As stated in part one, the things of the Spirit require the Holy Spirit to understand them. While our initial encounter may start in the intellect, it must shift into the heart where true belief begins. Granted, in the scientific and scholastic communities most of the work involved is purely intellectual; however, the things of the Spirit requires the intellect that is beyond human capabilities. The Holy Spirit is able to translate and fuse together the things of the spirit with our intellect, thus making it possible for us to understand these things. Therefore, grasping the things of God begins by inviting the Holy Spirit to teach us spiritual matters. After all, the Holy Spirit is The Teacher, and if you will, the Teacher of teachers. Jesus makes this very clear in chapters fourteen through sixteen in the book of John.
Another requirement alluded to in part one was desire. That is to say, in order to grasp the things of God we have to be willing to know and receive them. For some, the trouble with understanding spiritual matters calls for a change in their thinking and lifestyle. This is called repentance, and frankly, the reason some do not grasp the things of God is that they do not want to repent. They like the status quo regardless of the consequences. Similarly, people like things in neat little packages, which means that truth can really mess with their theology. Understanding Godly principles requires a willingness to let go of false reasoning, also known as “strongholds” (see 2Corinthians 10:3-5). Please keep in mind that we are accountable by God for what we know; however, we must realize that we may also be accountable for what we do not know. “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee . . .” (Hosea 4:6, KJV). It is one thing to be ignorant, but it is entirely different to be willingly ignorant. The former may be a defense, while the latter may have dire consequences.
A very helpful thing to grasping the things of God is studying the Bible for ourselves, as the Holy Spirit leads. While the Lord has given us teachers, it is always good to study what we are taught by others. Never take anyone’s word for it, no matter how well respected he may be. We need to be as the Bereans were in the days of the Apostle Paul: “These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so” (Acts 17:11, KJV). They did not study to disprove Paul, which genders to unbelief, nor did they try to prove him correct. They simply sought the truth, and received it. The more we seek and receive the truth, the more we will be given.
Read more articles by Curt Klingeman or search for articles on the same topic or others.