“That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him.” Ephesians 1:17
What do you get when you cross an old read with an expired drink mix? A new perspective! Turns out, the best ideas are often times those that have already circulated a time or two. And so, as this newest revelation…or should I say renovation…emerged, I thought it should be pinned down (which, for me, means penning it down) so that it might remain “new” just a little bit longer.
Let me first set the stage. It’s summer. I’m a teacher. I like things orderly. Put these three ingredients together, mix until they are well combined, pour into a room of your choice, allow an activation time of two to four hours (depending on room size), and, when done, remove accumulated bags of waste. Any questions? Well, as I was doing my regular summer “baking”, I came across some, shall we say, no longer viable lemonade mix. As I looked at this container, and thought about the simplicity of the mix (just what expires in this anyway?), I also thought about my morning read. And when I did, I realized God had just given me a new mix. Its name? Knowledge-Ade!
Now, perhaps, some product labeling is in order here. I’m quite sure you are familiar with lemonade mix, so I’ll skip over that, but let me give a little explanation about the book I’m reading. It’s titled The Complete Green Letters and its author is Miles J. Stanford. Truth is, I started this book years ago, but I never finished it. As I was going through my books (because, you know, it’s summer…and I was in that room) I came across this book and remembered how good it was…or at least how good the first half was…and thought I really should finish what I started. So, off the shelf it came and into my hands it settled. All I can say is, wow. How could I have put this book down? Its explanation of Biblical truths and personal trials and eternal victories are unparalleled. Yes, I even think C.S. Lewis would tip his hat to Mr. Miles Stanford. At any rate, on this particular morning, I had read about the three pillars of knowledge.
Now, while the substance of those three pillars isn’t what created what I will now refer to as Knowledge-Ade, I don’t want to keep you “stirred up” by not addressing them. So, here is my reconstituted explanation. (You’re welcome.) Mr. Stanford is addressing the importance of knowledge in the life of the believer and he states there are three forms (pillars) of knowledge that support one’s faith. The first form sets our understanding of Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection; the second form stabilizes our understanding of our crucifixion, and the third secures our understanding of our resurrection. The author’s point is that, for many of us, we stop learning after the first installment of knowledge. We “know enough” about salvation to accept what Jesus did for us, but we fail to increase our knowledge to the point that we understand what Jesus is still doing in us and through us. His point is that there is always more to be learned; too often we fail to grow because we do not “study to show ourselves approved unto God, workmen who needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). As believers, we should never cease to be seekers of knowledge. (To go deeper, get a hold of this book and check out page 194…then go back to page 3…and don’t stop until you get to page 317!)
So, how did this material and some old lemonade converge to create Knowledge-Ade? It began with the contemplation of knowledge…and wisdom. Usually, when we pray, we ask for wisdom, right? We know that wisdom is valuable and we esteem its worth more than knowledge. After all, Solomon, who could have asked for anything, recognized the value of wisdom and so requested it (2 Chronicles 1:10). But, as I read the pages on knowledge, I realized its presence was needed in the pitcher before wisdom could abound! Just as the lemon powder (or real juice) is necessary for the creation of lemonade, so too is knowledge essential for the creation of wisdom. I thought about this analogy and realized that it mixed up pretty well! Knowledge is the flavoring that wisdom absorbs and expands. Without wisdom, knowledge is bitter and undrinkable; without knowledge, wisdom has nothing to infiltrate and would be tasteless. But, when mixed together…and sweetened by the Holy Spirit (James 3:17)…the mix is refreshing, invigorating, satisfying; and, perhaps even more importantly, it is now pourable!
This may seem simplistic, (and I hope it is so it is easily ingested) but it struck a nerve with me. Knowledge is not only important, it’s the ingredient necessary for the attainment of wisdom. How often have I asked God for wisdom, yet failed to realize it wouldn’t do me any good if I didn’t have the necessary “knowledge packet” needed for the mix? How often have I stopped learning (perhaps even stopped reading a book…oh, my) because I didn’t value the ingredient of knowledge? Somehow, the mixing of water with lemonade stirred up the visual of mixing wisdom with knowledge, and that solidified (in liquid form) the connection between knowledge and wisdom.
Mr. Stanford reiterates throughout his book the correlation between increasing in knowledge and progressing in spiritual growth. “Before we can grow in any aspect of truth, we must be established in the knowledge of it.” He describes the excitement new believers have in learning God’s truths; in time, however, the eagerness wanes and, before long, “we begin to grow careless…we forget about the liberating truths for longer and longer periods of time…we, once again, rely more on our experience than on our Source”. We stop seeking knowledge, yet we yearn for wisdom. I had failed to view knowledge as the ingredient necessary for wisdom. That was, of course, until I picked up this unfinished book and cleaned out that unorganized cabinet. With Green Letters in my head and lemonade mix in my hand, Knowledge-Ade emerged. I hope it refreshes you as much as it has refreshed me, and I hope it encourages you to go deeper in your quest for Godly knowledge. Pick up a book…pick up THE Book…and keep a ready supply of knowledge packets available so that, when you thirst for wisdom, God will not find your pitcher empty! And, unlike my outdated lemonade mix, your packets of Knowledge-Ade will never expire!
Here’s to a summer filled with acquiring new knowledge from God’s Word and attaining increased wisdom from God’s hand; may we not only drink deeply from God’s truths, but may we become the vessels God fills up and then pours out for the refreshment of others as well.