"It is one thing to know about a sports hero, and quite another thing to be the friend of that athlete. You can read every news article on your hero, memorize every stat, and collect every piece of memorabilia yet never really know the athlete himself. To truly know a sports hero, you would have to do more than just watch him play. You would have to have a relationship with him, based on time spent together and regular conversation." —gotquestions.org
There is a big difference between knowing something objectively and knowing it subjectively. For instance, knowing about someone is not the same as having a personal relationship with that someone. The same could be said for our relationship with God. Some "christians" prefer to appreciate God from a "healthy" distance. To learn about Him from others without allowing Him to get too close, or heaven forbid, invade their personal space and take over their lives. But perhaps you're not exactly in that category. Perhaps your relationship with God is more profound because you are genuinely committed to your Christian Faith. However, it is easy to study God's Word, pray often, and go to Church faithfully, yet do so in an obligatory way, or in a manner that lacks substance and heart. The fact is that any of us can easily become religious and superficial in our approach to God. Sometimes, without even realizing it.
But there's a third category of Christian that's very different than the other two outlined. This type of Christian is not only committed to their Faith, but also unafraid of letting God fully take over their life. The best way to describe this Christian is to compare them to such men of the Old Testament as Moses, David, and Daniel, or any of the New Testament's apostles who similarly shared in these characteristics. These men craved for God in such a profound manner that they desired to see Him, touch Him, feel Him, and HEAR Him. They weren't satisfied with merely keeping God's commandments and living righteously. Indeed, they wanted to experience God more dynamically and did everything they could to fulfill that desire.
We may refer to this third category of Christian as a "beyond the veil Christian". I chose this name because it describes one of the most important functions of the Levitical high priest, whose duty was to minister to God beyond the veil that separated the inner court from the Most Holy or "Holy of Holies". While the lay segment of Israel's population could only offer God sacrifices from the outer court of the temple, the Levitical high priest was permitted entry into the inner sanctum where God's presence was so concentrated, that it was both visible and tangible.
To understand what beyond the veil Christians are like, let's look at Moses for an example. Moses feared God and was said to be the most humble man alive in his day (Num. 12:3). By virtue of his character, God selected Moses to lead the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt and to deliver His Law to them. But Moses was a special kind of man. Not only did he spend a lot of time in God's presence communing with Him like a friend, but he also craved for a more spectacular revelation of God; he wanted to see God's glory:
And he said, I beseech thee, shew me thy glory (Ex. 33:18).
As a result, Moses was one of the few men ever to behold God's physical form (Ex. 33:18-23). He was also one of the only men that God chose to speak with plainly without using code language like He did with the other prophets:
With him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches; and the similitude of the LORD shall he behold: wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against my servant Moses? (Num. 12:8)
The next man to examine is king David. David is known for composing the book of Psalm and is remembered for being a "man after God's own heart" (1 Sam.13:14). His writings reflect his passionate love for God and his delight in abiding in God's presence. He too was a man of deep spiritual fellowship and his heart's longing was to be ever closer to the Almighty:
I love you, O LORD, my strength (Ps. 18:1).
...in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore (Ps. 16:11).
As the deer panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God? (Ps. 42:1-2)
O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him (Ps. 34:8).
It is clear that David experienced God in a way that few men ever dream possible.
Finally, we have Daniel. Daniel was a man of no compromise and he loved God to the point of death. This fact is visible when considering his willingness to die in order to remain faithful to God's decrees (Dan. 3:18; 6:10). As a testament to God's respect for Daniel, we are told that Daniel was a man greatly beloved of God:
And he said unto me, O Daniel, a man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak unto thee, and stand upright: for unto thee am I now sent (Dan. 10:11).
How many Christians today are willing to be truly radical in their pursuit of God? How many are willing to love God to the point of wanting to behold His glory and see His awesome form? How many want to hear His voice and spend long seasons in His glorious presence? Do we hunger after God like David? Are we willing to love God sacrificially like Daniel, even to the point of death? And finally, do we know Jesus "beyond the veil", as a close friend? Before we decide that we are such wonderfully committed Christians with a sure ticket to heaven, we should ponder on these questions longer and a bit more seriously.