All knowledge both temporal and spiritual has something inherent in it to catalyst pride. Despite this truth, God still gives both temporal and spiritual knowledge to man. Through His gift of temporal knowledge, man has discovered and invented a lot of temporal things that help us live well while we are on the earth. Man owes thanks to God; may He be praised in all the earth!
God has distributed temporal knowledge to all men such that, no one man has better knowledge of all the temporal things more than anyone else. A professor of aeronautic engineering or law may have less knowledge and be lectured about fishing, farming or hunting by persons skilled in such fields. All humans have areas they are illiterate. This is meant to curtail pride in man. But does it? No, not in this fallen world we live in where the fittest set the norms, ethos and structure such to benefit them.
As a result, man considers that some things are superior and more valuable than others. This factor accentuates pride in man and makes God’s intent of equality enshrined in complementation a strange and difficult concept for man to comprehend. The difficulty is not limited to temporal knowledge but is the same also with His gift of spiritual knowledge. This assertion is authenticated as we read in the scriptures, “… even though I have received such wonderful revelations from God. So to keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud” 2 Corinthians 12:7NLT.
For Christians, we learn from Christ’s dealings in Paul’s life that, we need to be humble and God’s ways are mysteriously active to so help us. It is important to point out that the situation was not unique to Paul. It is an ordination for all who will inherit eternal life through Christ and in Christ. Therefore, we like Paul and other saints of God, must face contradictions, perplexities, crushing etc and meet it all with patient endurance or perseverance. That is what His grace is supplied for. And, that is the only way we will glory with Him—through His grace in overcoming by faith and patience like other saints who have gone to be with Him. Faith and patience are the only evidence that God is and is becoming Lord over our spirit, soul and body. The result is ultimately a humble walk with God and men. The person(s) in whom God has worked and is walking through their spirit, soul and body has/have become a highway of God’s city.
Those who increase in God’s knowledge must be prepared to increase in His dealings unless we want to end up like Demas, Judas, the Pharisees, the widows that strayed after Satan 1 Timothy 5:15 etc.
While there is joy to enjoy as we increase in the knowledge of God, there are pains to bear, one’s weaknesses to discover and overcome, ambush to overcome, betrayals, insults, accusations and crafty and diabolical lies told against us that must be ignored—all for Christ’s sake—and for the glory that is in Him.
Therefore, our admonition is, ‘if we want to glory, boast or be proud, let it be only in the cross of Christ. Showing we have tasted bitter waters and He made it sweet in our bellies (souls). And we have His mark in our bodies’. Galatians 6:14. That is maturity!
Maturity is not assumption. It is not by popular opinion held about us that we are a loving, humble and good people and therefore, are accepted, loved, supported, given opportunities and positions. It is rather, having the signs of His mark in our bodies.
Signs of His Mark: Soul and Hand
We don’t speak when He doesn’t want us to speak though it may portray us as idiotic, senseless, unwise and lacking understanding, dumb, fearful and weak.
We speak when He wants us to though it makes us appear stupid, trouble makers, unwise and assumed arrogant.
We endure rather than act when He wants us to endure though everyone or almost everyone thinks it is time to act and vice versa
We lose when He says, “lose” though it may show us as utterly irresponsible and lazy
We fight with no restraint or care for our lives when He says, “fight” the course though it may confirm us as indeed stubborn, divisive, individualist, proud, unwise, suicidal and ungodly.
We stand up straight again after even the devil knocks us down and refuse to be consumed or discouraged by what people and devils think
We grow in leaps and bounds in spirit and truth giving us a steady lifestyle of glorifying Christ both in abounding and debasing situations though many people dream otherwise for us.
We leave “this and that opportunity” when God says so though, it may make one seem dull, not able to detect and seize opportunities.
All knowledge (spiritual and temporal) has the potential to puff up but, maturity humbles. Though increased knowledge is not maturity, maturity is not without increase in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ that gives increase in grace.
The five wise virgins—that is, the sons of God brought to glory by Christ, knew the difference between having knowledge and maturity. So, their actions appeared “wicked, unloving, and not humble” so to speak when they refused to share their oil with the five foolish virgins Matthew 25:7-9. Knowing when to apply knowledge is maturity. They did not allow the knowledge of, “It is written give to everyone who asks of you” to be used to confuse them from obeying the voice of the Spirit. Saleh!
Maturity reminded them that they did not have enough to spare. “For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God” Romans 8:14.
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.