long led the crossing of the Red Sea. He had seen real food rain down like hails. God has spoken to Him like a man would talk to a friend, yet he wanted to know God. He wanted to know more of God, to love God and a by extension a difficult and stiff-necked people on.



Perhaps knowing God is so key and not just by flipping through the Bible that Jesus had to go on bended knees. Nearly sweating His blood out that He had to intercede for us: “And THIS is LIFE eternal, that THEY may KNOW YOU, the only God and Jesus Christ whom he had sent.” Hmm! He made this knowing God the simple definition of life eternal in this John 17:3. And what that reminded me of is knowing the tree of life. I’d think that clicked with you as well. Therefore, knowing life eternal is knowing God and that’s same as loving God!





So, it’s a matter of knowing life or death met in knowledge of good mixed with evil. It mattered not the gifts we have, in writing or oratory, healing, singing or craftiness. It is not life eternal if we do not know God. Which is now only evidenced by loving God. Such loveless gifts will amount to empty and loud sounding cymbals, gaining the whole world of gifts including all knowledge of good and evil especially but losing one soul. And if that is not what perishing is, what is it? Could the lack of love then be what God meant when He said my people perish for lack of knowledge? My Own people  PERISH for lack of love! For he who loves not doesn’t know God. How hard but simple that can be!


May it never come to this, that one’s first love had waxed stone cold to the extent that a total lack of love is what is left of it all, as typical in this last days. Please remember once again, how much you loved God when you were just knowing him, just when you were found by this life eternal. Which further proves that this love and knowing goes and grows together? May I not get to the point where I have put on the whole armour of God and dazzling in loads of His gifts but a hole is left in my armoury from losing the helmet of salvation - life eternal which is knowing God. Yet one keeps shining on, and their swelling fanbase is blinded by the gilters of the gifts of gold but none sees the hole in the whole, like Samson’s. Some, to the extent that one could have amassed almost the entire spiritual gifts of 1 Cor 13 but God couldn’t just spot love anywhere there.




Ahrrh! It meant the Holy Ghost of love had been taken away from such. And the same one whose sins God once couldn’t remember had somehow become one God says He never knew. Because this knowing Jesus called life eternal was lost in them. Now we know better why Jesus forewarned, “many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’” — Matthew 7:22-23, reading true to 1 Cor 13. So all those fanciful spiritual works can become work of iniquity if one isn’t known by God. Yet demonstrating the gift of God as a form of godliness, the life power denied only running on remnant inertia, living a name but dead, looking fresh green like the fig tree Jesus already cursed to the root, waiting a matter of time. Reminding us that Judas was part of the twelve and mighty seventy that Jesus sent out to preach and came back having performed several miracles. Yet in the end, it was possible to do all these, and not be known of God because one has become unknown to God in the final reckoning. He said I know my sheep and my sheep knows my voice, it’s a mutual knowing my dear. He said He knows Abraham, he will command his house. He knew Job that he will not deny him. He vouched for him in the face of the tempter that he’s a lover of God both when abound and when abased. So I ask myself, do God still know me? Oh merciful God! Whoever doesn’t love doesn’t even know God to begin with. For knowing God is showing love to Him, and Him first, before it flows to one’s neighbours.


May you not lose the gift of salvation which came with repentance while basking in the afterglow of the other gifts of God without repentance.





It seems clearer now more than ever that knowing God is personal, not congregational. Eve had to know God as was Adam despite being a couple in Eden of all places. Samuel had to know Him, apart from Eli, and Eli’s knowing doesn’t cover for His sons despite almost earning a life on the altar. It’s you choosing to yield that longing that you may know Him more. When Solomon said we can find the knowledge of God in Proverbs 2:5, he was speaking of finding from a longing to know Him more which that started out in verse one. After all, this knowing found you first already. It has to start from a place of examining one self, a yearning prayer not to be as one showing God to others but oneself being a cast away in the end. Soul-breaking! Which was why Paul, after having his blinded eyes by an angel literally opened from his zeal of Judaism; after exploits of winning souls, raising the dead, after his handkerchief and aprons had healed the sick and many other wonders; bearing the blood ribbon of being Hebrew of Hebrews; breaking into the spiritual apartheid of gentiles, being a daunting Pharisee per excellence with evidence of leading crusades of zealot counted all his knowledge of good mixed with evil as dung in verse 8 of Philippians 3, for one thing only. He came to his knees in verse 10 with this same prayer of Moses, which Jesus prayed for us, That I May Know Him!



That I may know Him is that I May love Him.


It’s doesn’t get any more personal. It’s like knowing that your name is written in the book of life, and then everything else can be added. Because this knowing, Jesus said is life eternal, not one to lose. Samson at the death got it, just as David once examined himself and found that despite winning everything, from killing Goliath to killing Uriah, that the salvation was gone, he prayed, restored unto me the joy of salvation, fill the hole in the whole. This knowing, this first love, this life eternal can be restored, right now, if you pray, that I may know Him.





How I love you to read Jeremiah 31, which started out that God has already loved you with an everlasting love in verse 3. Please read if you can. Downline verse 33-34, it had filtered down to personal knowing of God. Okay, let me quote that here, “But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more”.




Knowing God is the new covenant of love fulfilled in Christ alive in you. It will feel like you are reading Hebrew 8:10-12 as testimony of that fulfilment. This knowing God, is knowing love itself. It's the free setting law of spirit and life which can only be put in your mind and written in your heart by God. It would not be taught in weekday school or Sunday school, or by a neighbour.  That’s why children can know God. It’s by that Spirit of God, that same spirit of love, power and sound mind who knows all things, yeah, the deep things of God. Not only know all things but also teaches all things, and even bring all things to your remembrance. You would know it when you begin to know it. It would start from loving God and not from loving your neighbour because it was taught to you by God and not by your neighbour. So since this knowing is as good as loving. God’s love like His knowledge love starts from God, to you and back to Him first, then flow to neighbour. Not the other way round which make it different from religious martyrdom of giving oneself to be burnt but having no love of 1 Corinthians 13. Exploits, therefore doesn’t make us know God, it’s knowing God that makes us do exploits, for they that Know their God shall be strong and l do exploits. You are right by substituting the word knowing God for loving anywhere you see it.



What you know you see, yet no man had seen God, and live. For in God, this knowing becomes clear as love, visible to the such that God so loved the world that he became flesh. Real that Jesus told Philip you can see the father in me now. Perhaps why Moses wanted to see God to know him. So, if life eternal is knowing God by the son, if we know Jesus, we know God, for through him he has made himself known. Then, we know in a fast pace world, that love, God can be patient, kind, doesn’t boast, you know the rest of the bounties.


Knowing God is knowing love as life eternal. It’s what made Job said , I know my redeemer lives. It mattered little what may come our way. This knowing changes it all, they that know their God shall be strong because this knowing brings strength. God’s joy just becomes your strength when you have none of yours left. This is what knowing love, knowing God is, selfless. Job said, even if He slays me, I will not deny Him. It’s an uncompromising conviction. This growing knowing, that even if He didn’t deliver us like the Hebrew brothers, we would ask Him why in eternity!



Perhaps why Paul ended his all or none love reel of 1 Corinthian 13 chapter by saying that, “love never fail… where there is knowledge, it will pass away, For we know in part… .” Dear, keep growing in this knowing like love grows. It will never fail because it’s life eternal!




—Olusola Olusanya, Topical Writer



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