Understanding the Kingdom: Grasping Words of Knowledge:
- How the gift operates
- How to develop it
Let me start off with a qualifier. All interactions with the Kingdom of our Lord will be filtered through our soul, that is to say, our belief-system. The root of all error and confusion in the Body of Christ may be traced back to an identity issue.
Ever get offended at a spouse or friend? Misunderstood? Ever hear an intimate companion share something with you and you took it the wrong way? This happens all the time when Jesus speaks to His bride. We make a mess of the things He is trying to say to us and through us. But, He will never stop speaking and He will never change His nature.
It is we who need to change and grow. We need to learn what it means to be the “righteousness of God in Christ.” We need to learn what it means to live a life where our sense of well-being and specialness does not come from our successes, failures and the opinions of others. This is called “knowing our identity” and it is fast becoming a catchphrase and cliche. Yet, until we truly do, every single interaction or topic in regard to the Kingdom of Heaven will fall into some sort of error, and that error will be dictated by the wounds and lies we carry into the experience. We need to press into our identity more than mere scriptural confessions. We can bone up on it more here (link: Topical Scriptures: Our True Identity In Christ )
OK, so having said that, let’s dig in.
I often get asked exactly how do I personally hear and see what Father is doing? Do I feel His heart? Do I see pictures? Do I hear His voice? Do I sense in my spirit-man the spiritual atmosphere shift? Etc…
The short answer is “yes.”
But I need to first clear up a common misperception regarding gifts.
“We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith..”
Romans 12:6 states there are different gifts according to the grace given. Grace means to be given something one did not earn. Each of us have gifts within in our spirit-man that move effortlessly with the realm of the spirit (whether we even know this or not is another study). In other areas, we have to be discipled more and trained more. In other words, we have gifts of sensitivity that differ according to the amount of grace given in each area. This is the context of Romans 12.
Every gift, when boiled down, is dialogue with our Creator. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit want to speak to us all day long. The charismatic revival erroneously taught gifts as “interruptions in our daily life” when in reality the “gift of the Spirit” is a lifestyle of intimacy where our fears, hurts, and insecurities are actually the interruptions to abiding in the spirit. Our false sense of self-worth prevents us from flowing all day long in a supernatural lifestyle. This is the hard and simple reality. If one wants for examples we have the 3+ years of Jesus’ Earth ministry. Flowing in Father’s heart in regard to the word of knowledge has two points I’d like to touch on. Let’s talk about how Holy Spirit moves at times, and then how to become more sensitive to His moving.
How Gifts Operate- (How Holy Spirit moves at times):
Simply put, the Lord will impart a piece of His heart, mind, and intention to us. This is Jesus desiring to carry out the will of the Father through His Church. This may come as a picture, a dream, a word, an impression, an emotion, a ghost pain in our physical body (often associated when He wants to heal a particular body part in someone else) and a number of other ways. Once we begin to understand something is going on inside our spirit, we then have the choice to either press into this and talk more with God, or just ignore it and go about our “daily life.”
Developing Sensitivity- (Recognize when Holy Spirit moves more easily):
This can be broken down into two main points.
- Willingness To Hear
Willingness To Hear:
Here is where I have read and heard many teachings on the subject. I am going to boil it down. Willingness starts with intimacy.
- Get to know the nature of the One who redeemed you.
- Find out what He says you are in Christ.
Intimacy is by definition to know one another in a most personal way. It’s a mingling of one another’s being. The more we embrace the deep caverns of Father’s heart the more our soul (mind, will and emotions) will flow with His.
And without faith, it is impossible to please Him. For it behooves the one drawing near to God to believe that He exists and that He becomes a rewarder to those earnestly seeking Him out.” Heb 11:6
What is the reward? It is intimacy in that area of His heart. The greater the revelation of Father’s love for us, the more willing we become to give that love to others. .The less we care about anything else. Love begets willingness. Willingness releases the kingdom to flow through us.
Are we willing to talk to Him about healing and challenge our doctrines? He will teach you how to release healing power.
Willing to talk to Him about how to interact with the Host of Heaven? He will open up the scriptures to you about this aspect of kingdom citizenship. You will begin to have biblical encounters.
Not interested in opening up a dialogue about holiness with Father? Do not expect to have conversations with Him about how to walk in the deepest chambers of His Garden.
Don’t want to discuss personal discipline and correction with Jesus? Guess what, He is not going to speak to you about certain things going on in this generation or in the Ages to come. You may be invited to the courts of heaven, but will you enter into His war-room where He longs to share what He is doing in the Earth in this hour so that you may intercede on His behalf? Highly unlikely.
Why? Because He cannot speak to us in areas where we are not willing to discuss it from a kingdom mindset, and no topic exists in a vacuum. There are so many things inter-related within Father’s heart.
“I ask that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you may know the hope of His calling, the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints,” Eph 1:18
“I pray that out of the riches of His glory, He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being” Eph 3:16
Where there is no willingness there is no enlightening.
Consider this rather bizarre dialogue Jesus had with a blind man in Mark 10:51
When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout,
“Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”….
“What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked him.
“The blind man said, “Rabbi, I want to see.’ “
Why the heck would Jesus call a blind man to Him, who had been screaming at the top of his lungs for mercy, only to ask the blind man what he wants?? Was Jesus tired that day? Too much ministry the night before? Was Jesus not dialed into the Holy Spirit? Not at all. Jesus will answer according to what we come to Him in faith about. Jesus allowed this man to locate and express his own deepest desire. The blinds man’s faith released the kingdom in that particular area.
Today, the Body of Christ is filled with areas of blindness. We are crying out for mercy to spiritually see.
Yet, when Jesus stands and knocks on our heart and asks us what we want, our replies are often not in alignment with our ailments. Jesus always has, and always will, give according to the measure of faith (belief) in which we choose to engage his heart.
What is the point here? We are talking about developing sensitivity. The fastest way to developing sensitivity to Words of Knowledge, (which is simply hearing His heart) is to begin to invite Him into all of your heart. This takes more courage than we are often willing to admit. Fear, anxiety, torment, and insecurity are all symptoms that there is a deeper blindness within us that needs healing.
“If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” James 2:16-17
When you sense something stirring, just press into it. Movement. An action is needed. Faith without a corresponding action is useless.
Our favorite “get out of jail free card” is to fall back on the reality that we are not always certain. We could be wrong. As someone encouraged me with a laugh after she overheard a word I gave to someone in a diner, “Obedience is spelled R-I-S-K.” Just go for it. In faith, step out and test the impression. This is an application of Jesus’ teachings from Matt 13:11, Matt 25:14, and Luke 19:11+.
Now, do we feel afraid to step out? Insecure? What if we are wrong? What will this mean to others and to our own sense of identity? What does this mean about God actually, truly, really being willing to use us and love us enough to talk with us? There is often a lot more gunk rumbling around within us than we realize.
“ I thought I heard right but I was wrong.” Yeah… and? So what?
What thoughts and emotions rise in this scenario? Once again this all goes back to our belief-system. Family, if we are made perfect, holy, blameless and the righteousness of Christ in the eyes of our Creator, (Col 1:21, 2 Cor 5:17, Eph 1:6, Heb 10:10 ) there is absolutely no way we can feel embarrassed, ashamed or fearful. If we feel these things, or if other painful/fearful emotions surface, we are flat out rejecting our true identity as sons and daughters of God. We need to stop brushing aside the things Father wants to discuss with us.
If… this is what we want. Having said that, I think He is worthy to press into it anyway, even if we don’t want to change. It simply is amazing that He unconditionally loves and accepts us no matter what we choose. All we lose out on is intimacy and with that intimacy, every aspect of the Kingdom.
“He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” Rom 8:32
Well, enough for now, I suppose. I hope this small teaching serves as an invitation that wets our desire for more of Him. The more we are willing to root out the lies of our thinking, and the more we are willing to step out and act on the impressions we have, the more we will grow in flowing with His kingdom and sharing His goodness with all those around us.
Some final thoughts:
We often overlook the moment by moment opportunities while we wait for the great Translation to Heaven because we think it will validate our walk with God. Please understand, this stems from pain and woundings. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit love you beyond your wildest dreams. Lean into this reality until you own it!
Sometimes people question why I share examples of how God moves through me. The simplest answer is the Lord leads me to share in order to help give others a grid for the application. So, next post I’ll share a recent example of how the Lord healed a stranger on my most recent business trip to San Antonio.
Now, get out there and don’t be so hard on yourself. Have fun, be a willing vessel, and…
P.S. I hope that none of us refuse to learn from the apostle Peter because we don’t agree with all of his actions (example Gal 2- Peter began to reject his identity and walk in the fear of rejection until Paul set him straight). In the same Wisdom, I pray the Church matures to the point she may glean from others as the Spirit leads. Having said that I am going out on a limb to offer some resources.
Two excellent books on this topic include David Hayes (who is a good friend of mine)
and a book by Randy Clark.