After 30+ years in the education system, I’ve come across a lot of people with a lot of knowledge. I’ve seen people with doctorate degrees that didn’t seem like they were playing with a full deck (I say that in the most loving way ). Many times I have come across people with very high SAT scores and impressive educational degrees but were not successful in their chosen field. I’ve watched Jeopardy in awe at how those people have so many facts stored in their brains. Not only that, they can retrieve that information quick enough to beat some else to the buzzer. They are often called exceptionally smart. I’m a slow processor.
There’s a lot of knowledge in today’s world. We’re living in a time when we have the greatest access to all the knowledge we need or want. But knowledge isn’t everything. Neither does knowledge equate to intelligence. Intelligence is the ability to perceive and retain knowledge or information and apply it. Just knowing doesn’t make you smart. You must apply that knowledge in the correct way.
A lot of people read the bible and have a lot of biblical knowledge and still don’t believe or just don’t get it. How can this be? Ephesians 1:17-18 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. Their problem is not a knowledge or intelligence problem. It’s a heart problem. We think of the heart as the center of our emotions. But God tells us it is more than that. It is the center of our mind, will and emotions. (Thanks to my associate pastor Tim for expressing this from the pulpit) Mark 8:18 Do you have eyes, and not see, and do you have ears, and not hear? And do you not remember? They cannot see or hear or understand. They don’t have the Spirit. The Spirit of God from the beginning of all creation. The Spirit of God that gives wisdom, understanding, knowledge and all kinds of skills. A divine person, a being with a mind, emotions, and a will. 1 Corinthians 2:13 We don’t speak about these things with words taught us by human wisdom, but with words taught by the Spirit, as we explain spiritual things to spiritual people. As a believer, I can understand spiritual things. It may take a while for me to process, but I can ask the Holy Spirit to reveal the truths to me and He will.
Unbelievers do not have the Spirit and simply cannot understand spiritual things. The Good News is they have a choice! Believers that do have the Spirit don’t always walk in the spirit, though. The Message translation of Galatians 5:25 says Since this is the kind of life we have chosen, the life of the Spirit, let us make sure that we do not just hold it as an idea in our heads or a sentiment in our hearts, but work out its implications in every detail of our lives.
Are you living today as an unbeliever, letting your mind, will or emotions control you? Trying to live the Christian life instead of drawing on the supernatural, inexhaustible resources of the Holy Spirit? He is there waiting for us to rely upon His strength, His comfort, His wisdom so that we can fulfill God’s calling for us. We don’t have to be exceptionally smart or quick on the buzzer, we just need to surrender control today. Every day.
Ephesians 1:18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.