“Knowledge makes [one] arrogant, but love edifies. If anyone supposes that he knows anything, he has not yet known as he ought to know; but if anyone loves God, he is known by Him.” I Corinthians 8: 1-3 NASB
Seminary did, for me, exactly what it was supposed to do. It provided knowledge for me to put in my tool box, labeled, “Ministry”. Many of my friends in Ruston, Louisiana tried to warn me against going to Seminary. The biggest and loudest argument I heard was, “Seminary will destroy your faith.” Nothing can destroy what God has given you, and if your faith was so easily destroyed, it must not have been real faith in the real God.
Now, since I have been there (No I did not graduate. Circumstances happened in my personal life, and I dropped out to take care of that. I have not returned, even though I would love to. It is not time). I can tell you about knowledge, faith, and Love, and many, many, more things.
At Seminary, I was taught about Love. I learned how to find it in all its richness in the Bible. I learned about the 4 loves. I learned when and why each love is applied. I learned how much more powerful a word it is in Greek and Hebrew than it is in English. I also learned about faith, giving, mercy, grace
I also learned about Adult Education. I LOVE TO TEACH. It is one of my two passions, vocationally. I am also learning to love writing, even though I am a novice at that. I learned about what all the Philosophers, worldly and spiritual had to say about live, love, and the pursuit of happiness.
I suppose that, based on all the stuff I learned at Seminary, I could regale you with a veritable plethora of my Religious, psychological, educational, and scriptural knowledge.
It is only recently that I have learned that these are merely tools in my tool box. I could have a bazillion tools in my tool box, but if I don’t know when and why and how to use them, they are all dead weights. Carrying them just makes me hot, tired, sweaty, and arrogant (Look how BIG mine is!!)
Then it hit me:
“If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.” I Corinthians 13:2 NASB
My knowledge is either a stone around my neck, or a fragrant gift of incense from God. It either carries the weight of Law, which has proven not to save any human soul, or it carries the redeeming Love of God.
Knowledge is good to have, but only in one circumstance. If it was given by God to further His kingdom. Yes, knowing Veterinary Science is a gift from God. One of the most Godly men I have known was a veterinarian, serving in Egypt with farmers. He built churches, and helped with his knowledge to reach people who would have not known Jesus otherwise.
Knowledge tends to be at enmity with God. We think knowing a bunch of stuff, especially a bunch of stuff about the Bible makes us Christian. Satan knows the Bible better than almost any of us, but he is far from Christ.
Going to a 6 weeks bible study that covers the word GRACE is not the same as understanding the Grace God showed you through your salvation. One is just knowledge, the other is experience.
Reading all about the word Love is nothing more than noise, unless you have experienced the Love of God.
I may memorize entire books of the Bible, and it is useless knowledge that I will distort to support my own theology.
The only way I can make use of the tools in my tool box is through the direct and meaningful revelation in my heart. If only my mind understands these things, then I am basically useless. But if I know them because God has revealed them to my heart, then I have powerful tools that are energized by the Spirit of God.
Look: I can come across a person with a flat tire, stop and offer a tire jack. But if neither one of us really understands the tire jack, we are both useless, even in the face of the tool.
Or what if I see that person with the flat, and just stop long enough to show them my tire jack, but I am not willing or able to show that person how to use it by example? Again, nothing is accomplished.
What if I yell at that person, “If you only had a tire jack, you wouldn’t be in this spot!”. But I am not willing to show that person that I can use it for them, and teach them where to get one, and how to use it, for themselves? Again, I have useless knowledge.
If I will stop, and share my tire jack, and show them how to use it, and then GIVE THEM MY TIRE JACK, I have been generous in my grace and knowledge. You don’t even have to give them your tire jack, you may just need to make them aware that there are tire jacks, and show them where you got one, WHILE you are helping that person.
Knowledge is no good if I don’t know how to use it. Or WHY I am using it. Nothing God gives us is intended to be our little secret. He expects that, as He has blessed you, you will, out of the love that dwells in you, give without hesitation, the gift you have been given. He promises that, if you give away what He has given you, He will give you more. You cannot out give God, if it is done in Love.
So, what will I do with all my knowledge if I am not willing to know Christ, the Savior and Lord who died for me? I might as well throw it away. At best I will use it to glorify myself, or I will use it to punish someone else.
“But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, Philippians 3:8 NASB
I would rather unlearn everything I know than live a life that does not reflect the Love Christ has shown me. Being found worthy of Christ is much more important than all our credentials and training and knowledge.
Knowing Christ, and having Love for Him is more than anything any knowledge will give you. And it is the key that unlocks the real knowledge of Heavenly things. It is THIS knowledge that reveals the Love of God in us. It is THIS knowledge that teaches me that Jesus is much more than my savior. It is a love that compels me to want to walk after Christ, as my Lord, too.
My Prayer: Dear God, I think you for your persistent Spirit. I think you that, as painful as it may sometimes be, you are willing to remove from me anything that is not a reflection of Christ in me. I thank you that you give eternal life to those who are dead. I praise you that, where I was once dead, you have raised me from that death. Lord, teach me that knowing you is more important than anything else I can know. AMEN
Let’s be about it!
I Love You