Christianity is far more than feeling a certain way.  It involves knowing God.  To be a Christian is far more than being saved from the eternal flames of hell.  It involves a lifetime pursuit of God.  Paul explains the Christian pursuit in Ephesians 1:18-19, “having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you , what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the work of his great might.”

Today, much of evangelical Christianity is based on feelings.  We choose churches based on how the services make us feel.  We listen to certain preachers based on how they make us feel.  We read certain books in order to stir-up certain feelings.  And the list goes on and on.  Have you considered the fact that God wants us to know some things about Him?

Biblical Enlightenment

When Paul uses the phrase, “having the eyes of your hearts enlightened” he is referencing the inner core of our human person.  The center of our spiritual and physical person is often referred to as our heart in the Scriptures.  This is where the seat of our emotions, volition, and thinking occurs.  Paul’s prayer for the church at Ephesus (and surrounding cities) was that they would know God intimately and grow in their knowledge of Him.  Alistair Begg writes the following:

[We] must understand that Christianity is not served by mindlessness, but by the knowledge of God through the Word of God. Such knowledge engages our minds, stirs our hearts, and transforms our lives. This knowledge is personal. How is it fostered? By listening to what He says (the priority of preaching), by engaging Him in conversation (the emphasis on prayer), by spending time in His company (the need for a devotional life), and by being with others who know Him too (the need for gathered worship). This knowledge is progressive and dynamic, not static. At the end of our journey, we should still be exclaiming with Paul:  “I want to know Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:2). [1]

As we read through the Scriptures, we see that this pursuit is not merely a human effort.  It requires diligence from us, but it likewise involves the work of the Holy Spirit to open our hearts to understand.  In 2 Corinthians 4:6, we read, “For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”  We likewise read that without the power of God, we cannot understand the things of God, because they are spiritually discerned (1 Cor. 2:14).  Although we were once darkened and our understanding of God and His marvelous grace (Eph. 4:18) was a hidden mystery, after causing us to be born again, we are given the ability to understand the Word of God.  Therefore, we must give ourselves to the study of God.

Knowing God

Knowing God involves quite a bit more than showing up for a church service on Sunday morning.  It’s impossible for your pastor to give you all of your spiritual nutrients in one sermon.  It is the will of God for us to know God.  This involves:

  1. Knowledge of what God has done for us in the past.
  2. Knowledge of what God is doing for us in the present.
  3. Knowledge of what God is planning for us in the future.

According to Paul, in Ephesians 1:15-19, his prayer was for the Ephesian believers to have the knowledge of God which involved the hope they possessed in God, the glorious riches of their inheritance in God, and the immeasurable power toward those who believe.  This type of understanding involves a lifelong pursuit and should not be relegated to the back burner of life.  Knowing God is more important than your business ventures, your retirement plans, your children’s athletic pursuits, and anything else you could give yourself to in this life.  While participating in a Q&A one day, James Montgomery Boice was once asked, “What do you think is the greatest lack among evangelical Christians in America today?”  He replied, “I think that the greatest need of the evangelical church today is for professing Christians really to know God.” [2]


  1. Alistair Begg, Made For His Pleasure, (Chicago: Moody Press, 1996), 22.
  2. James Montgomery Boice, Ephesians: An Expositional Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI: Ministry Resources Library, 1988), 34.