John 3:3 (New International Version)
3In reply Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again."
Sometimes my mind takes me in strange directions and recently I was thinking about the point at which we come into existence within the span of time. Peter, our son, existed for just over two years before our daughter Brenda was born and it is hard to imagine her not being part of our lives back then. She does though know about our lives before she came along, from photographs and what we've told her.
It's the same with history. We know about it two ways; we know about the part we experienced because we were there, and we know what others tell us or what we read, about the part we didn't experience personally.
There is a spiritual parallel. We are born once into the world and at some point we will know about God through what we read, or what someone tells us. We can even study theology and know all about him; however, being in relationship with him--experiencing him for ourselves, is as different to knowing about him as Brenda's knowledge of our life before she was born is from what she has experienced since.
That is why the point at which we enter into that relationship, is called a second birth--we are born spiritually into the Kingdom of God and begin to experience life and relationship with him. If someone happens to be reading this and hasn't been reborn spiritually yet--I hope this is the moment that you will step from the realm of knowledge to the realm of experience. And if that happens, let me know. I would love to be praying for you.
John 4:24 (New International Version)
24God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth."