Knowledge by Necessity

What are some things you know about? Have you ever thought about the things you know very well? Have you ever thought about WHY you know those things? I bet the things you know really well are because it's necessary.

My husband astounds me with his knowledge of internet security. Three minutes into an explanation of his job and I am lost. He learns constantly because the internet is ever changing. If he doesn't take to the task of learning he will be out of a job.

Consider someone who has a major health issue like diabetes. That person becomes an expert in blood sugar and insulin and how to best care for themselves. They must understand their illness better than anyone else, the result of not knowing could be fatal.

I have a couple of friends who are newer to their Christian walk. Sometimes, they ask me a question about the Bible or a Christian concept. I am by no means an expert - in fact, the more I learn about God the more I realize I have to learn. But I do have stacks of Bible study work books in my bedroom closet. I feel like Beth Moore ought to issue me some sort of honorary degree. What's the point of soaking up so much Scripture and spending so much time in the Word? Practically, I won't be able to put all those Bible studies on any resume if I ever return to the workforce full time. Honestly, just like the diabetic must study their illness or the IT professional must stay current with best practices, my knowledge is by necessity.

About 11 years ago when I realized my marriage was walking a wobbly tight rope and I knew I needed some knowledge. I tried to find it by talking to girlfriends, watching self help shows on TV, and inside women's magazines. What I didn't realize was it wasn't what I needed to know, but WHOM I needed to know. I had been a Christian since I was a child. I don't remember a time not believing Jesus was my Savior, but I didn't know Him. It's as if I could say, "Yeah, I know Adele." Well I know who Adele is and I can sing many of her songs (not well) but I don't know her intimately. I don't know what she believes or what she knows. I don't know what hurts her or what makes her joyful. I don't know her favorite foods or how she likes to spend her time.

When my life was falling apart, I knew Jesus about as well as I knew any pop star. I didn't know Him intimately. As I began my desperate search for answers and ways to change the course of my family, all roads led to Jesus. I didn't set out to have perfect attendance in Thursday night bible studies but I couldn't afford therapy. Seriously! When things got desperate I went to two counseling sessions that cost over $300. On my way home from one appointment, I felt like God said, "Spend time with me, I'm free and the results will be much better."

Matthew 11:28-30 says: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” I'm not knocking counseling, I just couldn't afford it. I had three small children and getting out of the house for anything other than preschool and pediatrician appointments was a challenge! But, I could read my Bible anywhere (any preschool mom will freely admit the bathroom is often a prayer closet) or listen to teachings on all those trips to preschool. Immersing myself in all things Jesus slowly began to heal me enough that I could stand up to the coming storms.

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I admire many different Bible teachers and preachers. I love to hear how others glean from the Word. One thing I note about some of the very best teachers is they have backgrounds of great pain. Many have endured horrific sexual abuse, one great preacher was the product of rape and others grew up in inner city poverty. I'd wager to say their love for the Word of God was not merely an interest but necessary for survival. Charles Stanley often talks about growing up poor with a single mom. His mom always taught him to fight his battles on his knees. His mom knew prayer wasn't just for show, it was the only way she and her son would get through the day.

If you've admired someone's knowledge of Scripture and the Savior and you've wanted that for yourself, it might be time to acknowledge your own need. I'm convinced if we study the Bible or spend time with Jesus out of obligation we will never receive what's available for us. Over a decade ago, I had to pull my car off the road while listening to some teaching on the radio. I pounded my steering wheel and yelled at God through the windshield. I told Him He had to fix my life, He had to show up and I had to admit I couldn't do it anymore. I admitted I didn't know what I was doing and I needed to know Him more. Some peace fell on me that day. Everything wasn't suddenly better, but it was as if God agreed with me. "Yes, Child, you do need Me, now let's get to work." Suddenly I began to understand what I was learning and I began to remember what I read. As a mother of two preschoolers and a newborn, I could barely remember my own name much less any Bible verse. Little by little, God was faithful to water the words in my heart. They comforted me and guided me through several rough years.

Surrender to the need to know Him. He will show up and shoulder your burden. As you come close He promises to come close to you and will cultivate His word in your heart.

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