Knowing God: From the Head to the Heart – Part 1

By Joel Iyorwa

The anatomical distance between the head and the heart is grossly misleading. For in the spirit, where it truly matters, these two parts can and indeed are very widely separated from each other.

This is especially true when it comes to the matter of knowing God. The world is polarized along this line of head knowledge and heart knowledge. Much of the knowledge of God that is prevalent today is mere head knowledge. The goal of the Christian life is the heart knowledge of God.

Job captured the distinction between the two kinds of knowledge of God picturesquely when he said,

“I have heard of you by the hearing of the ear, But now my eyes have seen You.” (Job 42:5)

What a profound statement. The first one describes facts and information while the second describes intimacy and life.
But can God be known? Absolutely!

Some people misinterpret the mystery surrounding God to mean we cannot really know God as human beings. In truth, it is an invitation to search and discover.

For some such knowledge is preposterous, presumptuous and even irreverent. God is too distant, too holy to be ‘known.’ But the Bible teaches undeniably that God can not only be known, but wants to be known by men.

In Daniel 11:32 the Bible declares “…but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits.” Notice it says ‘people’ not angels. Also, it does not say ‘person’ or ‘individual’ but ‘people.’ Knowing God is not a restricted privilege nor is it mutually exclusive of anyone.

Yet, this phrase “the people that know their God” shows us that not everyone knows God nor will everyone be interested in knowing God. How blessed it is to be in the number of those who can be described as ‘the people who know their God!’

The kind of knowledge being referred to in this scripture is not just mere head knowledge. To an extent, head knowledge is just about facts and to another extent it is about theological correctness.

Most people who have been around church for a while, or who have gone to a seminary will have this kind of knowledge which we can refer to as ‘factual knowledge’.

This level of knowledge of God deals more with information. We can acquire this knowledge by sitting in the church pews every week, by enrolling in a seminary, by growing up in a Christian family or in Sunday school.

This is the kind of knowledge the Bible talks about in 1 Corinthians 8:1 when it says “knowledge puffs up” meaning it does nothing other than make us feel good, proud and self-satisfied.

But heart knowledge leads us into relationship where we don’t merely study a subject, but we are in relationship with a person.

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