In Philippians 3:10 Paul expressed his desire to know God. He certainly did know God, but he wanted to know Him more intimately. This should be the heart of every Christian, because the more we know Him, the more we will love Him, and the more we love Him, the more we will keep His commands in faithful obedience.
There is, first and formost, a knowing God with the mind, or theoretical knowledge. We can only know this, as He has revealed Himself to us through His word, the Bible. Through this avenue of knowledge, we learn who He is, what He has done for us, and how it is possible to enter into a personal relationship with Him.
The knowledge Paul spoke about in the above mentioned verse, however, is a different kind of knowledge. It is a knowledge that comes from the experience of personally finding Him out and staking our life on what has been found out. We study His attributes to learn more about His identity and His purpose, and in receiving this by faith and submitting ourselves to who He is, we can experience some of that which Philippians 3:10 speaks.
We also increase in our knowledge of Him as we obey His commands. When we find a command of Scripture and faithfully obey it, we also find that God allows us to move in a little closer in our fellowship with Him, giving a more intimate knowledge of Himself. No person living in rebellion to what he knows the word of God teaches is either walking in fellowship or increasing in God’s knowledge.
A third dimension of knowing Him that I would mention, is receiving His promises and believing them. I am using the word “believe” as an action word. God intends that our faith be such that we believe His word above all circumstances, appearances, and feelings. Many Christians have learned to do that concerning going to heaven when they die, but they have not learned it for living here and now. What a difference that can make! When Paul expressed his desire to “know Him in the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death,” he meant here and now living.
He had great knowledge of God, but he wanted to know Him more. One country song says, “I like it, I love it, I want some more of it!” I’m not sure just what the country singing was talking about, but I know there’s nothing like knowing God.