Understanding The Word Of God
by Curt Klingeman
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A number of believers struggle with understanding the Word of God, and even come to point of frustration with it. Some believe that they are not meant to understand it; therefore, they heavily rely on others to give them insight. Granted, one of the gifts that Jesus gave to the Church is the teacher who helps bring clarity; however, the teacher is supposed to help others mature in the Lord, not read the Bible for them (see Ephesians 4:11-15). Otherwise, 1Peter 2:2 would not say, “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby” (KJV). He intends His people to understand Scripture, and since He is a Respecter of none that means everyone! The idea that only a hand full of people are supposed to grasp it is a stronghold that has been planted by others to control the masses. It is also a diabolical plot of the enemy to keep believers in the dark. At the same time, the Word really is intended for a few to understand; but few are relative to the number. This sounds like a contradiction, doesn’t it? The question is: who are the few? Just as many are called, and few are chosen, which is because only a few made the decision to be His when He called. Lets examine a few things that may help open the understanding.
Here is a simple truth: It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter (Proverbs 25:2, KJV). This passage of Scripture connects with Hebrews 11:6, which tells us God “is a Rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.” If we are going to understand His Word, we are going to have to diligently search the Scriptures to understand them. This is part of diligently seeking Him, as they reveal Who He is. This is a hard saying, but if a person wants to grow in understanding, he is going to have to spend more than 5 minutes a day reading the Bible. God will reveal His truth to those who will search it out. If a person is not interested in knowing Him, he is not going to have a relationship with the Father on a deeper level. This also means, that he will not know His Word. Question: how do we get to know people? The answer is simply spending time with them. Part of our relationship building includes spending time in Scripture. Sometimes a person needs to rely on discipline to override the lack of desire. Love (AGAPE) goes beyond the emotions of the day. Meaning, the God type of love goes beyond feelings of desire. In fact, love operates in spite of what we feel. Incidentally, not only are we children of God, but Jesus made us kings and priests onto, which means that Proverbs 25:2 does apply to us (see Revelation 1:6, and 5:10).
Sometimes the difficulty lies in the approach people take to Scriptures. If people try to read the Bible as they would a textbook and apply human reasoning to it, they are not going to have “a fun time.” When we read 1Corinthians 2:6-16, one of the things we discover is, “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (verse 14, KJV). Bottom line, since the Word is spiritual in nature, we have to approach it in a spiritual matter –we need to rely on the Holy Spirit to understand. Just as we read in verses 9 and 10, But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God” (emphasis added, KJV). Simply put, we need to ask God to reveal His Word to us by His Holy Spirit. Where the discipline comes in is the realization that our natural mind has to catch up to the mind of Christ. That is to say, even if we do not grasp everything cognitively, our spirit man does. Keep reading; it will make sense, and the new revelations that God gives along the way make it worth the effort. In fact, it comes to the point of not being able to get enough of His Word. The more we read the more our mind is renewed and is more able to understand (see Romans 12:2).
If we approach Scripture relationally, we will find that it will come alive in us. Keep in mind that God the Father is also our Daddy, which is what the word “Abba” means in Romans 8:15. Try this on for size; invite the Father to study with you. As you receive His presence in the process, it will be like sitting on His lap and reading the Word together. When you approach His Word in this manner, it becomes something you do together. This is entirely different from simply reading the Bible, especially since the words on the pages become His Word to you in the process! As you study, listen to His promptings. It would be good to have a Strong’s Concordance, which has all the words of the Bible listed, where to find them, and the definition of those words. Sometimes, He may lead you to look up the meaning of a word, or find other cross-references, which in turn sheds more light on the passage. Let Him teach you His Word through the Spirit and watch what happens.
Another method to employ has to do with sowing and reaping. 2Corinthians 9:6 says, “He which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully” (KJV). Verse 10 says, “Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness” (KJV). Galatians 6:8 tells us, “whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap” (KJV). When you study the Word of God, study with the intent to teach. As we freely receive, we should also freely give. When you study with the purpose of imparting into other people’s lives, God will give you more to impart. Even in the natural, a person learns a great deal more when he is teaching a class, because he is forced to dig if he going to have something of value to share with others. One of the greatest ways to receive a blessing is by being one.
One last thought: to understand the Word of God, one has to be willing to understand it the way God intended it to be. We cannot afford to approach the Word with some sort of agenda. There are doctrines of men and devils, but there is only one Doctrine of Christ. We must not try to bend Scripture to our liking; we must seek to conform to His Word. Just because our flesh does not like something, it does not give us the right to change it. In fact, when a person refuses to receive the Truth the way God intended, he will be come self-deceived and will never properly understand it. If we fear the Lord, we will not seek to change His Word. He has something to say about that. Here’s a final passage of Scripture to chew on: The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him; and he will shew them his covenant (Psalms 25:14, KJV).
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