“I myself am satisfied about you, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able to instruct one another.”

// Romans 15:14

Paul admonishes us to be “filled with all knowledge.” When we understand that the Greek word he uses here for knowledge, gnosis, means “experiential knowledge,” things may or may not clear up, with the modifier “experiential” tossed in, so let’s unpack the meaning.

Right now, you and I are filled with knowledge about life that we have gained through experiences of it. We have the battle scars, the wounds, the puffery of pride, to prove it. We form knowledge of ourselves, the world, of others, based on the experiences that mark our psyche and blend into the identity we hold in our hearts. How we see ourselves arises from the collection of life experiences we have had.

The trouble is, the Father looks at us and He doesn’t see what we see: underneath the callouses He sees a responsive heart; under our scars He finds reservoirs for healing others; He peeks under our scars and sees badges of courage. He has a different experience of us than we (or others) do of ourselves – He knows what we don’t know, what exists beyond the myopia that pain creates in the knowledge we have of ourselves. To change our experiences of life, of ourselves, He has to give to us some new knowledge that will displace what we already know. So, up to us He walks with a prophecy, a dream in the night, an insight, an epiphany, a verse leaps off the Bible’s pages – whatever it’ll take – in order to disrupt our self-knowledge, derived from past experiences.

When God speaks into our lives, He speaks His knowledge of us, based on how He experiences us in Christ. See, that is the clue: we are in Christ! Where we see scars, the Father can see healing flowing in us, in Christ; where we find pain, He sees the gladness of heart already in us, because Christ lives inside. So the realm of the revelatory – a prophetic dream, an insight in the Scriptures – is a snapshot of how the Father sees, knows, and experiences us now, already, in Christ.

When He gives us new knowledge, in an experiential moment (like a dream or prophetic word), He’s designed that to become the fountainhead of a whole new way of experiencing life, ourselves, others, and Him. Let’s use God’s knowledge of ourselves and discard the entanglements that past experiences entail. Let’s live new creation lives.

// Samuel Nicolosi