“How can we turn our knowledge about God into knowledge of God? The rule for doing this is simple but demanding. It is that we turn each truth that we learn about God into matter for meditation before God, leading to prayer and praise to God.” (J.I. Packer)
I find that as I’m more and more surrounded by a world of sound bites and more and more plugged into the internet’s constant barrage of ever-changing information, I forget this simple but demanding rule. My mind whirs, downloading an ever faster onslaught of pictures and words, and I begin to approach my spiritual life in the same way — as if the accumulation of lots of facts (sound bites) about God is the goal.
Clicking here, clicking there, reading a little of this, a little of that. Downloading bits of thoughts here, bits there — acting as if Christian growth happens if I merely learn more about God.
I forget. I forget that, to know God, not just to know about Him, I must slow down. Slower. Slower and slower still. Until I stop — not just reading, but as Packer says, turning “each truth I learn about God into meditation before God.” True spirituality depends upon it. I must take each new bit of truth acquired and bow my heart before the Father, so that I might:
“… be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.” (Colossians 1:9-10)
Mere information download leaves us dry. We become fact-stuffed children, stunted in our relationship with our Father, spouting impressive God-facts but missing out on the preciousness of walking with Him. He means instead that our dried-out, download-packed days be filled with praise and intimate relationship.
Have I been taking time for meditation before God about each precious truth I learn about Him? Have you?
Even if the bit of truth is one I studied and “learned” years ago, as I think again about that certain characteristic of God, or certain verse and it’s application, I want to turn in my heart and mind and talk to God about it. Demanding, yes, but the slowed-down time of meditation, prayer and praise, of delight over a piece of truth God has revealed to us is transformative, unlike mere information download.
Begin today to do this with me? It may not happen until the end of your long day, or in little snatches of time interspersed throughout a fully scheduled day, but let’s take each truth we learn about God to God in meditation. Even if it’s the shortest of sound bites we’ve learned/read/studied/remembered about Him, let’s don’t merely read/hear/learn and move on.
For we do want — and so desperately need — our knowledge about God to turn into knowledge of God.