It’s Not What You Know…

by Lester Young

I’m sure you’ve heard the saying ‘knowledge is power.’ Well, it’s really not. How many people can you think of offhand that know some stuff, yet you wouldn’t exactly call them powerhouses? Lots of folks have knowledge and no power. Satan has oodles of knowledge – by this time he would pretty much have to. He knows God’s Word; he even tried to use it against Jesus (Matthew 4:2-11; Luke 4:2-13). Not very successful at it, but he tried nonetheless. Yet, as much as he knows, the Bible tells us that he’s still trapped and kept under darkness (Jude 1:6) – and utterly powerless (Romans 8:1-2; 1 Corinthians 15:56; Colossians 2:13-15; Hebrews 2:14; Revelation 1:18). (Of course, just because the devil’s got knowledge, it doesn’t mean he’s omniscient – quite the contrary. It’s a bit difficult to be chained under the darkness and know everything at the same time. Let’s face it, if he really knew so much he wouldn’t be chained in the dark in the first place [1 Corinthians 2:7-8]. But I digress…)

We can see, then, that it’s not simply a matter of what you know. But please don’t misunderstand me. Success does begin with obtaining knowledge, correct knowledge – the knowledge of God, also fondly known as the Truth (John 17:17). Without having a good fundamental base of what the truth actually is, you’ll easily fall for the lies the world circulates daily. That’s why God wants us to know what He knows, to obtain our knowledge from Him (Hosea 6:6; Colossians 1:10). His knowledge doesn’t change from one generation to the next, or from one decade to the next, or one day to the next (Malachi 3:6; Hebrews 13:8). God’s knowledge base is a rock of stability.

So, yes, it all starts by having God’s knowledge, knowing His Word (which, by the way, is also His will). But that’s certainly not where it ends. Our Lord Jesus taught that the people who were acting wisely were not the ones who just heard His words, but those who actually put them into action in their own lives (Matthew 7:24-27; Luke 6:46-49). James 1:22 and 1:24 urge us to “be doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving our own selves;” because “the doer of the work, and not the forgetful hearer, will be blessed in his deed.” Then, a couple of chapters later he just goes ahead and smacks us in the face with the bottom line: “To him that knows to do good but doesn’t, to him it’s sin” (James 4:17).

What must we conclude, then? It’s not just what you know that gives you power. It’s what you do with what you know that brings explosive results. The Blessing of Abraham (described in Deuteronomy 28:1-13) given to the Israelites came with one condition – that they listen and do. It’s no different for us today; remember, the Lord doesn’t change.

As children of God, we’re called to do mercy. We’re called to do compassion. We’re called to do love. Those are not just wonderful, idealistic concepts. They’re action words. They were first put into action toward us by our heavenly Father in the person of Jesus Christ, and now we should be doing the same – because as He is, so are we in this world (1 John 4:17). The doer is blessed indeed, and the blessing of the Lord…well, let’s just say it’ll make you rich, and leave it at that! (Proverbs 10:22)

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6 Comments to “It’s Not What You Know…”

  1. “… and He adds no sorrow to it”. I love that verse. Great post, Lester, and it is really the case that knowledge is not enough, even hearing the Word is not enough, as the Lord illustrated about the two houses on the rock and on the sand. It has to be the right kind of knowledge (God’s Word, His precepts, the true Gospel Message), and the right kind of knowledge has to be put into practice.

  2. Good word, Lester. It has to be a balance between knowing, believing and doing. If we know, in our heads, but don’t believe in our hearts, we won’t do anything worthwhile with that knowledge. If we do without relation to the Word and faith, it will be to little avail. If we know and believe and don’t do, we sin.

    • Hi Diane…Jesus summed it up so well in John 15:5: “…for without ME (and He is the Word of God) you can do nothing.” As Christ’s disciples, we must DO the Word. Thanks so much, Diane, as always. Looking forward to your book!


  3. Amen! As my Dad once put it, “You can understand how the car works, what it looks like when it’s broken, how to fix it when it is, but if you never turn over the ignition, it isn’t going to take you anywhere!” Too many Christians remain satisfied with the “milk” of the faith – knowledge with very little action. If you want the power, you have to “turn over the ignition”, move on to the “meat”, and start living the life of a disciple: one filled with obedience to our Lord!

    • Preach to ’em, Anna…absolutely right! We will only get the Word’s results when we put the Word’s directions into action. Thanks very much for visiting and commenting 🙂


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