Sometimes we get to a point where we just feel overwhelmed, discouraged and even hopeless. Things around us get too much. Do you sometimes feel like this? I sometimes do. When this happens, I know that I am a child of God, I know what the Word says and I know God has never let me down, and yet, I feel overwhelmed. I realise knowing the truth, knowing what God has done and is doing is just knowledge if I do not have faith in what I believe in and if I do not put it into practice in my life.
If you studied to be a medical doctor, and yet you do not do the work of a doctor, are you really a doctor? You have the knowledge, but you do not put your knowledge to use. You have the potential to be a doctor and you have all the knowledge to become one, but not going over in to action will not make you a doctor. The other side of the coin is believing in the knowledge that you have to be a doctor. How can you have the knowledge to be a doctor, but you do not believe in this knowledge. You will not use the knowledge you have confidently and with conviction, if you do not believe in the knowledge you have. So to simplify it, there are three components – having the knowledge, having faith and believing in that knowledge and then practicing/using it – going over into action.
Knowledge means nothing if we do not believe it and use it. Yes, there is the age old saying about knowledge is power, but just having knowledge of God’s character and the Word will not mean anything if you do not believe it, if you do not have faith and if you do not apply it in your life.
In this blog post let’s look at knowledge. According to the Cambridge Dictionary the definition of knowledge is the understanding of or information about a subject that you get by experience or study. Another definition of knowledge is facts, information, and skills acquired through experience or education; the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject. Knowledge of God and the Bible is basically having the information or facts about God and the Bible or the understanding of it.
Why is it important to have knowledge?
Ephesians 1:17 (NKJV)
“that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him”
Hosea 4:6 (NKJV)
“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge…”
Knowledge is very important and Paul knows that it is when he prays in Ephesians 1 for wisdom and for revelation in the knowledge of God. If we look at the example of the doctor again – the knowledge a doctor has is of utmost importance, as without it a doctor will not be a doctor. The information that we obtain about God and the Word can help with and lead to a better understanding of it. The better we understand the Word of God, the more we get to know Him. When you first meet a person, you get to know them, acquiring more information about them, the more information you have, the better you understand them and the better you know them. The same is true for getting to know God more. In Hosea the Lord says that His people are destroyed because of a lack of knowledge. It is very important to God to have knowledge.
When Jesus was in the desert and the devil was trying to tempt Him, every time He was able to answer the devil by saying, “It is written”. He knew the Word of God and God’s heart. And when the devil said the same, “It is written” not only giving Jesus one reference from the Bible, but two, Jesus was able to come back with, “It is written again”. He knew the Word of God so well that even when the Bible was quoted to Him in a way that suited the devil’s motives, Jesus knew His Father’s heart. (Matthew 4:1-11)
If we have knowledge of the Word of God, we will start to understand it and get to know God’s heart.
What is the knowledge that we should have?
It is extremely important to know what the right knowledge is to have. Again looking at the example of the doctor, if a doctor has the wrong knowledge and amputates a leg when he should be removing your tonsils, the knowledge can cause greater trouble and problems than do good.
If we look at Adam and Eve, there were two trees, the tree of knowledge of good and evil and the tree of life. God told them that they may eat from all the trees, except for tree of knowledge of good and evil. He then told them that if they eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, they will die. When they ate from the tree, they did not die, but they became aware of the fact that they were naked. God knew that they will not physically die, but that the relationship that they had with Him will “die”. They became aware of worldly things, their focus shifted and that separated them from God.
God wants us to have knowledge of Him, so that we may know Him and His character to ultimately have the relationship with Him that He has always wanted for us.
This is what the Word is saying about what we should have knowledge about:
1 Timothy 2:3-4 (NKJV)
“For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth”
2 Peter 1:2-4 (NKJV)
“Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”
2 Peter 3:18 (NKJV)
“ but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.”
Colossians 1:9-10 (NKJV)
“For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God”
The Word also warns us against what kind of knowledge we should be avoiding.
1 Timothy 6:20-21 (NKJV)
“O Timothy! Guard what was committed to your trust, avoiding the profane and idle babblings and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge— by professing it some have strayed concerning the faith.”
We should avoid profane (not relating to that which is sacred) and idle (avoiding work, lazy) babblings (talk rapidly and continuously in a foolish way) and contradictions (a combination of statements, ideas, or features which are opposed to one another) of what is falsely called knowledge. The Word then further warns us.
1 Corinthians 8:1-2 (NKJV)
“Now concerning things offered to idols: We know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but love edifies. And if anyone thinks that he knows anything, he knows nothing yet as he ought to know. But if anyone loves God, this one is known by Him.”
The Amplified states it nicely by saying:
“Knowledge [alone] makes [people self-righteously] arrogant, but love [that unselfishly seeks the best for others] builds up and encourages others to grow [in wisdom]. If anyone imagines that he knows and understands anything [of divine matters, without love], he has not yet known as he ought to know.”
How do we get the right knowledge?
As seen in the verses above, the knowledge that God wants us to have is knowledge of Him. The only way we can increase and build our knowledge of Him is by spending time in the Word and spending time with God – praying and seeking His face.
“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”
“But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.”
In blog posts to come we will take a look at believing in the knowledge we have, and applying discernment to our knowledge to know whether it is from God or not and then we will look at applying it in our lives.
Let the knowledge we have and the information we gather be from God and of God.
Proverbs 2:6 (NKJV)
“For the Lord gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding”
So that we get to know Him and His Father heart more and more and live the eternal life now.
John 17:3 (NKJV)
“And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.”