Daily Archives: April 3, 2012

Week 56 – Part II: Head Knowledge vs. Application

I’ve come to realize that head knowledge just doesn’t cut it anymore. It never does. Life is about applying God’s Word and other concepts/ideas centered on that truth to your life and actually living it out rather than filling up your head with this knowledge and letting it simply sit there.

I’ve experienced a lot of personal development in the last 12 months; since moving to Minneapolis. Exploration of this new city/life/location opened the floodgates on my creativity – I’ve been writing, sketching and painting more than ever. I’ve experienced massive spiritual growth (more than I thought I would), more so since the rest of the Vine’s leadership team arrived – then again, we all have. I now have another girlfriend/group of girls that I meet with regularly. We’re going through (as I’ve mentioned before) Beth Moore’s So Long Insecurity and boy, is it messing with me. The entire series is bringing certain portions of my past – actions that have affected how I live out my life (or rather how tied down I am because of them) and what I can do to get beyond that…all by the power of God. I’m also going through a new financial course and actually learning how to budget (something I think both parents and schools should be teaching their children, stating at a young age – more on that later). My prayer life has risen from its dormancy and breathes with new life and a vibrancy I’ve never experienced. I’ve been reading more – fiction, non-fiction, self-help, motivational…you name it! I’ve also rediscovered the freedom and power forgiveness has and the restoration that can bring to the table.

But it isn’t enough to simply read about these truths, filling up my head with knowledge, or to even return the book to the shelf the moment I feel convicted (believe me, I have!).

I’m called to work through that conviction; God’s Spirit telling me that this is something I need to do in order to have the close relationship I long for and can have with God. I’m called to live out those truths so that others may/will see Him in my life…not me; Him. What good is having the knowledge and wisdom of God’s Word and it never being seen in our lives?  What good is having the head-knowledge and not the heart knowledge?

It’s a call to change my way of thinking; to be made new in Christ. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:The old has gone, the new is here! (2 Corinthians 5:17) I want to be who He calls me to be – a daughter of the Most High.

One cannot become a Christian on just head knowledge. I had to learn to believe with my heart. In the same manner, we have heard of the power of God, now it is time that we learn to live your life with the power of God by applying our head knowledge to heart application. Satan desires to create doubt but God desires that we clearly understand HIS will and that we live in HIS power on a daily basis. The only way we are going to overcome the doubt Satan is going to throw at we will be by drawing closer to God and learning to hear HIS still small voice. By faith we will overcome doubt.

None of this has been easy. Nothing worth gaining ever is. Will you rise to what God calls us to in your own life? Will you follow Him?

Verses for thought:

You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:14-16

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror. James 1:22-23

Prophet

The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your brothers — it is to him you shall listen.” Deuteronomy 18:15

Many people may not realize how specific God was in the Old Testament regarding the coming Messiah. Through Moses, God speaks of a Prophet coming who would be “like me”, meaning that this Prophet would speak as God. The words would be placed in His mouth by God, and His words would be life to those who followed.

Jesus claimed this position as the Prophet. All of Christianity hangs on whether or not this is so. If you can believe that Jesus is the Son of God then you can accept the atoning price of the cross and the empty tomb. If Jesus was just another man, though endowed with special gifts, then Christianity ceases to be about a Redeemer dying, and becomes a treatise on how to live a good moral life.

The Apostle John wrote of Jesus that He was the Word (John 1:1). The disciples that followed Jesus firmly believed that they were not following a mere man, but that all of the Old Testament was robed in human flesh and was walking and talking with them.

Jesus said of Himself, “I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and ye do that which ye have seen with your father” (John 8:38). These words place Jesus with the Father throughout the Old Testament, seeing all that the Father saw. Again, His words must be either believed as the truth or rejected as a lie.

While seeing Jesus as Savior, Healer, Redeemer and even Friend is not that difficult, it is the title “Prophet” that we rarely equate with Christ. The prophets of the Old Testament were always recalling the sins of the people to them. When Elijah was living in Zarephath, a widow woman and her son were providing for Elijah, as he had provided for them with the miracle of meal and oil. When the woman’s son fell sick and died, she asked Elijah, “What have I to do with thee, O thou man of God? Art thou come unto me to call my sin to remembrance, and to slay my son?” (1 Kings 17:18) The common perception of the prophet was one who reminded you of all that you had done wrong.

Another common perception is that the prophets foretold the future. Isaiah predicted that Cyrus would allow the nation of Israel to return from the Babylonian exile. It would be a mistake, however, to think that foretelling the future was the primary, or exclusive, role of a prophet. Rather, the prophets were mainly sent by God to be His covenant prosecutors. They were sent to remind the covenant people of their covenant obligations that they had so often forgotten. They foretold the will of God to the people in hopes that they would repent, trust in Yahweh, and fulfill their covenant obligations.

The New Testament prophet holds a different office entirely. Paul wrote that prophecy was to speak to men to “edification, and exhortation, and comfort” (1 Corinthians 14:3). Jesus certainly speaks these three things into all of our lives: he builds us up (edifies), he encourages us (exhorts) and he comforts us with His love and compassion.

Jesus as a prophet performs two tasks. He foretells the future, most notably a future that will be centered on His judgment and reign. He also foretells the will of God by reminding the Pharisees that they have broken the covenant. However, Jesus is also much greater than the prophets of old. For Jesus does not only preach God’s Word and Wisdom to the people, He is actually the very Word and the very Wisdom of God Almighty.

When Christ is made out to be cold and distant and harsh, then He ceases to be the Prophet. Every believer can rest in the sweet words of the Master, and find rest for their souls. Remember, it was Jesus who called all of us to Him, for He would give us rest.

While finding Jesus in the Old Testament, remember that He came not to be an extension of the Old Covenant, but to establish a new and living way. Your Prophet, Jesus is speaking words to comfort you today. Allow His abundant grace and mercy to bless you and go in peace.