This past week and this week God has been showing us some of the good things we will enjoy as our knowledge of God grows. Last Tuesday, He showed us that Scriptures declares that “the people who know their God will display strength and take action” (Daniel 11:32). That is a great promise. Last Wednesday, God showed us something about people who know Him. Peter says, “Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord” (2 Peter 1:2). His statement reveals that both grace and peace are increased in the believer’s life by the full or thorough knowledge of God. And last Thursday, we learned that people who intimately know God have spiritual wisdom.
Growth In Paul’s prayer for the Colossians we see another advantage of knowing God: “ For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you may walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowl¬edge of God ” ( Colossians 1:9 10 ). As I have studied this passage, there is some difference of belief as to how this should be interpreted. While most of our popular versions submit it as a prayer for the Colos¬sians to increase in the knowledge of God, most commenta-tors understand it to mean that the knowledge of God is the means by which we bear fruit and increase in every good work. They would translate it something like this: “bearing fruit and increasing in every good work by the knowledge of God.”
What a great thought for believers to ponder. Some people are asking, “Why can’t I do what is right? Why don’t I have the love and joy and peace that I crave?” Here is one reason. Our fruitfulness and our growth depend on our knowledge of God. This works the same way in our other relationships as well. As we grow in our knowledge of our friends we enjoy being with them more and we have a greater longing to please them. That is what occurs in our relationship with the Lord. The more we know of His love for us the more we love Him in return (1 John 4:19). And the more we love Him the more we want to please Him (1 John 5:3; John 14:15).
There is another comparison that will help us understand this truth. Psychologists tell us that we obtain similarities to the people we get to know intimately and with whom we spend a great deal of time. As we spend time with our Lord and grow in our knowledge of Him we begin to develop Christ-like qualities, the very things which the New Testament refers to as fruit. In other words, we will bear fruit and increase in every good work by the knowledge of God. I am a great lover of the Psalms. A Psalm writer named Asaph choose to get to know God better. He was in dire shape spiritually. He says he came close to stumbling; his steps had almost slipped (Psalm 73:2). He was on the verge of a serious spiritual defeat, angry with God because ungodly people were doing better than he was (how many times have I been in those same shoes?). He certainly was not growing until, he says, " I came into the sanctuary of God; then I perceived their end" (verse 17).
Being in the sanctuary of God was an Old Testament way of expressing fellowship with Him. Asaph got to know God—His love, His care, His guidance, and His all sufficiency. Then he went on to say, “ Nevertheless I am continually with Thee; Thou hast taken hold of my right hand. With Thy counsel Thou wilt guide me, and afterward receive me to glory. Who have I in heaven but Thee? And besides Thee, I desire nothing on earth. My flesh and my heart may fail, But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever ( verses 23 26 ).”
His knowledge of God changed his life and gave him a growing joy in walking with Him. He could say, “ But as for me, the nearness of God is my good ” ( verse 28 ). The closer he got to God the more he grew and the better he enjoyed his spiritual experience. It can be our good too. We will experience new growth and fruitfulness when we get to know Him.