December 12, 2010
“. . . but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen” (2 Peter 3:18).
Growing in the knowledge of God is the opportunity of a lifetime, literally. No matter how much we learn and are enriched by what we know, God’s greatness offers still more. Our whole lifetime should be spent seeking these greater things. Coming to know our Creator more richly is, in a positive sense, life’s greatest challenge. It is also our greatest joy and our greatest reward. This is what makes life worth living.
A. W. Pink observed that most Christians “expect little from God, ask little, and therefore receive little and are content with little.” If this is a problem today, it is by no means a new problem. The writer of Hebrews found it necessary to exhort his readers with these words: “Though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food” (Hebrews 5:12). Too few of God’s people have ever grown as they should “in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” Arrested development is often the norm.
We would surely be shocked if we could see how wide the gap really is between what God knows to be and what we know God to be.
But there is also quite a gap between what we know God to be and what we could know God to be. We should be sorrowful when we reflect on our complacency. “God’s treasure is like an infinite ocean, and yet a little wave of emotion, passing with the moment, is enough for many” (Brother Lawrence). Our desire to know our God is all too small.
Perhaps it is daunting to think of the magnitude of such a thing as coming to know God. We may shrink from the very thought. But looking at it from another point of view, what could we undertake that would hold more promise? Is this not the greatest adventure, the ultimate undertaking in this otherwise disappointing world? How bracing to climb a little way up the slope and feel the air freshen, to climb even further and catch a thrilling glimpse of the distant summit!
The finest qualities of our created nature are called forth when we reach upward, always upward.
“When I am at my best the Word still towers high above me” (Bernard of Clairvaux).