Knowing God is the most meaningful pursuit in life. Jeremiah 9:23–24 expresses the importance of this better than anything else I've seen. We read, "Thus says the Lord, 'Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches; but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me.'"
It's amazing how many things we sometimes use to try and lift ourselves up in other people's eyes. We may do this while we're preaching, trying to be subtle about it—whether it's name-dropping or listing big, theological words in a way that makes us sound especially smart. Or we could mention a master's degree or doctorate in conversation, perhaps throwing in a cum laude we achieved.
God says, "If you are going to lift yourself up in front of others, do it about knowing Me; if you can't talk about that, then you don't have much to brag about anyhow."
Knowing God is more than having a religious experience with Him or explaining how you feel about Him. To know Him is to enter into a relationship with Him so He is the dominant Influencer of your thoughts and actions.
One of the great tragedies for so many of our preachers today is that you can prepare your sermons, study your notes, make your outlines, be aware of God, and have all your information correct … but never truly know Him.
The pursuit of knowing God is more than information. It is more than study. It is your spirit abiding with His Spirit on an ongoing basis. It is to be life's most authentic pursuit. Jesus spoke of this in His high priestly prayer when He said, "Father, the hour has come; glorify Your Son, that the Son may glorify You, even as You gave Him authority over all flesh, that to all whom You have given Him, He may give eternal life. This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent" (John 17:1–3).
Knowing God must be the priority of every minister and person called to teach His Word. It must be our highest aim. We must search for Him with all our hearts as it says in Deuteronomy 4:29. Likewise, the sage says the knowledge of God is like a man searching for silver (Prov. 2:4). Where can silver be found? Silver is found beneath the ground, which requires digging, time, dedication and intentional pursuit. The reward is overwhelming and a treasure worth cherishing.
There is no better way to know God than to hide His Word in your heart. Now, I didn't say to study His Word, but rather to hide it deep within. Let it resonate and abide in you so His thoughts—His perspective—begin to take root and overflow into all that you do. As you come to know Him, you will discover a growing process of intimacy, a closeness that will compel you to want to know Him even more.