This post is the 3rd in a 6-part series on Idolizing Knowledge. Read the rest of the posts here. Guest directory info is available here.
Serving with a mission which crossed over daily into Mexico, I didn’t head to the border with any intention of interpreting. My Spanish was mas-o-menos just okay. But as I was regularly immersed in groups of friends only speaking Spanish, I thought I was really starting to get good.
Fast forward 4 months to my last week in the community.
Happily chatting away in Español, I casually said “estupido.” Directly translated “stupid,” it was just an adjective to me. According to my shocked and then hysterical friends, I was swearing. Red in the face and mortified, I’d been unknowingly swearing in front of children, the elderly, and everyone in between for months.
For all I knew about Spanish and the regional dialect, I was certainly lacking in some understanding.
Being fully immersed doesn’t mean we are fully informed. <Tweet This>
Now our knowledge is partial and incomplete, and even the gift of prophecy reveals only part of the whole picture! –1 Corinthians 13:9
No person except for Christ has ever walked this earth with a complete understanding of anything. Even people with special knowledge of God- people whose prophecies were realized in Christ- had to live by faith.
We don’t even know our own hearts fully. –Jeremiah 17:9
Even the disciples, seeing Jesus face to face and following Him diligently, had to have their eyes opened and the truth explained several different ways. They were divinely inspired to write the New Testament but still spoke with humility because they knew they couldn’t know it all while still on earth. And that was okay.
Beth Moore has said she wouldn’t tell her younger self a thing if she could go back in time. She explains there are many things she’s glad she didn’t know ahead of time because she would have said “no way.” Discovery, even through the terrible and painful, is what grows us up and into closeness with the One we’re following and putting our faith in.*
Andrew Wilson explains: “If God’s glory is infinite, and my concept of Him is not, then I never stop needing an increased understanding of His greatness.”**
While attempting to comprehend how incomplete our comprehension is drives us knowledge idolaterers to our knees, we ought to stoop all the lower in awe and praise.
All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely. –1 Corinthians 13:12
Someday we will not be wanting for knowledge out of reach.
Someday knowledge will be complete.
Wholeness will satisfy us for eternity as we know fully the One who has always known us fully.
Since God says there will be no more pain in that day, soaking all of the fullness of Him and of knowledge won’t even give us a headache. We will enter into God’s understanding- and there will be no more sorrow or sin. There will be nothing left to make us foolish.
As for now, God keeps us on a need-to-know-basis to focus us on what’s more important: who we know. Him.
The “by faiths” of the OT heroes are extraordinary and emboldening because of what they didn’t know. They didn’t know the whole plan. Abraham went by faith when God said “go” even though he didn’t know the destination. Noah built the ark by faith, not knowing how it could possibly turn out alright when the earth was flooded. Moses led a nation out of slavery by faith, not knowing what was to come, where they would settle, or even how to feed them all.
Hebrews 11:27 sums up why, despite not knowing, these faithful people followed God when they were blind to the whens, wheres, hows, and whys.
Moses “persevered because he saw Him who is invisible.”
Because knowledge isn’t complete, idolizing understanding keeps us distracted with something meant for life after death.
Idolizing knowledge distracts us from Who we need to know if we are to persevere, live by faith, and walk securely along the narrow way.
Whether our current knowledge-worship has us bloated with self-assurance or hopped up on the thrill of the chase, we must fix our attention on the One we follow- by faith.
How do faith and knowledge interact in your mind?
*Beth Moore, Entrusted Bible Study, Audio Session 6
**Andrew Wilson, GodStories, pg19
Join me for the next 5 weeks to delve deeper into shattering the idol of knowledge to take hold of knowledge as God intends it to be.
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