The More I Learn, the Less I Know

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by Kathy Johnston

It seems like the older I get, the more I know about God, the more I study His word…the less I know.  I feel so inadequate and ill equipped to give anyone any words of hope, correction, encouragement or act in any way that has pure, selfless motives.

But isn’t that where God wants us to be, completely dependent on Him for every single action and word?

I’m understanding even more my own frailty, my lack of knowledge, my inadequacy and incapability to do anything of lasting value or have any words of wisdom apart from Christ.  

As I begin to get even an inkling of who God really is, I realize how very, very small and unwise I am.  Compared to Him, I know nothing.  I have no answers.  I am mute before Him.  It makes me think of when God finally answers Job in chapter 38:

“Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?
Tell me, if you have understanding.  Who determined its measurements… surely you know?
Or who stretched the line upon it?  On what were its bases sunk, or who laid its cornerstone, when the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy?

I don’t want to be like Jobs friends, thinking I always have all the answers and people should listen to my wise words.  I don’t have any wise words!  Any wise words that ever, by the grace of God, come out of my mouth, are from His Holy Spirit.  Apart from Him, I know nothing!  Apart from Him, I can do nothing.  The longer I live, the more I discover who God is and the deeper I go with Him, the more I realize how small and inconsequential I am compared to Him.  I want to be more like Job in his response to God in chapter 42:

Then Job replied to the Lord:
“I know that you can do anything,
and no one can stop you.
You asked, ‘Who is this that questions my wisdom with such ignorance?’
 It is I—and I was talking about things I knew nothing about
 things far too wonderful for me.
You said, ‘Listen and I will speak
 I have some questions for you,
and you must answer them.’
I had only heard about you before,
but now I have seen you with my own eyes.
I take back everything I said,
 and I sit in dust and ashes to show my repentance.”

Or how about this great advice from Solomon in Ecclesiastes 5:2:

Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few.

Just as Albert Einstein so rightly said about knowledge, I so clearly can say about God: “The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don’t know.”

Knowing this causes me to gasp in wonder that God would ever want me, choose me or use me in any way.  But the crazy thing is, He still does.  And that is what makes me shake my head in wonder.  My only response to Him can be worship and surrender and obedience to His Lordship.  He not only chose me, saved me and purchased me by the blood of His Son Jesus Christ, but He also equips me to do the work He has already planned for me to do.  He has a purpose that needs to be fulfilled here on this earth, and for some outrageous reason, chooses to use me!  That is so beyond my comprehension.  But I know it’s true…He declares it in His Word.  

Can I go on? He also then gives us this incredible inheritance that can never be taken away, not by financial ruin, disaster, or any other means.  It is permanent, pure and protected!  

1 Peter 1:3-4 says this:  

According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you”  

This is another beautiful facet of the Gospel!  He not only saves us but also gives us this vast provision through our inheritance as His children.

As Rick Warren so perfectly writes:

As children in God’s family we are given “the riches … of his grace … kindness … patience … glory … wisdom … power … and mercy” (Ephesians 1:7; Romans 2:4; 9:23; 11:33; Ephesians 3:16; 2:4).

What an inheritance! You are far richer than you realize, which is why Paul could write with confidence: “My God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19 NIV).

So, no matter the circumstance or the need, God says he will provide.  I’m often faced with situations where I don’t know the right words to say or actions to take.  But because of the gift of His Holy Spirit in me, equipping me with His words and not mine, I can speak and act with confidence, knowing that I have this vast provision from my Father.  

This just makes me want to run to Him even more, soak in His word, find out everything I can about Him and KNOW him, as I spend time with Him.

Because He is in me, I can have the same heart He has for others.  Obviously I have a long way to go in this, but I know that He is in me and I in Him.  So I will continue to abide in my Savior, obeying His commands, because without him I am nothing.  And I know without question that “He who began a good work in me, will be faithful to complete it.”  Phil. 1:6

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