Just read an article in which “knowing God” was stated to be more important to the Eastern religions of Buddhism and Hinduism versus the importance of “knowing about God” of to Christianity. While I beg to disagree, there does seem to be some element of truth when you look at the experience of many Christians (and yes, I am including myself here). According to Gary Moon, the reason why there is so little distinction between Christians and non-Christians is because Christians (and I would add especially evangelicals) tend to focus on salvation as judicial pardon from sin instead of intimate “knowing” of God.
BUT John 17:3 says, “Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” According to Moon, we enter into eternal life by “knowing” God, a knowing which he would describe a “deeply intimate, interactive, and transforming friendship built upon abiding, living in the other.” Apprenticeship with Jesus, p. 125
Moon gives a great quote at the beginning of chapter 14 in the above book from Dallas Willard,
In the purpose of God’s redemptive work communication advances into communion and communion into union. When the progression is complete we can truly say, “It is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me” (Gal 2:20) and “For me, living is Christ” (Phil 1:21).
I know the progression is not yet complete in me! The last few days I have been wrestling with lots of self-doubt and fear and only minutes after spending a lovely time alone with God early this morning reflecting on what it means for me to fear God, I found myself furious over an email that I received in which I felt publicly humiliated (another story). But, I also know that God is not finished with me!
Moon suggested the following spiritual exercise to help us celebrate salvation as living in intimate union with God:
Spend the next twenty-four hours abiding in God and then resolve to spend as many present moments of the day “with God” as you can. (italics mine)
Helpful Hint: At any point you become aware of yourself thinking about either the past or the future, let those thoughts go and return to being with God in the present moment. After a few deep breaths, ask him simply, “What should we do together right now?”
Let’s see what happens.