This post is the 4th in a 6-part series on Idolizing Knowledge. Read the rest of the posts here. Guest directory info is available here.
Sitting down to play a board game is relaxing. Until it isn’t.
One game in particular gets my wheels spinning with a frustration that is probably healthy for me.
It’s called 7 Wonders. Each turn, every player selects a card from their hand and then passes the rest to their neighbor. Around and around the hands go, whittling down with each turn. Inevitably, I realize I’ve got two cards in a hand that will allow my neighbor to win. I can only take one card though.
Come the passing of the hands, my neighbor wins. And I knew they would. But I couldn’t do a thing about it.
We can know all about something and have no power to change it or act on it.
The anthem “knowledge is power” gets us on our feet until we’re on our knees, fully informed about something we can’t change. Whether we learn all about a loved ones’ diagnosis or gain insight into someone else’s success, knowledge does not always equate to power.
Forgetting this fact is one of the most frustrating things for wanna-know-it-alls like me.
I think of the prophets.
Even with visions of what was to come and warnings given by God, they had no power to change the course of the people.
God even told Ezekiel that as a watchman Ezekiel was not responsible for the people’s responses to the prophecies. He was merely responsible for speaking the truth. There was no sugarcoating. Ezekiel was to speak knowing the people would not listen and destruction would surely still come.
“They have seen false visions and lying divinations. They say, ‘Declares the Lord,’ when the Lord has not sent them, and yet they expect him to fulfill their word.” –Ezekiel 13:6
We’re like that. We treat the knowledge we have like it’s the God-given truth and as if we’ve divined how to apply it properly. Using our knowledge, we proclaim how things are going to be. Then, we get mad when God doesn’t backup our plans with the power to see them through.
The gap between our knowledge and our power is where surrender lives. <Tweet this>
God is all-knowing and all-powerful. There’s nothing He doesn’t know about and nothing He can’t do something about.
That’s why we end up on our knees, fully informed and full incapable. We know the One who is capable, and we pray He exerts His power in a way that fits our knowledge.
However, God’s all-knowingness exceeds the information we have. We know the type of cancer, the odds, the way it affects the body. He knows all that too- and He knows how it fits into His perfect plan. God knows how to make good out of what’s not good. He can do it and He will.
Since His knowledge exceeds ours and He is good, we have reason to trust that whatever power He exerts, what He knows and what He does will align for our good and His glory.
Surrendering to the One who is in control should be relieving.
If we’re honest about the limits of human knowledge, we realize it is good we aren’t in control. We don’t have the know-how to wield sovereignty well. And when we think we do, we can end up:
- Growing egotistical and distant from God
- Having “our own understanding” define our path
- Leading others astray because our knowledge is limited
- Unprepared to face the truth
- Getting way ahead of ourselves and the Lord’s plans
Laying down what we know before the One who knows what to do protects us. Especially from messes like these. My husband points out, “What we don’t know we can’t control.” Whew.
Surrender in the space between knowledge and power relieves the tension that wears us and tears us as we live out the limits of being human.
Do you need to take knowledge off the pedestal of power to lay what you know at His feet?
Join me for the next 5 weeks to delve deeper into shattering the idol of knowledge to take hold of knowledge as God intends it to be.
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I would love to have you guest post on First and Second. Submissions for a guest directory on Idolizing Knowledge are due March 15th! More info on guest posting here.