More than the prophets ever had
This salvation was something even the prophets wanted to know more about when they prophesied about this gracious salvation prepared for you. They wondered what time or situation the Spirit of Christ within them was talking about when he told them in advance about Christ’s suffering and his great glory afterward. They were told that their messages were not for themselves, but for you. And now this Good News has been announced to you by those who preached in the power of the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. It is all so wonderful that even the angels are eagerly watching these things happen. (I Peter 1:10-12)
If the prophets could have known and experienced what we now know and experience in Christ Jesus, would there have been any stopping them? They longed to know more about his coming and what he would accomplish by it. They desired to see the fulfillment of all of God's promises - in the person of Jesus Christ. What the Old Testament prophets wanted to learn and experience we already know. We see a much bigger picture of God’s plan than they did. We can learn from the life of Christ and understand in depth God’s plan for redemption. Knowledge doesn't always change a person, though. It takes much more than a knowledge 'about' Jesus to change us. It takes an engagement between the mind and the heart in order for the knowledge we have to begin to affect us.
The mind decides - the heart follows up with action. What dictates our decisions? Is it knowledge alone? No, because we have a whole lot of knowledge, but we don't necessarily take action on it. We 'know' that clouds may carry rain, but do we always carry an umbrella when there are clouds in the sky? The knowledge that clouds carry rain on occasion doesn't change our actions unless we really perceive the threat of rain as 'real'. We don't always embrace truth the first time we are exposed to it but get rained on often enough and you learn when the clouds actually threaten rain! You likely begin to act upon that knowledge the next time you see the threat of rain.
Fill the mind with the 'right stuff' and the right actions are more likely to occur. Just fill it to overflowing with superfluous stuff and you will likely be so 'muddled' in your thoughts that it is hard to know what the right actions are when you need to take them. Idle thoughts let the mind run wild - it gives the mind permission to do whatever it 'thinks' it wants to do. Scripture reminds us that every thought is to be taken 'captive' because we don't want to give ground to foolish actions as a result of foolish thought. The prophets had knowledge and acted upon that which they had. Do we act upon the knowledge we have been given? If not, maybe it is about time we turn knowledge into wise action.
The more we act upon the knowledge we are given, the more we will avoid the pitfalls afforded us through all the new problems that come against us each day. We might want to consider just how much we let idle thoughts get the best of us and then ask God's help in engaging our minds in response to the knowledge he brings. When we take the first step toward incorporating that knowledge into our actions, we begin to see the Word of God become a living thing within us. Our actions may not immediately change, but the more that knowledge is embraced, the quicker we will see that change realized. Just sayin!