The Salvation Army for a new generation

Go Deeper By Knowing

‘But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To Him be glory now and forever.‘ 2 Peter 3:18

There are a number of different ways in which we as humans acquire knowledge and a number of different ways in which we are taught. Immediately I can think of three methods of learning.

The first is through individual academic study. When we think about school (don’t worry, I won’t make you do it for long!) a portion of our knowledge that we pick up comes from reading text books and educational journals etc.

In school (sorry to take you there again!) we also have teachers to pass on some of their knowledge to us and make the information in text books relevant to our understanding. However, I believe that the best and most effective way to gain a greater knowledge and understanding is through personal experience. Once again turn your mind to school (last time I promise!). What are the best and most memorable lessons you can remember? I would be surprised if those lessons didn’t involve some sort of practical demonstration or experience.

Don’t get me wrong, the other two methods of learning are absolutely key to our development. They are part of a solid foundation on which we can build.  Let’s have a look to see how this very simple illustration of different learning methods relates to our faith. Why do we need to know more?

In 2013 we want to Go Deeper in our faith, and one way we can do that is going deeper in our knowing. We need to make an effort to know Jesus more intimately. We need to be looking for more and more ways to discover more about him. The beauty of having a deeper understanding of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, is that we will find out more and more things about him and his love. You see, the beauty and wonder of Christ is such that we will never truly understand and know all there is. However, by knowing more, we establish a greater and deeper love for him and we become compelled to find out even more! Our trust and faith in him becomes more assured and our stability in our own thoughts firms up.

But how do we go deeper in knowing? If we take the illustration of how we learn and then apply it to our faith we will see that the first method, individual academic study, is important. Making sure we have regular personal devotions that will teach us something about our Lord is a must, it will give us knowledge in our minds. However, as seen previously – this on its own is not enough.

It needs to be further enhanced by teachers. We must try to learn about Christ from other people in our lives, whether that be our peers, fellow church goers, our regular ministers, internet podcasts etc. It is important for us to hear and see the word of God explored and given a relevant meaning. If we hear people repeat what we have learnt in our own personal devotions, it will help us to realise that it is important to our lives. It will also help to give us a greater understanding. Much like in school, we need teachers to sometimes help us to understand what we read.

Lastly, and for me, most importantly…strive for an experience with God. Practical demonstrations and experiences give us a true and living knowledge of God. Be aware of God and his presence in all that takes place. Spend as much time in his presence as you can. When I meet someone I have a lot of respect for, I find myself wanting to be around them all of the time, just trying to learn more about them. You often hear footballers who have moved to a better team say that just be being around better players, they raise their own game and get better just by absorbing what’s going on around them. They increase their own knowledge of their own teammates by being with them, and know what they will do in various situations, and in turn, work out how they should respond to their team mates actions.

Likewise with God, the more time we spend with him, the greater our knowledge and understanding of him. We begin to absorb knowledge of him just be being with him. We begin to understand what he does and slowly but surely work out how we should respond to his works and actions.

Go Deeper by Knowing, simply by spending time with God. I assure you, the more time you spend with him, the deeper your knowledge of God will be. 

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