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Serving God or Knowing God? – A Generational Thing? March 15, 2008

Posted by Kevin in Uncategorized.
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Sitting in Bible Study Thursday night my father-in-law made an interesting comment. He was commenting about folks in his day who initially were excited or energetic about their personal relationship to the Lord. This comment was made in the context of discussing sanctification. He said, “Many folks start out wanting to really serve the Lord.” He said it emphatically with his arm raised and a little fist pump for emphasis.

I thought about that…

Then it hit me. This is yet another generational difference in how folks perceive the Gospel. And it not surprising. His generation is the one chronicled so well by Tom Brokaw in his book The Greatest Generation. That generation had a mindset and view of the world that lead them to service as the pinnacle of demonstrating ones devotion to something.

As I look at this present generation, service does not seem to be the pinnacle. That is not a value judgment, just an observation. Many folks today view “knowing” God as the key thing in their relationship. Here is what I see. In times past folks began serving God before they really knew God. Knowing God came later as we gained more and more experiences with God and trust in God as He led us day by day.

Today, the opposite seems to be the norm. Today it seems that the desire is to know God first. To try Him out and get to know Him first before there is a real commitment to a lifelong relationship and service. Again, not judgment here. (Although it sort of sounds like one!) Just an observation.

So what does that mean for me?

I am not sure. I grew up both serving God and knowing God. That was just the way I was raised. Unfortunately, neither of them are requirements for a relationship with God, His son Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. What he required of me was that I acknowledge that I was a sinner, that I confessed those sins, asked for forgiveness, and turned to Him and began walking with Him in an obedient and personal relationship that has now stretched for almost 40 years.

At some point in there, and I can tell you the time and the place, I finally dealt with the issue of control in my life and with what Wesley would call the “bent toward sinning.” It was at that point that I was serving a God that I knew intimately. Not only did I know Him. He knew me!

Any thoughts or comments that you would like to add?