Experience vs. Knowledge

“You have made Your people experience hardship;” (Psalm 60:3)
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and instruction.” (Proverbs 1:7)
We have all seen the disaster and damage of the massive earthquake and tsunami experienced by the people of Japan. The media was filled with graphic and gripping images of the suffering and hardship the people experienced. Many of us may have knowledge and information regarding the events; however, most of us have never experienced such horrible and tragic events. 
Knowledge is the acquaintance with facts, truths, or principles, as from study or investigation. Knowing something is not the same as experiencing the event. To experience something means to personally encounter or to undergo it. I can personally assure you that living through an experience is very different from having the knowledge of the event. I lived in Florida for six years. While living in Florida, I experienced three hurricanes; the worst of these was Hurricane Eloise, a category 3 hurricane. This was also my first experience surviving a Hurricane.
 I have personally survived two major natural disasters. The first of which was Hurricane Eloise; a category 3 hurricane that ripped through the Florida coastline in 1975 and the next was in 1989 while on a business trip to San Francisco, California. While there, I experienced “The Loma Prieta” earthquake also known as the “Quake of ’89” and “The World Series Earthquake”. This major earthquake struck the San Francisco Bay Area on October 17, 1989, at 5:04 p.m. local time. The quake was caused by a slip along the San Andreas Fault; it lasted approximately 10–15 seconds and measured 6.9 on the moment magnitude scale (surface-wave magnitude 7.1) or 6.9 on the open-ended Richter scale. The quake killed 63 people throughout northern California, injured 3,757 and left some 3,000-12,000 people homeless. At the time of the earthquake, I was in my room on the 17th floor of the hotel. I will never forget how the building shook, while the quake only lasted 10 to 15 seconds it felt like an hour. That’s the difference between experience and knowledge. To read about the earthquake and to experience the actual quake were two very different experiences. Describing what happened can never replace the actual experience.
Experiencing God’s Favor
The word of God says: “A good man will obtain favor from the Lord,” (Prov. 12:2) until you actually experience God’s favor in your life, you only have the knowledge of God’s favor. When you apply for a mortgage and your credit is not the best, and the bank approves your loan, with a great rate; when you did not qualify and yet the bank approved your loan that’s favor. You have actually experienced the favor of God in your life. As stated in Philippians 4:19, “And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” It’s one thing to know that God will supply all of my needs. But when the Lord actually supplies our need that is when we move from knowing to experience.
When I first got married, things were very difficult financially for us; we lived from payday to
payday. I remember one morning not having money to buy gas and I needed to get to work. In the military you don’t call in sick. I got in my car trusting God to get me to work and back on an empty tank of gas. As I was driving down the highway, I saw a twenty-dollar bill sitting on the busy highway just waiting for me; that my friend is experiencing the favor of God. When we moved back to New York and were living in a rented apartment, we had some difficulty with our landlord. During the period of the dispute with the landlord, someone told me that I did not have to pay my rent; bad council. I had a good time spending the rent money.
Finally, when the case was resolved in my favor, the judge instructed me to pay the back rent. I did not have the money to pay the back rent, which gave the landlord the upper hand. The judge gave me 30 days to come up with the back rent. At the end of the 30 days, I was short. The landlord pushed for eviction and a follow-up court date was set. The Lord miraculously provided the funds needed, but there was one problem. The attorney for the landlord said that he was going to take my money and enforced the eviction notice. The judge intervened on my behalf and ruled against the landlord. That is what I call experiencing the favor of God. If you put your trust in God, He will move you from knowledge to experience and supply all of your needs. Get ready to receive His miraculous provision.
Be Blessed,
Bishop Jemmott
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