Before graduation from the Ohio high school I attended, every senior was required to write a major research paper. I honestly don’t remember what I wrote on, but I remember how I wrote it. I went to the library, found resources and pulled together a paper. I’ve been building on that foundation of research and study ever since.
Today’s seniors probably don’t spend nearly as much time in the library. The internet has profoundly shifted the way students learn and research. Whatever the topic, many students start writing papers with a quick Google search. As a result, many of these learners never develop true expertise; they merely learn to find the right answers.
I believe many of us approach our knowledge and understanding of God in a similar way. We want to know the right answers to the major questions. We want to have a working knowledge of the important biblical stories, especially those celebrated at major holidays. We want to be able to answer questions about what we believe for those who might ask. But besides that, we are satisfied in our knowledge of God.
This Easter, I’d like to suggest a better way. We should not strive to know God the way students study for exams or write papers, concerned with having the right things memorized and citing the right sources. Instead, we strive to know God in the way we pursue a friend or lover. We share experiences, we talk, we seek and listen to advice. Most of all, we are never satisfied.
Like great friends who never grow weary of spending more time together, so too should be our pursuit of God. Jesus made this point on the Thursday before He died, teaching His disciples He no longer considered them servants, but friends (John 15:15).
And so this Easter, my heart is resonating with Hosea 6:3, “Let us know; let us press on to know the LORD; his going out is sure as the dawn; he will come to us as the showers, as the spring rains that water the earth.” I love the image of God revealing himself as rain. Let the rains come!
I must confess there have been times in my life when my study of God’s Word has seemed merely academic. I’ve taken strides in my quiet times to enjoy Jesus in the biblical stories. As a result, I’ve slowed down and read more prayerfully. Most of all, I’ve found I’m engaging the Bible more from my heart. Sure, my mind is engaged and I am studying along the way, but my goal is different. I don’t just want to know the facts, but I want to enjoy Jesus at every point.
Tim Keller does an excellent job explaining how the entire Bible is ultimately about Jesus in this video.
This weekend, as we celebrate Jesus’ death and resurrection and all that He accomplished for us, let’s also press on to know Him better, because knowledge fuels enjoyment, amazement and love. And that should be our ultimate goal. One, that I hope, is never satisfied.