“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” (Mark 12:30)
Have you ever felt like you know about God, but not God Himself?
If so, I’ve been there too.
This is a trap that many Christians fall into. Those that tend to lean toward the rules, the disciplines or the religion of Christianity, are often the ones that feel like they know God in their heads, but not their hearts.
I struggled with this for a long time. I’m a Type A personality, meaning I like to remain organized, aware and in control. I was taught at a very young age to read the Bible every day, memorize verses and to be able to recall the stories from the Old Testament. I was taught that God loves everyone, so much so that He died for our sins on the cross. I even knew that He loved me and created me intentionally and with a purpose.
Throughout my journey with Christ, I continued to learn more and more things about Him. I knew His characteristics, who He was and what He does for us, but still, I never felt like I knew Him like I know other people in my life. It is similar to when you know of someone, rather than knowing them directly. You may know what they are generally like or who they are, but not through your own experience with them. I felt like I was living through others’ relationships with Christ and trusting their experience with Him even though I wasn’t feeling any of it for myself.
Knowing God in Your Heart
What I discovered about my one-sided relationship with Christ was that it was breaking His heart. I realized that it wasn’t that God didn’t desire my heart, rather, that I was keeping God in my head. I was restricting his access to my heart, where real changes are made and where transformation happens. I felt that if God solely lived in my head, I could control our relationship. He never was too close to my heart, my inner thoughts or my deepest desires. He didn’t have to see just how messy I was, or just how much forgiveness and transformation I needed.
This is not how our relationship with Christ is meant to be. His love is so great that it has the ability to flood our hearts and wash away all shame and guilt. It brings us to our knees, humbly at His feet, and if we allow God into our hearts, He will change us. You will not only know of His love, but you will feel it too. I began to relearn the truths that I had known for so long, but this time, I prayed boldly and asked God to knock down the walls I had built so high up in my heart. I prayed that everything I once kept stored in my head, would make its way down to my heart and that His love would take on a new meaning in my life.
I challenge you to take an honest look at your relationship with Christ, and to invite Him into whatever insecurities, confusion or hurt you may be feeling. He is waiting for you to seek Him and welcome Him into your heart and your life. Begin the experience of truly knowing God, with both your heart and your mind!
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