For the past three years I’ve been in an InterVarsity small group at school, and have had the two best small group leaders in the world. They’ve both graduated by now but they’re worth sharing — although I’ll hardly do them justice.
Mer was always light-hearted and bubbly, leading our hearts into their most exposed state, beckoning us to be real with ourselves and with each other. The Lord worked beautifully through her to bring our true emotions to the surface, whether bright or gloomy. She entertained our fragile souls with cute, corny jokes and her sweet laughter.
KG was steadily peaceful and loving, calming our spirits with just her smile. Quiet and humble, she was the mastermind, sure to know the background of each biblical event, the history of certain tribes, and the reputation of different people. She truly had the gift of knowledge.
Knowledge a gift? Why yes, knowledge is indeed a gift of the Spirit.
“For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit,…” 2 Corinthians 12:8
If you ask me, we rarely recognize knowledge as a spiritual gift. We generally see it an ordinary, helpful capability. Or if any of us do view it as special, we don’t necessarily see it as coming from the God of the universe. Sometimes it even has a slightly negative connotation– at least for some college students. We think of knowledge, and we think of school. It’s just generally nothing exciting or noteworthy. But it is. It’s quite essential and heavenly.
Now what kind of knowledge am I talking about? To know mathematics and science, or to know news about what’s going on in the world? To know people or of people? To know what kind of trees are in your backyard? Well, yes, even this is from God’s Spirit, but this isn’t what I’m referring to.
I mean to know about God, to know about what He’s done, and to know Him personally.
“Thus says the Lord: ‘Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the Lord.” Jeremiah 9:23-24
To know about God – the knowledge of His character, is something we can only do by the power of the Spirit. How are we – human beings who have been nowhere but earth, know the character of God who is out of this world? Because He has come into the world in the flesh of Jesus Christ, and into our souls in the Holy Spirit. Only by Him can we know about God – that He is unconditionally loving, undeservingly kind, firmly just, abounding in grace and forgiveness, and unfalteringly righteous, glorious and holy. It is a gift from His Spirit to know what He’s like.
“When you read this, you can perceive my insight into the mystery of Christ, which has not made known to the sons of men in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit.” Ephesians 3:4-5
This is the Scriptures Paul is speaking of – the living Word of God. We are not meant to understand everything in it yet during our stay here on earth, but we have the ability to understand much of it, by God’s Holy Spirit. He has given this Spirit to us. We need it while we’re here, for guidance and for battle.
This Book is full of the history of our God in the world – all that He has chosen to reveal to us about what has come to pass. It is His Holy Ghost that empowers us to read His words and understand it. We have this knowledge only by His doing, not by our own capacity. And this is so important. The knowledge of what God has done is the most crucial assistant to our faith, for when we don’t feel Him near and we don’t see Him move, we can fall back on the facts of all of His works. We are reminded of His faithful and unfailing character.
“And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” John 17:3
This is the most glorious aspect of the gift of knowledge from the Spirit – to know Him personally. To have a personal relationship with the the Son and the Father, through the Holy Spirit. We cannot truly know Him without heavenly help, and therefore, we cannot have eternal life unless the Spirit so grants us the ability to know Him. And how do we receive this ability?
By truly believing in Christ and in what He’s done.
Knowledge is extremely important. We disregard it as a spiritual gift all the time, viewing it as just another human capacity. But it’s not. It’s heavenly.
This is my charge for us this week:
“But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.” 2 Peter 3:18