The Knowledge of God is Experiential
Know = “Experience” (Isaiah 53:3)
- וִיד֣וּעַ חֹ֑לִי = He knew pain (Literally)
The word in the Bible also means to “experience”. Experience: (1) “Apprehend through the senses” (2) “Actively participate in events or activities leading to accumulation of knowledge” [American Heritage Dictionary]. The prophet Isaiah foreseeing the life of Jesus Christ stated: “He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him” (Isaiah 53:3 NKJ). In Hebrew the word for “acquainted” is yadah which means to know. Thus the NIRV renders it, “Men looked down on him. They didn’t accept him. He knew all about sorrow and suffering. He was like someone people turn their faces away from. We looked down on him. We didn’t have any respect for him”.(Isaiah 53:3 NIRV) You see: Real knowledge is experiential knowledge. For example, you could go to school and get yourself an [MBA] Masters in Business and administration and graduate magna cum laude, as soon as you walk into a work place they’ll ask you the same question no matter how many degrees you have: “Do you have experience?” They know it is one thing to learn about management but a different thing to manage. When they actually put you in charge of three people and they don’t like you and they’re not willing to obey, not willing to follow, and every day they have a problem, you’re getting experience in management.
a) [You cannot deny (Acts 5:29-32)]
You and I have to come to that place where we can experience God, but if I had time I would have told you that you can deny concept but you can’t deny experience. Just like Peter in the book of Acts, the fourth chapter, “…as he was walking in from of the temple he found a man who couldn’t walk and said to that man: silver and gold I do not have but what I do have I’ll give you in the name of Jesus get up and walk.” And the man started walking and it created such a big commotion that they arrested him and after, the people started protesting and the Pharisees where actually scarred, they agreed to let him go, not keeping him in jail, but choosing instead to give him a strong warning: “make sure you don’t keep teaching about that Jesus.” But Peter and the other apostles answered and said: “We ought to obey God rather than men.” The God of our fathers raised up Jesus whom you murdered by hanging on a tree. 31 “Him God has exalted to His right hand to be Prince and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. “And we are His witnesses to these things, and so also is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him.” (Acts 5:29-32 NKJ). So in Acts chapter 5 they said how can we not teach about Jesus when we had witnessed. Jesus is not a concept to me, Jesus is not an historical personality, Jesus is not somebody I read about in a history book, I lived with him, I touched him, I slept with him, I ate with him. How can I deny that? There is a level that you reach in God; there are certain experiences that you have with God it’s almost impossible for you to go backwards. It’s impossible for you to slide back in the world. I know too much about his grace, I know too much about his power, I know too much about his love, it’s impossible for me to go back.
b) [You will put you trust in Him (Psalm 9:10)]
If I had time I would have told you that when you have experience with God you could put your trust in him. And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; For You, LORD, have not forsaken those who seek You. (Psalm 9:10 NKJ). Those who know your name, those who’ve had experiences with your name, those who’ve had experiences with Jehovah Jireh and they didn’t know what they were going to eat but you sent somebody miraculously to give them $100; those who’ve had experience with Jehovah Nissi and they didn’t know how they were going to win that battle in court but you gave them a lawyer when they didn’t have one and you blinded the judge and got them out. Those who know your name put their trust in you.
(1) David (1 Samuel 17:34-36)
That’s the kind of knowledge that David understood when he started to swing his slingshot coming to Goliath, and said you’re coming with sword and everything that you’ve got but I’m coming in the name of the Lord. Why was he able to say that? Because he had said in secret the Lord has helped me to kill lions and bears, and I know that he will help me kill that giant of Gath named Goliath. This was a result of his experience with God. It wasn’t theory it was experience. Based on that experience, he said that giant is going to go down! The day that you experience who God is, you’ll get addicted to him, because the presence of God is addictive.
(2) Moses (Exodus 33:13)
I’d have told you about a man called Moses who had seen God in a burning bush, he had seen God manifest his power through the ten plagues, he had seen God split the Red Sea, he had seen God turn bitter water into sweet water, he had seen God make him lift a serpent and Israel was healed, and he had seen God use him to strike the rock and water came out of that rock. He had spent forty days and forty night in the presence of God to a point where on his way down from the mountain, the people weren’t even able to look at him because the glory of God radiated from his face; yet even though he had those experiences with God he declared: “Now therefore, I pray, if I have found grace in Your sight, show me now Your way, that I may know You…”(Exodus 33:13 NKJ)
(3) Paul (Philippians 3:9-10)
What shall we say about a man by the name of Paul who met Jesus Christ on the way to Damascus? Paul testified that “…no one preached the gospel to me; I didn’t have to go to theology school…” He said when I got saved God took me in the third heaven and taught me the gospel and for years he was in His presence nevertheless he said: “That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death” (Philippians 3:10 NKJ) Experiencing the presence of God is addictive, if you think drugs are addictive, if you think crack is addictive, if you think cocaine is addictive, if you think coffee is addictive, try the presence of God then you’ll find out that you can’t live without Him. You’ll find out that you start having bad days when you don’t spend time with Him. You’ll find that you’ll get irritated when your prayer life is not functioning well. Concepts of God should lead us to experience because in the Bible God gives us ideas and every time we read about an idea we should go to our prayer closet and say Father I just read about this but I want to experience it. I just read about a widow and how you provided for her in a time of famine, I definitely need to test that idea in this economy
(a) How do you get the experience?
The element that turns concepts into reality is called prayer. In John chapter 4 and 15 Jesus Christ started to talked about the Holy Spirit he said : “when I’m gone I’ll send you my spirit” but you need to understand that the disciples had never heard of something called the holy spirit before, if you look at the Old Testament there are not a lot of mention of the spirit of God maybe a dozen times. Very few people had access to the Spirit of God, they didn’t really know what the spirit was; but Jesus said I will send you the spirit he will teach you and guide you and comfort you, they heard but all those were concepts and ideas to them. And Jesus was about to go and he said to his disciples, guys you’re not ready to preach yet. Why? Because all you have about the spirit is concept, you only have a concept of power, you only a concept of the spirit of God, you only have a concept of the anointing, you got some ideas because you heard me teach but he said for the battle that you’ll enter into you don’t need to have just concept you need to have the reality, you need to experience the spirit. So he said go in the upper room and wait; now waiting didn’t mean sitting down and crossing your legs. When the Bible said those who wait upon the Lord it didn’t mean sit and do nothing; waiting upon the Lord is being in prayer until heaven moves, staying in prayer until heaven moves. The Bible said they were there in one accord and they were praying all 21. They prayed the first day they prayed the third day they prayed the fourth and the fifth and the sixth; the disciples spent ten days closed up in a room in prayer before the concept of the Holy Spirit became the reality of the Holy Spirit. Jesus ascended forty days after his resurrection the spirit of God came down fifty days after the resurrection, so they spent ten days in the upper room interceding praying begging trusting waiting upon God. When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. (Acts 2:1-2 NKJ) It is prayer that turns dry concepts into reality. And for a lot of you, your bible can simply remain a book of concepts, but there are a selected few Christians who are willing to pay the price and this book is going to be a book of experience and reality. Those kinds of Christians will tell you this is how God opened Sarah’s womb when he couldn’t have children. Those Christians will tell you there was a widow who couldn’t feed her children but God intervened and multiply the oil, that was the widow but me I’m willing to pay the price in prayer…let me tell you how he came thru for me. The concepts in the bible do not become a reality in the life of a Christian because we are not willing to pay the price in prayer, it didn’t just happen like that, and the disciples had to spend time in prayer. When Moses wanted to know God he started praying and saying that I may know you that I may experience you, and he did experience God at another level. Knowing God is not only having the right concepts about him, it’s not only having experience with him, knowing God is also having the right relationship with him.
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