Many young men my age can recall Saturday morning and after school moments spent, milk and cookies in hand, staring at the tube as G.I. Joe forces once again outsmarted and out skilled Cobra Commander.
Those who logged such hours remember the tag line of every show…
“Knowing is half the battle…”
I have found this to be a true sentiment in many arenas of life. Knowledge is power, it is of immense value, it is “worth it’s weight in gold”. The pursuit of knowledge and understanding is a worthwhile endeavor. This is not only applicable in the realm of education, but also in honing our craft, navigating relationships, and maneuvering through society. Knowledge is certainly beneficial in the life of a believer, in pursuit of Jesus and the full measure of the kingdom living He makes available.
However, there is one word uttered from G.I. Joe that we fail to emphasize. We tend to fix our focus on the word “knowledge”. We comfortably and unwaveringly identify it as a fundamental necessity for personal progress. Yet, it is imperative that we not forget the word “half”.
I have been following Jesus for the whole of my life. That’s 40+ years of devotion. As always, I admit I have not known perfection, but I have no idea what it’s like to live outside of the context of God’s infinite grace, mercy, and love. You tend to pick up some knowledge when journeying for such a lengthy period of time.
There are certain truths, principles, concepts, and precepts through the years that have been especially profound in shaping my faith. Just as I can recall my time watching Duke outwit Destro (iykyk), I also can remember some of the more significant seasons of spiritual and biblical revelation in my life.
One such divine epiphany is found in the 146 pages of my book, “Let Your Heart Go Free”. When you are awakened to some nugget of eternal knowledge, it has the capacity to revolutionize your life. That which was once an obstacle in your soul and flesh suddenly becomes a notch of victory in your “belt of truth”.
But I have learned something through the years…
Knowing a truth is only HALF the battle.
You can live off the momentum of new revelation for a good while. It hurtles you forward with exponential force, causing you to be altogether new. Its invigorating, liberating, and exhilarating. There is a grace on it for a season.
Then the clock keeps ticking, the calendar keeps flipping, the earth keeps rotating. You move on in life and this shiny new knowledge becomes just another fundamental part of who you are. You navigate the world around you feeling like, due to this revelation, you have that part of your spirit covered, the less than desirables in your soul and flesh subdued by the power of this knowledge.
Unfortunately, life (and maybe satan, the accuser, your adversary) has a way of coming back around and applying pressure on that truth from a new angle. What you thought was defeated, rears its intrusive head in an unexpected way. You thought knowledge, revelation, had conquered that dragon. It’s a little disconcerting to be walking down the road, only to come in contact with an old foe you thought was vanquished.
What do you do when you thought fear was under your foot?
How do you respond when you felt like insecurity was a notch in your belt?
What goes on in your mind when you thought lust, for sex, power, money, status, or the cheering of the crowd, were a part of your past, not your present or future?
When the familiar adversary shakes off the dust and ash of your past triumph and confronts you again…sneak attacks you…hides in a new Trojan Horse…
You remember that knowledge is HALF the battle…
Knowledge wasn’t intended to be a notch in your belt, it is available as a weapon in your sheath.
You don’t hang your head in discouragement, or beat yourself up with disappointment, because your enemy didn’t just roll over and die like it was supposed to…
No, you take hold of the knowledge that God graciously released into your life, the revelation that you dug for, the understanding that you tediously cultivated…
You take hold of it and use it as the weapon it was always meant to be. You hold onto it tightly and contend for it’s benefits. You dig in your heels and determine that you might have been caught off guard by this new uprising, but you know too much to give in, you know too much to go back to where you were.
You remind yourself, and your adversary, of the truths you have mined, and you refuse to give lordship of your life to any thought, person, or thing that is not the Lamb seated on the throne of all the universe.
It’s not enough to have knowledge. You have to understand that knowledge will need to be leveraged many times in your future. You have to learn how to wield that knowledge, that your soul may be guarded from the unceasing onslaught of flesh and the hellacious attributes of this world. You must ready yourself, for the road ahead is long, and what you’ve learned is meant to get you to the end. That knowledge wasn’t an accomplishment. It was an equipping.
Knowledge is so important, but it’s only HALF the battle.