Knowledge Puffs Up

Wednesday, February 4, 2015, 5:30 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “One Thing I Know.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Proverbs 30 (selected NASB).

Humility of Spirit

2 Surely I am more stupid than any man,
And I do not have the understanding of a man.
3 Neither have I learned wisdom,
Nor do I have the knowledge of the Holy One.
5 Every word of God is tested;
He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him.
6 Do not add to His words
Or He will reprove you, and you will be proved a liar.

We are not to be wise in our own eyes, but we should all have humility of spirit in realizing that any true knowledge or wisdom or understanding we possess is from God and from him alone. When God gives us wisdom and understanding we should be quick to not take the credit for it for ourselves, but we should give him all the praise, honor and all the glory. In our flesh, all knowledge is useless. Knowledge puffs up. We can easily get conceited, in the flesh, concerning all that we know, thinking that people should be impressed that we have such knowledge. Yet, one who has humility of spirit realizes that all that kind of knowledge means nothing if it is not from God and if it not coupled with divine wisdom and understanding. What we know is not what matters. What we do with what we know is what counts. It is not enough to just know the word of God, but we must do what it says.

As well, we should not add human wisdom and knowledge to the word of God nor should we take away from his words as though he did not say what he said just because it doesn’t fit with our theology. This is a BIG problem in evangelical Christianity today here in America. So many are turning to books written by mere humans to tell them what God’s word says, and so many of these books have twisted, manipulated and altered God’s words in order to give the message the writer wants to convey. Yet, the word of God is being used to support their humanistic theology, and many people are buying into what these authors are teaching without bothering to check it out to make sure it is truly what God’s word says.

Scripture is thus taken out of context, rather than the word being taught verse by verse and chapter by chapter, in context, to learn what God’s word really says. So many sermons are topical and thus scripture is taken out of context to support the sermon points, which can be good, but it can be bad if what is being taught is not truth, but is based in lies and deception. So, we must pray for wisdom and discernment, and we must test everything we read, hear and see to make sure it adds up to what scripture teaches and to see if what is being taught lines up with God’s divine character and will, as taught in scripture.

Undivided Hearts

7 Two things I asked of You,
Do not refuse me before I die:
8 Keep deception and lies far from me,
Give me neither poverty nor riches;
Feed me with the food that is my portion,
9 That I not be full and deny You and say, “Who is the Lord?”
Or that I not be in want and steal,
And profane the name of my God.

This person has a noble request. He wants to be kept from deception and lies, either that he would not participate in them himself, or that he would not get caught up in believing them. To facilitate this request, he asked that God would not allow him to be too wealthy or too poor so that he would not deny his Lord or profane his name. What he wanted was only what he needed to survive and nothing more. He obviously knew his own heart, and knew his own areas of weakness. So, what he was truly asking was that God would keep his heart pure and that he would remain undivided in his loyalty and commitment to his Lord.

We would all do well to pray something similar to this out of a desire to never go astray and to not be tempted by the things of this world to deny our Lord or to profane his name. It all really comes down to this, though. Are we willing to give God our all, to submit to his Lordship over our lives, and to allow him to provide for all that we need? And, will we seek after God with all our hearts instead of seeking after the pleasures of this life? Have we given Jesus our all, or are we still holding on to the things of this world? And, are we willing to let it all go in order to follow Jesus Christ with our lives, fully devoted to him and to his kingdom work?

Hypocritical Liars

12 There is a kind who is pure in his own eyes,
Yet is not washed from his filthiness.
13 There is a kind—oh how lofty are his eyes!
And his eyelids are raised in arrogance.
14 There is a kind of man whose teeth are like swords
And his jaw teeth like knives,
To devour the afflicted from the earth
And the needy from among men.
20 This is the way of an adulterous woman:
She eats and wipes her mouth,
And says, “I have done no wrong.”
32 If you have been foolish in exalting yourself
Or if you have plotted evil, put your hand on your mouth.
33 For the churning of milk produces butter,
And pressing the nose brings forth blood;
So the churning of anger produces strife.

There are people in this life who do not have humility of spirit, though, and who are not noble in their requests of God, and who do not take refuge in him. They are wise in their own eyes. They think they are righteous when they are not. They make up lies about themselves in order to impress others with their spirituality or with their knowledge or in order to deceive others as wolves in sheep’s clothing. They are much like the Pharisees and the teachers of the law of Jesus’ day. And, we are warned to watch out for such as these so that we are not led astray, and so we don’t fall prey to their lies and deceptions.

Their speech can be as smooth as butter and very convincing, but we must test their words and their actions to see if they line up with truth. Their goal is to devour the righteous and to lead us astray, and to try to convince us that their lies are actually truth. They believe their own lies and convince themselves that they have done no wrong, even though they know they have. These are the ones who are teaching a false grace gospel that does not teach repentance and obedience to Christ, but that gives the impression that we can continue in willful sin and still have the hope of heaven, and on top of that they teach we have God’s approval of our lives of sin just because we “believed.”

Exceedingly Wise

24 “Four things on earth are small,
yet they are extremely wise:
25 Ants are creatures of little strength,
yet they store up their food in the summer;
26 hyraxes are creatures of little power,
yet they make their home in the crags;
27 locusts have no king,
yet they advance together in ranks;
28 a lizard can be caught with the hand,
yet it is found in kings’ palaces.

God has given the creatures of this earth, which he created, divine instinct to do what is far beyond what would appear to be their natural ability to do. If you have ever studied the habits of birds, insects, sea life or animals you might find what they do instinctively absolutely amazing. I do! It is fascinating what these creatures can do which, to me, reveals that God is the one who brought them into being and who gave them such drive.

Yet, God gave man/woman a mind, heart and soul, so we can think, reason and make decisions for good or for bad. He gave us a free will to choose him or to reject him; to follow him, or to go after our own flesh. And, yet, he put within each and every one of us the knowledge of him and of his divine character and will. He said that we are all without excuse, because what can be known about God is clearly seen through what he created. He said that it is not that we don’t know God, but that many people choose to suppress what they know about God and to follow after their own flesh instead (See: Ro. 1).

Our human reasoning, wisdom and knowledge, by comparison to the divine instinct of these creatures, is thus far inferior because they do what they were created to do by providential design, and yet we so often go directly against what God designed us to do which is to love, worship, honor and obey him. So, we would do well to learn from the example of these creatures, and to follow our Lord Jesus in obedience in being who God designed us to be – “created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (See: Eph. 4:17-24).

We should no longer be living by the flesh and following after the wisdom of man, but we should seek God with all our hearts, and desire to know him and his will for our lives, and to do and to be who he created us to be and to do. We should no longer be wise in our own eyes, thinking we know better than God, perhaps, but we should have humility of spirit, and we should desire to have undivided hearts. As well, we should be testing the spirits to see whether they are of God or of human flesh.

What we should know and what we should share with others is that Jesus Christ set us free from our slavery to sin, and that he wants to set everyone free if they will but let go of this sinful world, and if they will surrender their all to him, eagerly desirous to do his will. Will you let go and let God have his way today in your life?

One Thing I Know / Selah

And if there's one thing I know
You were never left alone,
'cause you can always call on Jesus' name.
And if there's one thing I pray
Is Jesus helps you find a way
To make a change and listen to your heart.
God will take away your pain,
If you'll choose to let it go,
If there's one thing I know.