“My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also reject you as my priests.” (Hosea 4:6)
Would you grant resources, power, and authority to someone who has never met you and is totally unfamiliar your agenda? Would you want someone representing you and speaking on your behalf if are totally unfamiliar with the way you think and make decisions? In a similar manner, mere intellectual knowledge about God is totally insufficient to make us His priests.
The best military and economic advisors are able to fully comprehend the way that their superiors think and strategize. This is because they have spent countless hours in the “war room” thinking and strategizing alongside the one who has the final word. As a result, they come to know the one they are serving so closely that they develop an intimate knowledge of how he thinks, to the extent that they can even begin to anticipate what decisions he would make in the event that communication is lost. This is the kind of intimate knowledge that we need of the Lord.
We are called to know the Lord so intimately that we become completely familiar with all of His thoughts and ways. We access his thoughts and ways by revelation from the Spirit of Knowledge (See Isaiah 11:1-2). Then, just like a trusted military advisor, we began to develop an innate sense of who He is, how he thinks, and how He moves. This knowledge of God’s nature, His thoughts, and His ways is meant to be so continual and transformative that we will still think with His mind even in seasons when it’s more difficult to receive revelation from heaven.
Revelation of God’s Thoughts and Ways
God warns us that there is a sharp distinction between His way of thinking and ours:
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
As the rain and snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is the word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire.” (Isaiah 55:8-11)
First, the Lord makes clear that his way of thinking and accomplishing his agenda is “much higher” than ours. This also makes his ways infinitely more effective at accomplishing what he desires than our ways. Next, the Lord compares the revelation of His thoughts and ways to rain and snow that come down from heaven and water the earth. This is important because it highlights the value of understanding the way the Lord works over a period of time. We must have the mindset that we’re in this for the “long haul.”
Just as no one will hire a military or economic advisor who plans to only stay for only a few months, God will not anoint us with power unless we’re committed to internalize his thoughts and ways over a period of many years. This requires disciple, focus, and self-sacrifice. The reason that many Christians do not access and internalize the mind of the Lord is that they expect Him to “download” his thoughts and ways to them in a matter of minutes. This is an incredibly immature mindset that is rooted in our culture of consumerism: Like infants, we expect to have what we want when we want it. We’ll throw a fit if we’re not satisfied immediately. If the joint chiefs of staff had this mindset, the United States would have been reduced to rubble many decades ago.
When Moses faced the false prophets of Egypt, they both had a lot of knowledge. Jannes and Jambres, the two false prophets who opposed him were equipped with centuries of deep occult knowledge and were esteemed highly enough to be serving in Pharoah’s court. What made Moses different and led to the Exodus of God’s people is that Moses had the highest form of knowledge, which is intimate knowledge of who God is.Moses’ encounter at the burning bush, in which He came to know God intimately and in a direct encounter, is what qualified Him to be God’s representative on the earth. The power and authority that Moses had to directly confront the dark powers that held God’s people in bondage was entrusted to Him because He had intimate knowledge of who God is, which was based on direct experience.
The Knowledge of the Lord that Moses walked in began with his encounter at the burning bush, but it certainly didn’t end there. Moses walked in a continually increasing and unfolding revelation of the nature of God. God proclaimed his glory, his love, and every aspect of His eternal nature to Moses. As a result, Moses knew God. However, the flip side of this reality is that God knew Moses. This is why we see Moses’ relationship with God described in such a remarkable way: “The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend.” (Exodus 33:11) The Spirit of Knowledge is poured upon those who ask for His Presence so that we can begin to walk in this kind of intimacy with God.
How will you pursue a greater knowledge of God's thoughts and ways today?
I took this picture of the Tigris River in Baghdad, Iraq when I was stationed there as an Infantry soldier in 2004-2005.
We are called to know the Lord so intimately that we become completely familiar with all of His thoughts and ways.