Knowledge and Understanding
With all your getting, get Understanding! (Proverbs 4:7)
Hosea 4:14 "The people that do not understand shall fall"
I can't tell you how much I want to just "know" everything. I would say to my husband, "What are you thinking?" I just want to know what he is thinking. I would overhear a conversation and want to "know" the details, of which is none of my business. I want to "know" where I'm going at all times. I want to "know" everything! And since I'm a teacher, that is rightfully so, but even in that there has to be a balance. Knowledge alone can cause so much grief. The Bible says "knowledge puffs up" (I Cor. 8:1). And if I look at that in the spirit, I would see a big inflated head trying to stay on top of a body. It's wavering back and forth, tipping from side to side because the head is too big. This is an unstable person, wouldn't you agree? Because all that knowledge is making them top heavy. That is why so many of us feel confused, afraid, angered, especially when we have to make decisions. We find ourselves second guessing ourselves because though we have a head knowledge, we don't have a heart knowledge.
Then on top of that, the more we "know" the more we are responsible for. Ecclesiastes says that with much knowledge comes much sorrow (Ecclesiastes 1:18). But that didn't stop me from wanting to "know." I think we get that (ladies) from our mother, Eve. She "had to know" what God knew and so ate the tree of knowledge. I think we have been on that road ever since, but it doesn't have to continue. If you are ready to get off that treadmill of "having to know" everything, then, this article is for you. Let me share a story.
My husband and I had just retired to bed when he said, "Oh, I forgot to do something." So he got up and went out into the kitchen. Well, I forgot to do something too, so I got up as well. He saw me coming and said, "What are you doing up." He was standing there holding a bag of something. I said, "I needed to set up something to record on the TV." With that I went to bed. He came into the room and I asked him what he was doing. He told me he wasn't doing anything. I was persistent. I wanted to "know" what he was doing. I started getting ugly. I was becoming suspicious, and mad, and felt left out of whatever it was he was doing. Then all of a sudden I was snapped out of it when I heard the Holy Spirit say, "Tomorrow is Valentines day." I couldn't believe what I had done. I spoiled a surprise! I turned to Tom and said, "Oh Tom, tomorrow is Valentines day, you were putting something out for me so I would be surprised in the morning." He said, "Well, no surprise now, you just had to know didn't you?"
That is an example of what we do when we need to know everything. We cause our own grief! Perhaps you can think of a time you nosed around for some information and all it did was cause you upset and grief and you wished you didn't find out. There is a reason we aren't to know everything. I realized that when we "know" some things, we tend to use it to control our situation and other people. For example. When I know that someone at work is having a party, I want to find out if I'm invited, who all is invited, etc., so that I can decide if I want to go or not. I want to control the situation. And you may know someone that is a "know-it-all?" They talk about all that they know, and they use it to tell you what to do. I think those having to listen gets tired after awhile, wouldn't you think? But people who think they know everything would rather listen to themselves speak than listen to anyone else. A person who "knows" a lot tends to be self-righteous, full of pride, arrogant, controlling, manipulative, and full of fear. They are driven to talk because they think it will cause them to be loved and accepted. But as you know, it does the complete opposite.
I would like to set the record straight now. I don't want to "know" anything! I think Paul says it quite nicely, "I know nothing but Christ and Him crucified." If I would keep that kind of mentality, I wouldn't get into so much trouble!
The need to know comes from a spirit of witchcraft. Not that we are witches but that the spirit behind that craft is present. It uses control and manipulation through "knowing" for selfish purposes.
So what do we do about this? The Bible is clear about us gaining knowledge, right? As stated in the scripture referenced at the top of this teaching "The people that do not understand shall fall" Hosea 4:14. I've seen this happen first hand! You will notice that when knowledge is present in a passage of scripture, so is "understanding." Knowledge without understanding will cause a big mess. Knowledge - truth; understanding - revelation of that truth. Revelation is what changes people's lives.
I've listed scripture references below for your convenience, but please take a look yourself to read the whole context.
Proverbs 2 (Something to memorize!)
My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee; So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding; Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God. For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding. He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous: he is a buckler to them that walk uprightly. He keepeth the paths of judgment, and preserveth the way of his saints. Then shalt thou understand righteousness, and judgment, and equity; yea, every good path. When wisdom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul; Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee:
And I have filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship,
And he hath filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship;
And the rest of the people, the priests, the Levities, the porters, the singers, the Nethinims, and all they that had separated themselves from the people of the lands unto the law of God, their wives, their sons, and their daughters, every one having knowledge, and having understanding;
Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding;
For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.
The heart of him that hath understanding seeketh knowledge: but the mouth of fools feedeth on foolishness.
He that hath knowledge spareth his words: and a man of understanding is of an excellent spirit.
Smite a scorner, and the simple will beware: and reprove one that hath understanding, and he will understand knowledge.
For the transgression of a land many are the princes thereof: but by a man of understanding and knowledge the state thereof shall be prolonged.
And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding,the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD;
Hosea 4:6 "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.
With whom took he counsel, and who instructed him, and taught him in the path of judgment, and taught him knowledge, and shewed to him the way of understanding?
And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.
For my people is foolish, they have not known me; they are sottish children, and they have none understanding: they are wise to do evil, but to do good they have no knowledge.
Children in whom was no blemish, but well favoured, and skilful in all wisdom, and cunning in knowledge, and understanding science, and such as had ability in them to stand in the king's palace, and whom they might teach the learning and the tongue of the Chaldeans.
As for these four children, God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom: and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.
And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding:
For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding
The LORD by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath he established the heavens. (Isn't it interesting in this scripture that when God is talking of himself, he didn't need to mention the Word "knowledge" because He is knowledge.)
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me; seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.
There is always a balance in what is taught, and that's the part I had been missing. With knowledge we also need understanding. That then takes that "big head" syndrome and eases it into our hearts through understanding. Now we can find that balance and peace we desire. I use that now as an indicator of being out of balance. Am I getting irritated? Am I getting frustrated or angry? Am I getting upset at all? If so, it's an indicator I'm not "understanding" what is going on. I'm not saying we need to know why… that is different. What I'm saying is that we need an understanding of the situation.
When someone is in pain and wants to share it with you, all they want to hear from you is, "I understand." It seems to make all the hurt go away and they find peace. But when we come back and say, "Well, if you would have done this or that…" It only causes strife, and doesn't ease any pain may make it worse for them. Understanding is the "key" to wisdom. The Bible is clear when it says that we need wisdom. We get wisdom through knowledge and understanding. And then we have what we need to make sound decisions.
So after realizing this about me - because the Bible says we are to know our own heart - I began to name off all the things I "knew." Let me share some with you.
I know God has called me into ministry. I know God loves me. I know there is a plan for my life. I know I love to eat. I know I need to eat better. I know I love to shop. I know I need to restrain myself while shopping. I know I like to watch TV. I know I need to cut back watching TV. I know I need to exercise. I know I need to get closer to God. I know I want to be all God wants me to be. I know Tom (my husband) is right about many things even though I don't like it. I know I have a long way to go in my walk with the Lord. I know I have a desire to retire so I can work Full-Time in ministry (by the way, this has come true.) I know I want to plan more conferences and seminars. I know I want to travel. I know I want to buy a new Harley so Tom and I can ride together (this too has come true). I want to know the Word more. I know what I don't like. I know what I like. I know, I know, I know.
Many of these areas cause me grief because I haven't asked God for understanding as it pertains to each and everything I know. All this can cause anyone to fall off the wagon and make goofy decisions that could come out all wrong. I've been there, done that, and I'm through. How about you? I want to not only "know" some things, but I also want understanding in those things so I can make good decisions. Even saying that causes me to feel at peace.
So what I did was take each thing I listed above and then added to it something like this: Lord, You love me, help me to get a full understanding of your love. Because getting a full understanding of your love will plant it in my heart. It won't just be head knowledge but life changing knowledge.
God loves me and has my best in mind. See, that is "knowledge" and "understanding" working together. I "know" God loves me (knowledge) He has my best in mind (that's understanding). They have to work hand in hand. Many know God loves them, but it stops there, and they still live in fear, unbelief, doubt and stress. Why? Because the understanding isn't there. When we understand, we are able to "receive." Many haven't received the Love of God for themselves, all because of lack of understanding.
The Bible says that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Remember, knowledge and understanding produces wisdom. So if you want to fear the Lord Biblically, then gain knowledge and understanding in that area and wisdom will come. Then your relationship with God will greatly improve because you indeed acquired the mind of Christ.
Another area that I didn't have revelation and understanding in was that I "knew" I was supposed to know to quit my job and work in full-time ministry, just didn't know when. It's not on the list above because that has actually come to pass but wanted to share my accounts on that situation. See, during this decision making my husband seemed to be a stick-in-the mud. I felt that he was preventing me from fulfilling God's call on my life. But the truth was, he wanted me to see the big picture and to see clearly before making the decision to quit. He said that he sees me doing great things in this ministry but that I wasn't thinking things through as I needed to. I hated waiting, but even in that I asked God for understanding. Sometimes we want things now because we are in fear of it not ever happening. I had to confess my fear to God and receive forgiveness. Because the truth was I was in fear of running out of time, not doing what I thought I was supposed to do before leaving this planet. That decision was made and 8 months later I retired. As I look back on this, I had submitted to my husband and in the end, he supported my decision and we haven't looked back once and God has been faithful to our necessities ever since.
I encourage you to begin asking God for understanding in the situation you find yourself in today. I guarantee you He will respond! He said, "Ask and you shall receive, He will hold nothing back." And believe me, that is the truth! Just since this morning when I asked for understanding, it's coming to me like a flood. So much so, I don't need to "know" so much any more. The need to know is diminished, and the only thing I truly need is to "know" more of God. Whew… all that to get to that… which is what I needed all along. And the cool part is God knows everything, so why not put our confidence in Him and trust the knowing to Him.
I do have to add here that the Holy Spirit that dwells with in you "knows all things." So truthfully, you do have at your fingertips everything you need to know.
A personal testimonial:
As I mentioned, I had thought Tom was preventing me from doing God's will. After all, I have a vision for ministry, I'm wanting to do God's work! I feel like I can't do the things I desire to do. Does this sound familiar to anyone? God showed me something very insightful that has to do with what I've been talking about. He said, "If you press on to try and make your ministry happen without the agreement and support of your husband, you will have to continue to maintain it as well, and will only cause you pain, confusion, grief, and end up in failure because I didn't orchestrate it, you did. However, if you work through your Husband (saved or unsaved), it will then be orchestrated by me, and it will succeed without struggle because I'm the one doing it, you are along for the ride."
Even though it seems like Tom was the one keeping me from living this dream, he was not, it was God. Tom would say to me that it has to be in God's timing. I would get infuriated at him when he would say that but I knew what he was saying was true, but I just didn't want to wait. That's where understanding was lacking. So I began asking God for understanding in the area of timing. That's when God gave me this revelation: "If you work through your husband as it relates to your ministry, I will establish you, and keep you." If you circumvent him, you are also circumventing me, and it will be you who orchestrates it, not me, and if it's not me, you'll then wonder why it failed." Then what happens is that we blame God for our failure. After all, we were doing this "thing" for Him.
Remember the rule of thumb: God is first in our personal lives - having an intimate relationship with Him; then our Husband, then our families, then our work, then our ministry! I think what happens is that we don't have "understanding" in this area. We think that since God is first, so is everything we "do" for Him. Not so. God is first in our hearts to live after the examples of Jesus. To love all those we come in contact with, to fellowship with God, to acknowledge Him in all our ways. This has to do with our walk and our heart, not what we are necessarily doing. The doing comes "after" our family, work, etc. I believe that's why families in ministry suffer so, there's no understanding in this area so everything falls apart - even Christian marriages! Hosea 4:14 "The people that do not understand shall fall."
I have another story to share: One day Tom was in the kitchen making a sandwich. I came up behind him and when I would try to look over his shoulder he would lean that direction. When I would try to look around the other side of him, he would lean the other way. Then he turned to me and said, "You want to see what I'm doing so that you can tell me how to do it." Boy, he was right! Sometimes we just want to "know" so that we can tell others how to do it our way. From that day on I've stayed away from his sandwich making and would catch myself when I would want to "know" what he was doing. Boy, there is so much peace in that. After all, he's over 60 years old and more than capable of making his sandwich the way he liked it.
Dear precious Heavenly Father, what a wonder you are. You have all that we need to live, breath and just be. I pray Father that each person reading this prayer agrees with me not to only "know" things but with that knowing a desire for understanding. I pray that each person seek both, not just one without the other, so that they can begin to walk in wisdom. Thank you for revealing this Lord, and I pray that each person gets a deeper revelation in this area and shares this truth with others who are missing it. I ask you to cleanse us and purge us from our own selfish thinking that if we knew everything, we would be okay. That is not true. Help us to only "know" those things you want us to know and leave the rest. We confess our "need to know" to you Lord as we also confess our control or manipulation that resides in our heart as a result from that need. You are all we need. Help us to understand YOU more Lord in a way that will change us forever so we are filled with you and you alone. Thank you for your love, we receive more of it right now into our hearts and lives. Help us to gain more understanding about your love for us personally. Help us to ask for understanding in everything we "think" we know. I thank you for all you are showing to us and doing in our lives, in Jesus name, Amen."