When I began this series back in February of this year, the world was so different. We did not yet know that the COVID-19 virus was menacing China. At that time, I made the observation in our last blog post that, “The world is now on information overload; just look at the amount of information there is on the internet and in published books. However, knowledge without the meaning or understanding of how to apply it can bring us to the place I call, ‘all the gear, but no idea!’” I had no idea how true that observation would become over the first half of 2020.
Just as a catch up, let’s revisit our working definition of the term knowledge.
What is Knowledge?
Knowledge is the accumulation of facts and data through studying, research, investigation, observation and even experiences. It’s being aware of something and having the details to know. People with “knowledge” are able to collect, remember, and access information. It is possible to have knowledge, but to also have a complete lack of understanding and wisdom. A person might have the facts, but they don’t know what the information means or what to do next with it.
So, knowledge can be collected through many different ways and through a variety of mediums. Some people even arrive at their knowledge of something in very negative ways. Have you ever heard of “the school of hard knocks”? Gaining knowledge the hard way is never the best way. I, unfortunately, have learnt many things through this school, in both my personal life and in business. It is much better to gain knowledge from others who have lived through their mistakes than to live through the same mistakes yourself. Gleaning the practical elements and arriving at knowledge from another person’s experience, who has survived their bad decisions, can be invaluable.
#1 Way to Gain Knowledge
The first and foremost crucial way to gain knowledge for me has been, and always will be, to hear the voice of God. Especially in times of uncertainty, or when it comes to life decisions that include my family, finances, ministry and business, I would far prefer to spend time and gain knowledge from the One who knows all things. Why? Because, God NEVER has an information deficiency or a knowledge problem!
In a lot of situations, I turn to the Bible: God’s Word is truth, and between its pages, you can find many practical elements about how others have lived life. Some of these people failed, but with humility they turned back to God for His mind on their circumstances and found the answers they needed to succeed. If we always turned to the Bible for knowledge, maybe we wouldn’t create such problems! LOL. His Word and His voice will never contradict each other. When you follow His lead, you can trust that there will be a great outcome, even when going through challenges in life.
Romans 8:28 (NIV) says “and we know in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
A Great Example of Poor Knowledge
Let me give you a practical example of when poor knowledge and the lack of information really affected a circumstance that Sue and I were facing. Back in 2011, we had to gain visas before we left the UK to go and start our journey to the USA. We arrived in London as a family; our two children were then only 11 and 14!
Our first stop was to an interview in the US Embassy. This was to gain student visas to be able to stay for a certain period of time to study at Charis Bible College in Woodland Park, CO. Well, this was where our lack of knowledge and planning very quickly ended up in a poor interview and the rejection of our visas. It was a very difficult time for us all. We had been building the children up for months by saying we were off to live in the US. Well, all of a sudden, in a moment, our plans had been scuppered by a complete lack of information and planning. But this was not an issue for God!
A Better Example
During the next few days, we prayed and asked for His mind and knowledge on the obstacle we had just hit. He did respond in a loving and gracious way, although He started out by saying, “You never asked Me what to do or for the timings of your interview.” He didn’t leave us there though. He then said, “But this is what I want for you to do next…” To cut a long story short, we took a quick flight to Colorado and gained His direction on where to stay, what house to rent, what school the children were to be in, and a few other crucial situations we needed to explore and confirm. We then, two months later, went back for our second interview with all of our newly gained information and were awarded our visas for the next year.
We learned from the information we collected that you can mess things up very quickly in two ways: firstly, by not seeking God’s mind on a situation, and secondly, by not evaluating all of the details and outcomes you might face. We did not spend any time trying to find people who had gone through a similar process. It would have been much cheaper and easier to learn from their mistakes.
A Great Learning Experience!
I am very happy to say though that it was from these bad situations, timings and experiences, that God turned everything around for our good! Not only did we go through a number of different interviews and visa processes to continue our new lives in the US, but it also allowed us to provide detailed and helpful information to the college to help other international students for the future. That knowledge we gain is still helping others even now!
God, as our Father, will always have the perfect information and knowledge as to when to move and how to move. It’s just our responsibility to take the time to listen and to learn what He says and how He speaks.
We’ve Got a Helpful Tool
If you struggle hearing His voice and knowing what to do next in your life, then please take a look at our practical book called, “God’s Airwaves.” It comes in either in a spiral bound workbook or digital download. We hope not only that you will find this teaching helpful, but also that this book gives you practical steps for the future in how to gain solutions as you navigate life’s interesting avenues.
In our next blog series, we will explore what understanding is.