Sunday, February 17, 2013

Take 5 with Kathy - "Knowing vs. Knowledge..."

near Chelyabinsk, Russia
The world was shocked on Friday to learn a meteor had exploded close to Russian soil sending shockwaves that shattered windows, knocked down brick walls, and left about 1000 people injured. When fragments pierced the atmosphere plummeting to earth one section fell through an icy lake 80km from Chelyabinsk. As people captured on video the trail of an unknown object as it streaked across the morning sky they were unprepared for what happened next. Suddenly, blinding white light exploded before their eyes and the streak burst into an impressive trail of billowing smoke and fire. Approximately two-and-a-half minutes later a thundering sonic boom blasted the area setting off car alarms, hurling glass shards, rocking the ground, and causing people to cry out in terror. They would have wondered, “What just happened? Did something hit us? Was it a plane exploding? The asteroid? A rocket? A missile?”

That evening I was watching special coverage on TV’s “Daily Planet” of this event and the unrelated asteroid that came close to Earth[i]. In an interview with Mark Boslough, a physicist who specializes in nuclear explosions and the shock waves caused by cosmic blasts that meteors create, he was asked, “Why weren’t we ready for it and are there more to come?”

He indicated that as many professional and amateur astronomers across the world were focused on tracking the path of the largest asteroid ever to pass this close to our planet, this meteor came out of nowhere. While most meteors are detected in the night sky, this one occurred during broad daylight and caught everyone unaware.

Although scientists are able to answer many questions about what happens during such incidents, they are still baffled by a great many “why’s”, “what if’s”, and “how long’s”. As one program host remarked, “The only thing we know for sure is that we just don’t know.”

In discussing the ongoing research around another asteroid that is predicted to come even closer to Earth in 2029, scientists understand that in order to discover answers about how this heavenly body is going to act and what course it will follow they must know it – its nature, composition, and what materials it contains. They likened it to an enemy and said, “You have to know and study your enemy if you want to know how to stop it.”

Hmmmm…all of this got me thinking about the latest lesson I’ve been studying in “Discovering the Voice of God”. Priscilla Shirer says, “Often we seek to know God’s direction more than we seek to know God. We bypass the relationship because we would rather have answers about us. God wants to speak to you because He wants you to know Him; knowing His direction is just a by-product. God seeks to reveal truth about Himself because this knowledge will lay the firm path you can walk to fulfilling God’s purpose for your life.”[ii]

For me to have the knowledge and answers I am looking for regarding the course my life is to follow, I must know the nature and character of God who lives within me. There must be an active and ongoing relationship between me and my Lord. Knowledge about God is not enough. Hearing Him is not enough. I must know Him well-enough that I begin to experience His character living out through me. Only then will I be eager to follow His leading and obey what He is telling me to do. This is when I really begin to listen to His voice and discern that it is Him speaking to me rather than another voice, opinion, influence, or my own desires.

Likewise, for me to recognize the deceitful voice of my spiritual enemy, Satan, I have to do more than just have knowledge about him. I must learn about how he works, his nature, his weapons, and be prepared to use the countermeasures God has equipped me with as a Christian. I don’t know him to be like him but to stop him and destroy his efforts to defeat me.

When Moses descended Mount Sinai to find the Israelites worshiping the golden calf instead of God, he was angry and felt discouraged and defeated. How could he ever lead these people to the land God had promised them? Would God even go with them? He said to God, “You have been telling me, ‘Lead these people,’ but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. You have said, ‘I know you by name and you have found favor with me.’ If I have found favor in your eyes, teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favor with you.” I love God’s response, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” (Exodus 33:12-14) Later God reassured Moses of many of His attributes giving him the courage to do what God had required of him.

I want to know God – really know who He is and what He is able to do in my life.

Until next Sunday,


[i] Daily Planet, “Fire in the Sky”, February 15, 2013
[ii] “Discovering the Voice of God” by Priscilla Shirer, LifeWay Press, 2006, 2010, page 67

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