There is a whole world of difference between “knowing the Lord” and knowing about the Lord. The prophet Jeremiah had this to report –
Thus says the LORD: “Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, let not the mighty man glory in his might, nor let the rich man glory in his riches; but let him who glories glory in this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the LORD, exercising lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth. For in these I delight,” says the LORD. (Jer.9:23-24)
Even though this verse has been lifted out of its context, (for the Jews were at that time relying on their own Wisdom, Strength, and Riches) the words of the Lord stand timelessly for us all. Instead of resting on our own prowess, whatever it may be, we should rather glory in God’s Lovingkindness, Judgment, and Righteousness. These three attributes declare the wonder of God’s character. Knowing them, we begin to know the Lord personally.
The Apostle Paul had something similar to say in his letter to the Philippians.
“I count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord.” (Phil.3:8). Paul had just given a list of all his previous attainments as a Jew and a Pharisee, but now he is counting it all as rubbish that he may gain Christ, “that I may know Him.” (Verse 10).
Paul said to the Corinthians –
“Though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.” (1 Cor.13:2)
The Lord had this to say to the Laodicean Church –
“Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’ —and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked— I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.” (Rev.3:17-18)
Self reliance once again. The true knowledge of God is only found by turning away from our own accomplishments and looking steadfastly into the face of the Lord Jesus. His wealth, His righteousness, His lovingkindness, His mercy and justice are all that we need. Shall we not be clothed in these, and cast off our own rags?