Friday, March 15, 2013

The Word of Knowledge

The Word of Knowledge


The woman then left her water pot, went her way into the city, and said to the men, “Come, see a Man who told me all things that I ever did. Could this be the Christ?”” – John 4:28-29

The word of knowledge is also listed as one of the nine spiritual gifts in 1 Corinthians 12.  It is one of three gifts that are revelation gifts, including discernment and the word of wisdom.  It is the supernatural revelation of a thing imparted through the Holy Spirit, something that the one who knows it could not have otherwise known.  Sometimes people refer to this as “reading your mail”.    
God uses the word of knowledge in various ways to strengthen His people.  He uses it to provide confirmation in times of decisions.  He allows secret things to be made known in counseling others, to get to the root of the matter.  He uses it to reveal the acts of others and to protect His children from evil intention.  He uses it to grow our faith in Him.  He uses it in any way He pleases because it is HIS gift to us.  It has nothing to do with our power, and everything to do with His power. 

Jesus was acting with the word of knowledge when He spoke to the Samaritan woman at the well.  In John 4:16 we read that he had told her about the living water, the salvation that he provides.  She asked to receive it and he told her to “Go, call your husband, and come here.” Yet she replied that she didn’t have a husband.  Jesus then, without having met the woman or having it revealed to him by earthly means, said to her “You have well said, ‘I have no husband,’ for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; in that you spoke truly.”  In speaking this word of knowledge, she believed in Jesus, which is one of the purposes for the spiritual gifts.  She went into town and told those there “Come, see a Man who told me all things that I ever did. Could this be the Christ?”
Ananias also received a word of knowledge from God when he was instructed to go to Paul, who was then still known as Saul.  He had been blind for three days after seeing Jesus on the road to Damascus. In Acts 9:11-12 God speaks to Ananias in a vision and says Arise and go to the street called Straight, and inquire at the house of Judas for one called Saul of Tarsus, for behold, he is praying. And in a vision he has seen a man named Ananias coming in and putting his hand on him, so that he might receive his sight.”  Ananias would have had no way of knowing that Paul was praying, or had seen a vision of a man named Ananias healing his eyes had God not revealed it.  God revealing exactly where Paul was and that he was blind, gave Ananias faith that God was sending him to Paul, faith in his own vision.

Years ago, I was trying to decide whether to change jobs or not and I struggled with the decision for weeks.  One Sunday morning I asked God to reveal it to me through the words of my pastor.  While giving a sermon on faith, my pastor looked at me and said “Sometimes we don’t have the faith, Faithie, to accept God’s answer when He has already given it.”  Tears came to my eyes as I knew God had heard my prayer, and I’d just received my answer.  My pastor had no way of knowing that God had already provided confirmation for the job change.  In fact, he didn’t even know I was faced with a decision of any kind. 
There was another time when I was trying to determine whether to trust someone or not.  I went to a prayer chapel, and met a woman there I’d never seen before.  When she first sat down with me to pray she said, “You desire to know the intentions and motivations of a man’s heart.”  She had just met me!  There was no way she could have even known my middle name, let alone the reason for my coming to pray, except the Holy Spirit revealed it.

My grandfather use to tell me of a cow that had given birth to a calf and abandoned it.  He searched for the calf for hours and couldn’t find it.  That night in a dream God showed him where the calf was.  The next day he walked to that very spot in the pasture, and there he found the calf.
When seeking to receive a word of knowledge from someone, be cautious.  Satan is the great pretender, stepping into positions of ministry to deceive us all.  There are many things Satan cannot do, and one is read your heart.  When you want to receive a revelation from God, whether it is by discernment, wisdom, or knowledge, keep it silent and in your heart where only the Holy Spirit can hear.  By keeping the matter hidden, you can rest assured that the revelation you receive is of God. 

When giving a word of knowledge, you may not even know it.  Sometimes God will speak it through you using you as His megaphone.  At other times, God will reveal it to you in dreams, split second thoughts, or visions.  Weigh each one of these in prayer with God to assure this is His knowledge given to you and not your own imagination.  When in doubt – don’t speak it out.  God will assure you of what He tells you and when it is meant to be shared.

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