David, David Study Excerpt, Jesus in Everyday Life, Knowing God

The Difference between Knowing About God and KNOWING God

This post started as a teaching send-off at our church’s Wednesday morning Bible Study this week as we’re going through the study I wrote this summer on 1 & 2 Samuel. Several ladies asked for a copy of this teaching, so I figured I would post it for you all. I would love to give you a FREE copy of this study when you subscribe to my website, just check the box on THIS FORM and I will happily send it to you!

There’s a BIG difference in knowing something or someone and KNOWING something or someone. Isn’t there?

For example:

  • You may know my husband. But I KNOW my husband.
  • You may know what it takes to run a marathon. But those of you who’ve run one KNOW what it takes to run a marathon.
  • You may know what depression is. While some of us KNOW or have known that monster personally.

There really is a big difference between knowing something or someone and KNOWING something or someone, isn’t there?

What’s the difference?

  • Having an idea or knowledge about something someone vs. knowing something or someone intimately
  • Having familiarity vs. having extensive experience with the thing or person

The same is true in our knowing about Jesus and our KNOWING Jesus—and Him knowing us.

In Matthew 7 Jesus is starting to wrap up His Sermon on the Mount, and in this wrap-up He teaches about True Discipleship, (21-23). And this section absolutely wrecks me every time I read it.

For starters, the words of verse 21 cut deep into my soul.

Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter.

These are the words that propelled me to write to and for my Brothers and Sisters in Christ.

  • They’re what helped me refine and direct my ministry.
  • They’re what ignited my passion and gave me my purpose statement:

To help Christians discover and apply the vibrant relevance of God’s Word in their daily lives so that together we can positively impact the world for Jesus.

But it’s the next 2 verses that break my heart:

On Judgment Day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’ But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.’ (Matthew 22-23)

By Judgment Day He’s talking about when he separates the sheep from the goats (those who followed Him and those who didn’t) at the of end time, before He ushers in His Millennial Kingdom. And it’s those who will be counted among the goats that He’s talking about here. This section kills me, because I know many who will be counted among the goats…and desperately don’t want that.

To keep this in context, just before this, Jesus warned His listeners, and us, about false prophets who strive to deceive us and lead us astray.

Here, He’s warning us about deceiving ourselves—about believing our religion will usher us into the Kingdom of God rather than our faith, obedience, and relationship with Christ.

Friend, Jesus wasn’t talking to irreligious people here. This crowd wasn’t made up of atheists or agnostics. Nor was he chatting with pagans or heretics. He was talking to fellow Jews: men and women who were devoted to their religion—not necessarily their God, His principles and precepts, or His way of doing life.

He was talking to people like you and me who faithfully go to church and do all the religious practices. People who know the lingo. People who say and do “all the right things.”

However, Jesus knows there’s a vast difference between

  • Those who have His Name on their lip and those who have Him in their hearts.
  • Those who are furthering their cause and those who are furthering the Kingdom of God
  • Those who are chasing after religiosity and those who are chasing after His heart
  • Those who know His teachings and commands and those who apply and obey them

Jesus knows there’s a vast difference between those who know ABOUT Him and those who KNOW Him.

Jesus knows there’s a vast difference between those who know ABOUT Him and those who KNOW Him. And there’s a fine line between the two, isn’t there? Far to often we find ourselves flirting with that line, we cross over it without even knowing it because we’re blinded by pride, our selfish intentions, and our self-absorption. (Yes, this even true or those for us in ministry)

Saul perfectly demonstrated for us that regardless of our potential, if we aren’t careful, our choices can lead us to reject God. Which, in turn, will ultimately leave Him with no choice but to let us go the way we choose.

Beloved, we know

  • Not everyone who says they believe in God BELIEVES GOD.
  • Not everyone who claims to be a Christian has put their trust in Jesus and has the Spirit of The Living God in them.
  • Only those who choose to submit to Jesus in complete surrender show they are His by the fruit they bear.
  • Only those who choose to submit to Jesus in complete obedience will enter the Kingdom of Heaven.

What does this have to do with 1 & 2 Samuel?


As we’ve studied Saul and David—contrasting their lives, choices, obedience, and faith—we’ve see this play out in living color, haven’t we?

  • Think of all the lessons we’ve learned over the past 5 weeks.
  • All the challenges and blessings God has given us
  • The things He’s made Vibrantly Relevant to you personally
    • The sin He’s exposed
    • The forgiveness He’s given
    • The wounds He’s healed and is healing

Regardless of the sin Saul and David committed (as well as the other’s we’ve met so far)—we can see distinct evidence of

  • Whose life was led by pride and whose was led by obedience
  • Who chased after popularity and who chased after God’s heart
  • Who knew ABOUT God and who KNEW God

And in light of their lives, we’ve examined ours. Often finding ourselves in both camps.

Don’t believe me?

Let’s hang in Saul’s camp for a bit…

  • Have you ever eliminated God from your plans?
    • Oh, Come on, I can’t be the only one…
  • Have you ever deliberately disobeyed God, His principles, and precepts?
    • Have you ever lied?
    • Gossiped?
    • Had eyes or hearts that wandered?
  • Have you ever claimed anything that was appealing to you, even when you knew it wasn’t for you or didn’t fit into you budget?
    • Target, anyone?
    • Amazon?
    • You kids’ Halloween bag?

Now let’s visit David’s…

  • Have you ever told a “white lie” only to later discover a lie is a lie is a lie and all lying is sin—no matter what color it is?
    • Did that lie result in devastation?
    • Destroy a relationship?
    • Damage your character and integrity?
  • Have you ever been faithful in a season of intense trial but when the time seemed to drag on and on and on you gave up?
    • You got distracted by the horizontal and took matters into your own hands?
    • Became disheartened with the duration, you gave up hope and trusting in God?
    • And later found yourself in a wilderness time in your life and faith?
    • This could be in a marriage, relationships with your kids, other relationships, education, career, finances, you name it


Friend, we know a lot about God, but sometimes we forget we also KNOW Him.

Friend, we know a lot about God, but sometimes we forget we also KNOW Him.

When we get distracted by our horizontal life, we lose sight of Whose we are and who we are because of Whose we are.

This is why I’m so in love with God’s Word! Seriously, aren’t you thankful God didn’t sugarcoat the lives of those who fill Scripture’s pages? I am!

  • I’m thrilled He puts it all out there for us to learn from—their good, bad, and ugly.
  • I’m thrilled we can see where they went wrong, where they went right, and how they got back on track when they went off the rails.
  • I’m thrilled they were no less a hot mess than I am at times. Amen?

Both Saul and David sinned. And both sinned big. But what separated David from Saul was David chose to engage in a vibrant relationship with God. And in nurturing that relationship, David’s heart became so aligned with God’s, that what broke God’s heart broke his. So when he sinned, David’s heart shattered because he knew he’d broken God’s heart. This then led to his genuine repentance.

There’s so much to learn from David, isn’t there?

In Saul’s case, he chose to reject God and refused to repent over and over again which eventually led to God rejecting him as king. However, we need to remember, God didn’t reject him as a man. Instead, God gave Saul countless opportunities to submit and turn back to Him. To repent. To establish his relationship with Him. To KNOW Him.

But SAUL CHOSE NOT TO! He refused to do God’s and earned the epitaph: I PLAYED THE FOOL.

I wouldn’t doubt on Judgment Day Saul will say ,

  • I was the anointed king of Your people—YOU chose me!
  • I sacrificed offerings, in Your Name
  • I fought Your battles, in Your Name

But I can almost hear God’s reply: I didn’t know you, Saul. You never gave me the chance.

(Psalm 51)

However, David was the opposite. When he messed up, he fessed up, and looked up.

What do I mean?

When David got back on track, he submitted to the consequences of his sin, and earned the epitaph: A MAN AFTER GOD’S OWN HEART.

My friend, there is a difference in knowing ABOUT God and KNOWING God.

As we meditate on the difference between Saul and David and the others we’ve met in 1 Samuel, I challenge you to take a few minutes alone today and give praise to the God you know. The Savior you love. Fall into His arm—regardless of your brokenness and sin. Regardless of your worry and fears. Regardless of the unknown and uncertainties. Regardless of the loneliness and pain.

He will meet you there.

He will hold you.

Do you know why?

Because He knows you too.

Blessings, xoxo


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4 thoughts on “The Difference between Knowing About God and KNOWING God”

  1. Thank you for your support and encouraging words. You are correct, if Jesus gave everything for us, why do we sometimes feel we shoudn’t or don’t need to? I think if we really meditated on what He gave and what we received…we wouldn’t be able to help ourselves from giving it all for Him and to Him. Hugs, my sweet friend.

  2. Cheyenne, this is power packed! What an awesome teaching this is and so very important. Sometimes we casually think a quick nod to Jesus is enough. But He poured out His blood on the cross for us. Do we really think a smile and wink is enough in response? He gave his all, may we give our all!
    As for David…I wrote a similar post a few months ago. David’s heart of repentance and confession is something I pray to grow into. It is pivotal in our growth in the Lord and our reflection of Jesus. Thank you for this excellent teaching!

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