What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You - Part 1
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” Proverbs 9:10
We’ve all heard it, or at least on some occasions, said it, “If I knew then what I know now…” It seems too often to everyone that some of life’s most important lessons that are only discovered by the experience of years often come too late for us to benefit fully from them. This has never been God’s plan, but it is the way of the ruler of this world. The innocence of youth is desirable, but foolishness unchecked in the heart of a child can lead to their destruction. [Hosea 4:6] So, God sends His Word to us to guide us and instruct us in the ways of righteousness and to show us the pathway to success in life. [Joshua 1:8]
He sends is wisdom to us with warnings and promises that we might know wisdom from an early age and gain understanding as we grow in faith and the knowledge of the Lord. When we see these attributes in a young person we remark that they are “wise beyond their years.” We say this because, we expect that the older a person gets, the more naturally wise they become. Experience is a great teacher. And so it is that we should look to those who are older and wiser to gain wisdom at every age.
Now God has given to every man the measure of faith.
“For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.” Romans 12:3
What is the measure of faith?
First and foremost it is the ability to believe something we cannot see before we see it and to hope for something with confidence before we have it. Faith precedes fact. We exercise it everyday. Every human being alive exercises Faith everyday. Every step we take is taken with a measure of faith. We step on the ground believing, trusting and being assured that it will be under our feet and support us as we move about. We don’t think about it, we just do it. That is the ultimate expression of faith. Doing something with a confident assurance that what you expect is what will be. Walking by faith in the process of moving from one physical place to another is the same as walking by faith in spiritual matters that have a direct affect on our everyday circumstances.
Miracles, healings, signs and wonders were the daily acts of Jesus as He walked the earth and demonstrated His power to the disciples and to all the people who followed Him. And He did it all by faith in God, the Father, confident of the outcomes before they came to pass. And in this same way He wants us, as the just, to walk by faith and not by sight.
“For there in is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.” Romans 1:17
“For we walk by faith, not by sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:7
So how do we walk by faith and not by sight? How do we live by faith as the just?
Certain foundational principles of our faith are given for us to have the power and awareness of faith at the deepest part of our being. Here are a few scriptures to seal that new life in our hearts.
“For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him,that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin.” Romans 6:5-7
As the body of Christ we are united with Christ in death and we shall be like Him in the power of the resurrection from the dead. We know this because our old unregenerate sinful nature was buried (in baptism) with Jesus and now it is dead, no longer living to drive us into sin. The old man, the old sinful nature is dead and has no power over us.
When we know, that is, when we understand fullythat our old nature of sin was crucified with Christ, then we know that we are raised up also in the likeness of His resurrection, that we are new creations in Christ Jesus, and that old things have passed away, and all things are become new and all things are of God. [2 Corinthians 5:17-18]
“Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” 2 Peter 1:2-4
This is the first “knowing” of the new life in which we walk by faith and not by sight. From this knowing proceeds all other truth that we will come to know to guide us by the Holy Spirit into the transformational work of becoming daily more like Christ in every way. Being conformed to the image of Christ is our destination. Faith in God and faith in His Word is our journey and pathway to it. By the great and precious promises of God we become partakers of His divine nature.
Therefore, we must know what he has promised us and take hold of His promises by faith, walking in them and living by them, believing that they are for us and it is God’s will and divine purpose that we should be partakers of them with Him and in Him through Jesus Christ our Lord by the power of the Holy Spirit. And this we do by faith as the Holy Spirit works in us both to will (to want to) and to do of God’s good pleasure. Without faith it is impossible to please God.
“But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” Hebrews 11:6
So, by faith we seek Him, we seek to know His Word, to seal it in our hearts. We seek to know His great and precious promises so that we can, with confident hope and assured faith, take hold of them in order to become partakers of His divine nature through Jesus Christ our Lord.
What we don’t know can hurt us, can cause us to stumble, fall and even be destroyed. What we know of God, our Father, and of Jesus Christ our Lord can bring us life and that more abundantly through the power of the precious Holy Spirit