Wasn’t life simple back when? When you lived with Mum and Dad and they cooked, drove you places and did things for you. No big responsibilities or commitments, you just went with the plan. No thinking! No worries! But then somewhere along the line some independence (or rebellion) sprung up and you decided a different plan was now needed. However, all of a sudden you are now relying on and trusting in your own understanding as the basis for your plan. This is the “know it all” phenomenon, and it strikes all of us at different stages and ages in our lives.
The Problem: We think we know better.
For you know better when it comes to choosing friends. You know better when it comes to dating relationships. You know better when it comes to money and what you should spend it on, or driving, or parenting, or education. We think we know better. Isaiah aptly describes this ‘knowing better’ when he says,
All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way. (Isaiah 53:6a)
When we think we know it all we are in dire trouble, the words God spoke through the Prophet Hosea should sober our pride,
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being My priest. Since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children. (Hosea 4:6)
God’s people were rebuked for not seeking the one who has the ultimate understanding. When people don’t go to God for guidance they wander away and possibly drift into destruction. Your mind alone is never enough!
So what do we do then? If we don’t have the knowledge, how do we get it? The famous proverb helps us out,
Trust in the LORD with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5–6)
So instead of depending on our own thoughts we are to be relying on God and His for direction in our lives. Sounds clichéd right? Probably is, but the truth still remains that you need to acknowledge that He has the knowledge. But this isn’t just a simple spiritual nod of the head; no, it’s so much more, Solomon says, “In all your ways acknowledge Him”. So, when you are driving, at school, in the workplace, online through social media, watching sports, family gatherings, these are all occasions to acknowledge the one who has the all the knowledge (personally and corporately). But what does acknowledging God look like? I believe it’s a persistent posture of humbling oneself and honoring God, where we are confessing to God and confessing about Him to others. It’s a constant pursuit to live under His authority and knowledge in all spheres of life, instead of just relying on our own prideful pea-brain to figure out the path forward.
Many of us struggle with not knowing it all and trusting the One who does. Charles Spurgeon once preached about how difficult it is for us as to grasp the idea of an “all knowing” God. He says we might as well be “… a gnat seek[ing] to drink in the ocean, as a finite creature to comprehend the Eternal God. A God whom we could understand would be no God. If we could grasp him, he could not be infinite: if we could understand him, then were he not divine”. God is not like us; He states this clearly in saying,
For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8–9)
So, there is a point where our reasoning about God needs to stop and turn into relying on God. It will be like those good ol’ days, remember when you simply went with the plan and trusted your parents to lead you. No worries!