“But then, indeed, when you did not know God, you served those which by nature are not gods” (Galatians 4:8).
IN OUR SEEKING OF GOD, THE THING THAT WE SEEK IS NOT AN ABSTRACT KNOWLEDGE OF HIM, BUT A PRACTICAL KNOWLEDGE THAT LEADS TO RIGHT LIVING. The knowledge of God does much more than satisfy our intellectual curiosity. It is the key to active obedience. Without a true knowledge of God, neither our thoughts nor our deeds can be what they ought to be.
The lives we lead grow out of the thoughts we think. And since our thinking about God is the most basic thinking we do, it’s also the most basic determinant of our behavior. Our character and our conduct are determined by the way we think about God.
No personal relationship can be what it ought to be if it is not based upon truth. It is important, for example, that a husband and wife view each other truly. To whatever extent either holds a misconception of the other, the relationship will be hindered. Surely no less is true of our relationship with God. David said, “The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth” (Psalm 145:18). We simply can’t relate to God properly if our conception of Him is at odds with reality. Jesus Himself said, “But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him” (John 4:23).
“Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life” (Proverbs 4:23). All of our thoughts are important, but by far the most important are those that have to do with God. We’ve been created to show forth God’s own goodness by loving Him and praising Him, and it’s truth that makes it possible for us to do both. David acknowledged the essential role of truth in worship when he prayed, “I will worship toward Your holy temple, and praise Your name for Your lovingkindness and Your truth; for You have magnified Your word above all Your name” (Psalm 138:2). Those whose hearts are filled with the greatest adoration of God are those whose minds see most clearly who He really is.
“They that know Thee not may call upon Thee as other than Thou art, and so worship not Thee but a creature of their own fancy; therefore enlighten our minds that we may know Thee as Thou art, so that we may perfectly love Thee and worthily praise Thee” (A. W. Tozer).