by Ben Kinchlow
Someone once said about a man
"He has just enough knowledge
to be dangerous." One of the most challenging and dangerous positions to be in is
"to know". How many times have we been absolutely convinced that we knew we had
the whole story
we had the facts
there was no room for doubt. Only to find
out, much to our chagrin, that we were wrong after all. Hopefully, we can have such an
experience privately, without having our ignorance broadcast.
Throughout the years, people have known they possessed all the facts.
In fact, one officer of the U.S. Patent Commission once alluded to not needing anymore
patents, because all that could be invented had been invented. There were "flat
earth" societies prepared to defend to the death their contention that the earth was,
indeed, flat. Sailors just "knew" the curve they saw was the end of the earth.
The Sadducees "knew" there was no resurrection, and the whole nation of Israel
just "knew" they had the truth. Today, there are ministers who teach the
"truth" that the power of the Holy Spirit is for yesterday. They just
"know" that the gifts of the Spirit passed away with the Apostles. There are
churches that just "know" you cant have musical instruments in the
sanctuary. And there are others who just "know" you can only be saved by being
baptized in one name. There are still others who just "know" you cannot be
healed as a result of prayer and that miracles are no longer valid because "that
which is perfect (the Bible) is come".
It was to this category of people that Jesus addressed His ringing
"He that has ears to hear, let him hear." Among the most
dangerous of people are those zealots who "know" that they alone are the true
guardians and possessors of ultimate truth. Wars have been fought, countless lives lost,
and perhaps millions turned away from the simple truth of the Gospel as a result of people
who just "knew"
I once counseled with a very unhappy husband. "Why?" I asked,
"are you so unhappy?" He was a wealthy, successful businessman with a lovely,
born-again Spirit-filled wife. He seemed to have everything. The source of his
unhappiness? His wife. "Your wife?", I asked. "Yes", he replied, with
visible agitation. "What seems to be the problem?", I wondered aloud. "I
can never win an argument with her", he exclaimed. "Why not?"
"Because", he replied, "She always tells me, God said, and
"WHO", he replied bitterly, "can win an argument with God?!"
People do hear from God, but every single response and emotion is not
necessarily God-breathed. "A good idea", it has been said, "is not
necessarily a God idea".
Does this mean no one can "know" anything for sure? Not at
all. You can know beyond a shadow of a doubt that your sins are forgiven, that youve
been born again, and that your ultimate destination is eternity with God. You can know
beyond a question that you are filled with the Holy Spirit, speaking in tongues, and
experiencing miracles. You can know that God does miracles and that all things are
possible to him that believes, but hear this
"God resists the proud, but gives
grace to the humble. Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct
that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom, for where envy and self-seeking exist,
confusion and every evil thing are there. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure,
then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without
partiality, and without hypocrisy. Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by
those who make peace." (James 3:13-18 and 4:6)
Ah, but then you "knew" that, didnt you?