The Spirit of Knowledge

“Then a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse, And a branch from his roots will bear fruit. The Spirit of the LORD will rest on Him. The Spirit of the LORD will rest on Him, The spirit of wisdom and understanding, The spirit of counsel and strength, The spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD.” (Isaiah 11:1-2)

We have been studying the Seven Spirits of God and this week we are going to explore the Spirit of Knowledge.

In the world knowledge is a well-rounded education on a particular field of study. Scientist study the intelligence levels of students to see if they have the capacity to retain certain amounts of knowledge and the ability to use that knowledge. That may be a bar to set the cognitive abilities of a person but then I have known a lot of very intelligent people who don’t have a lick of sense. Others look at knowledge as one who has great wisdom but I have always felt that knowledge is a useless tool if you lack the wisdom to administer it. Others have their minds crammed full of knowledge and are quite impressive to be around for a while. I have been at times a little envious of the knowledgeable folk as I am focused on little areas and know the want to expand my borders. Having a head knowledge or an intellectual knowledge is not the knowledge that God wants us to have of Him. God desires that we have a personal knowledge that we intimately know Him.

I have met many that I would say have a vast knowledge of the Scriptures yet I do not sense that they have a full knowledge of the God they serve. I cannot say how God reacts to that as I am not the judge of these things. It is all I can do to examine myself. Jesus does issue a warning about not fully knowing Him. “And He will say, ‘I tell you, I do not know where you are from; depart from Me, all you evildoers.” (Luke 13:27) God paid a supreme price to restore man’s fellowship with Him and wants us to have an intimate knowledge of Him.

Having a knowledge of God is not something that we can receive from a book only. I do not mean to subtract from the importance of Bible study and meditating upon His Word. If we want to know God then we must know what He has said and what He is saying, as His Word is a living Word. To fully have a knowledge of God is to have experience in the partnership that we have with Him in living in His will. It is a knowledge that we gain by the experience of Him living through us. By God living through us we learn His ways and gain understanding through the experience we receive. The Apostle Paul expressed this point in his letter to the Roman Church. “Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:1-2) By allowing God to live through us we learn what is good and acceptable and perfect.

When we allow God to live through us His life flows out from our heart and fills our soul. The Apostle John says, “We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.” (1 John 4:16) God gives us His love, His perfect agape love. His thoughts enter into our minds and His power becomes the power of our lives. This is the key to submission to His will in our life. We have given our life over to Him and He lives through us. This is what is meant by being indwelled by the Spirit, for God is a Spirit. “God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” (John 4:24) Paul gives us a good characterization of how we achieve an intimate knowledge of God. “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.” (Galatians 2:20)

To have an intimate knowledge of God is more than just a recognition of who God is. To know God as the Creator and the Father, to know Jesus as the Son of God and our Savior is just to have a beginning knowledge of God. Have you ever said to someone, “I thought I knew you.” You may have thought that you did but then they did something completely out of context of the knowledge that you thought you had of them. But the reality is that you just recognized them for who they are but you didn’t know them intimately. You had not become united in mind and soul as one with them. Many marriages are like that, it is a motion of living together in one house but not living together in one heart. We have to be like King David and seek the heart of God to have an intimate knowledge.

Having an intimate knowledge of God is to know that we know that we know God loves us. Some say they know God loves them and that they trust Him but when called upon to bend their will to His they don’t. If they knew that God loved them, then they would trust Him in every aspect of their life. They would trust that every good and perfect gift comes from their heavenly Father. “Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.” (James 1:17) We pray thy will be done here as it is in heaven but the question is are we in His will. If we step out of His will for our life then we have stifled His life in us. Paul addresses it this way “Do not quench the Spirit” (1 Thessalonians 5:19) If we believe that He is, then we can walk in faith with Him. If we walk in faith with Him, then we will experience His love. If we experience His love, then we will have an intimate knowledge of Him. “And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.” (Hebrews 11:6)

God will not forsake us because we are His purchased by the blood of His only begotten Son Jesus Christ. But if we do not trust and obey Him than we will not see His handprint and experience His love at every step of our walk with Him. “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me.” (John 15:4)

As Jesus explained to Nicodemus, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” (John 3:5) As we become born anew in the spirit by God’s Spirit we must also strive to become one will with His will for our life. This is the great and foremost command from God’s Word. “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.” (Matthew 22:37) We are to bind our life into His and become a bondservant of the Lord.

To have the Spirit of Knowledge we must have an intimate relationship with God and allow His life to live through ours. We love Him because He first loved us. We Love Him because while we were yet sinners Christ died for us. We love Him because we have heard through the testimony of the saints of His mighty acts for His people and we love Him because through faith we have seen Him. “I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear; But now my eye sees You” (Job 42:5)

Thomas N Kirkpatrick

First Baptist Church of Durant, May 31, 2015

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