Wednesday, June 16, 2010

How well do you know your bike?

Recently I participated in an event called, "Bike Across Kansas." It was a wonderful 500 mile trip from West to East across the state. I had to dust off my 20 year old bike, take it into the bike shop for a needed tune-up, and work my way into shape. I knew before going into the ride that my bike (although still very good) would be a dinosaur compared to most other riders. There were some 800-900 riders who participated in the ride and they were like a sub-culture of their own. They treated their bikes like a precious commodity (some were actually worth thousands of dollars). They had their own lingo as they talked of components, derailleurs, cranks, cadence, and composite fibers. Being that I have been involved in cycling for a number of years, I was familiar with their lingo. After every day on the bike, the riders would talk about the day, the specialness of their bikes, and past rides.

Like the "Bike Across Kansas" sub-culture the Christians are a separate sub-culture all their own. Unlike the "Bike Across Kansas" culture the Christian culture often has scant knowledge of their precious commodity-God. The prophet Hosea states this concerning God's people, "my people are destroyed from lack of knowledge. (Hosea 4:6)" Knowledge of God is crucially important especially in today's culture. Proper knowledge of God serves three primary purposes.

First, knowledge of God is profitable for spotting those who oppose the work of God or who travel the road of heresy. The early Church experienced heresy as this was addressed by the apostle John toward the end of the 1st century (1 John 2:18-23). Whether this was the beginning of Gnosticism or not, the point to be taken is that knowledge of God is important in order to recognize heresy.

Secondly, and related to the first point, is that, knowledge of God grounds the believer in who God is. Being familiar with God's word (which is the primary way we access knowledge of God) allows the believer to contradict those in our culture who would attack the Christian world view. 1 Peter 3:15 states, "Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect." Obviously, a defense or answer of the Christian worldview cannot be sufficiently given without first having proper knowledge of who God is. So, having a proper knowledge of God, not only helps in spotting heresy, but it is crucial in being able to speak the truth of God.

The third and final reason why knowledge of God is important, has to do with the strength the believer receives when knowing more of who God is. One does not have to worry about exhausting all knowledge of who God is, for He is God (Isaiah 40:28). But, increased knowledge of God, brings one closer to God and makes better sense of the world around us. The knowledge of God is exactly what Job experienced in his life when he said in Job 42, " 1 Then Job replied to the LORD :2 I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted. 3 You asked, 'Who is this that obscures my counsel without knowledge?' Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know. 4 "You said, 'Listen now, and I will speak; I will question you, and you shall answer me.' 5 My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you." One bit of caution, knowledge of God is unimportant if one does not have an open heart to the Holy Spirit of God, for then it only becomes head knowledge.

Knowledge of God is as important today as it was to the people of Hosea's period. Sadly, many individuals today have a greater knowledge of their bikes (which will perish and fade in time) than they do of the One who can actually make an eternal difference. How well do you know your bike, maybe should be phrased, how well do you know your God?
* Article dealing with the knowledge of God.

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