Now a vital and saving knowledge of these Divine truths can not be acquired by a mere study of them. No amount of pouring over the Scriptures, no painstaking examination of the soundest doctrinal treatises, no exercise of the intellect, is able to secure the slightest spiritual insight into them.
True, the diligent seeker may attain a natural knowledge, an intellectual apprehension of them, just as one born blind may obtain a notional knowledge of the colourings of the flowers or of the beauties of a sunset, but the natural man can no more arrive at a spiritual knowledge of spiritual things, than a blind man can a true knowledge of natural things, yea, than a man in his grave can know what is going on in the world he has left. Nor can anything short of Divine power bring the proud heart to a felt realization of this humbling fact; only as God supernaturally enlightens, is any soul made conscious of the awful spiritual darkness in which it naturally dwells ~ A.W. Pink
This was me who knew repentance before actually being repentant; who knew salvation without actually being saved; and knew about Jesus without actually being known by or knowing him. The simple fact was that I was blind and thought my own personal desire to know and experience God was enough reason for him to accept me. The truth is that I did not ultimately treasure God more than I did my sins. I was not willing to give up sin but rather wanted all the good that God has to offer without accepting his sovreignty in my life.
I was not a little child who did not know all the details of salvation or even the details of repentance. I knew them in my heart but chose to listen to people who were telling me letting Jesus be Lord was not necessary but rather, something that may happen later in life if I am "really spiritual".