Did you know that there are different kinds of knowledge?
It’s true. Especially spiritually.
On the one hand there are things that we learn and can know with our minds. Facts, figures, words, phrases, how things relate to one another – these are all things we can learn naturally. We know this stuff with our brains.
Then there are things that we know with our hearts. The Bible says this stuff is spiritually discerned.
But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.— 1 Corinthians 2:14
Acquiring Head Knowledge
It’s relatively easy to gain head knowledge. You can just study and spend time learning and then eventually over time your brain will collect more data.
Many people approach the Bible this way. They strive to learn facts and figures about the Bible, the history behind it, or parse the esoteric meanings of the original languages.
And there is absolutely nothing wrong with any of this. But in and of itself it only goes so far where spiritual knowledge is concerned.
In contrast, heart knowledge is something that you just know. This kind of knowledge is sometimes called revelation knowledge because it is revealed to us by the Holy Spirit.
Often revelation knowledge is built on head knowledge. But not always.
This is why we can read the same passage of scripture that we’ve read a bagillion times before and then suddenly get a new insight about what it means. When we get revelation knowledge about a scripture it comes alive for us.
As the writer of Hebrews said,
For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two- edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the hear.— Hebrews 4:12
Soul vs. Spirit
Our intellect is part of our natural mind and therefore it is part of our soul. And that passage in Hebrews tells us that the Bible can reveal things to our natural minds and also to our spirits.
Often folks will talk about the soul and spirit as though they are interchangeable. But they’re not. Our soul is simply our mind, will and emotions. It is everything that makes up our personality and how we relate to one another.
Our spirit, on the other hand is that part of us that comes alive when we are born again. We can know things with our natural minds in our soul and we can know things with in our spirit.
The Bible is called the Living Word. And it is not until scripture actually becomes alive to us personally that it really has the power to affect change in our lives.
Until a passage of scripture comes alive to us and we have that revelation knowledge the change in our lives will be limited. Up to that point we are trying to change ourselves and that is limited to the ability of our own will power.
But once we have that revelation knowledge it has power to affect positive change in our lives. That’s the point where we start to really grow.
Until we have revelation knowledge in an area we can only live out a truth to the extent that our own will power is able to do it. And our will power always breaks down at some point.
But once we have that heart knowledge and we know it in our spirit it will affect real change in our lives. And it will happen naturally. We won’t have to “try” to make it happen anymore.
Another benefit of revelation knowledge is that it is unshakable. Because it is all the way down in our spirits and deeper into our being than just head knowledge, heart knowledge becomes part of who we are. It’s not as susceptible to peer pressure and other factors as our other opinions often are.
Once I realized that there are these two kinds of knowledge it took so much of the pressure off of me for living a godly life. Instead of asking God for more will power so that I do the things I want to do and avoid the things I don’t want to do, I’m asking God for more revelation.
When you know that you know that you know what you believe everything else gets much easier.