"The Spirit of the LORD will rest on Him, The spirit of wisdom and understanding, The spirit of counsel and strength, The spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD." (Isaiah 11:2)
In our further examination of the Prophet Isaiah’s passage, we come to the Spirit of Understanding from the Spirit of God. Having the gift of God’s wisdom written upon the tablets of our heart is a glorious asset for our lives. We must also have an understanding of that wisdom. Today we will look at the Spirit of Understanding through our Spirit-led meditations.
The Spirit of Understanding is a divine revelation given to us by the grace of God which in the context of this thought is the divine influence upon the heart and its reflection in our life. God’s Word is a living word because it is authored under the influence of the Holy Spirit and as we read His Word we are influenced by His Holy Spirit to understand the truths He wants us to learn. Understanding then is comprehending the Word of God and applying it to our life. His Spirit illuminates our hearts that we can understand the wisdom He is sharing with us. Simply put He turns the light on.
Many people have said to me I have read the Bible but I do not understand what it is saying or talking about. Somehow I miss the message that others seem to hear. The problem is that they are not reading with their spiritual ears attuned. Or they have not prayed a meditative prayer asking the Spirit to bring understanding to their mind. It is God’s word and it is the power of the universe and God gave it to us for the purpose of enlightening us in His truths. He wants and desires for us to hear and receive His message. If the Spirit of Understanding is not working perhaps the Word has been read and set aside. The word must be received, it must be taken in, and it must be well chewed, digested, and applied.
Another point is that God only gives us that which we are ready to receive. We serve an infinite God and His Word endures forever. His thoughts are not as our thoughts, they are much higher and we must mature into understanding His Word. There are many passages of Scripture that I read and cannot get a complete handle of understanding. Yet in God’s time, I have understood as I have grown in my walk with the Lord. Some people go through years of education to obtain the understanding they have. They have my envy, to say the least. But the truth is that we have an eternity before us, we have an infinite God that we serve, and we will never understand all that He has for us. When I am asked a question that I am unable to explain I default to Deuteronomy 29:29 "The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our sons forever, that we may observe all the words of this law." In God’s perfect time He will turn on the light.
Another thing that I have learned along the way of my journey is that at a seemingly unexpected moment a Scripture that I have been struggling with will bring forth its truths to me. I have also learned that if I don’t take a moment and write down what the Spirit has just revealed to me I sometimes lose it. When we get a revelation from God we must write it down, eternalize it and let it grow in the good soil of our heart. God is speaking to us but at times we do not hear because we have crowded Him out by the many things of life. I am not saying that all we do is trivial but that our priority is that when God speaks we should listen.
At a time when Jesus was visiting a home in Bethany that was a place of refuge for Him. It was the home of Mary and Martha along with their brother Lazarus. Martha was busy preparing the meal but Mary went and sat at the feet of Jesus. Martha became upset that she was working and her sister was just enjoy the words of the Master. Martha came over to Jesus and Mary and said, "Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me." Jesus answered making the point of what is our priority. "Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her." (Luke 10:40-42) When God speaks to us it is our first priority, to listen.
We live in a time when we have the spoken word of His Spirit dwelling within us. We also live in a time when we have the written word readily available to us. This was not always so. In the Old Testament times, the Holy Spirit indwelled men on occasions to accomplish God’s will. The written word of the Scriptures was not in the hands of all the people. The Word of God was read in the Synagogues by the Priest. Today in the New Testament times we have the Spirit of God dwelling within our hearts. Since the 1600’s we have had the written word readily available to us. God has made every provision for us to hear His word as we live our lives here in the world. He provided both because we need both. We speak to the love of our life and we listen. We long to receive a letter from the love of our life, as we love to write to them in return. Our God has made that provision to us as well, what a blessing, to hear from the Creator.
I do not understand everything I hear and I am sure many times I am misunderstood. My lack of understanding is common to all of us and we must ask for clarification to gain that understanding. This is true when hearing from God, either spoken or written. There is a good prayer in the book of Psalm that we should pray in time of misunderstanding. "Make me understand the way of Your precepts, So I will meditate on Your wonders." (Psalm 119:27) We must have an understanding of His wisdom in order to apply it to our lives. God answers prayer.
Many today have an ignorance of God’s Word and of themselves. I find myself in a battle with myself often over my motives and intentions for what I do and think. I am constantly trying to remove myself from dependencies upon wrongful things. If I am not careful my priorities get turned around, as everyone I like to have a fun time. God knows the motives of the heart of man and we should examine them ourselves before we act on our own intentions. "Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you--unless indeed you fail the test?" (2 Corinthians 13:5)
As we read and study the Scriptures the Spirit of Understanding will point to these incorrect things that we can become aware and correct them on our lives. If we forsake the study and reading of God’s Word we cripple the Spirit of Understanding’s work in revealing the Wisdom of God in our lives. By our study of His Word, we are advancing our process of Sanctification. We would be unable to combat the deceptions of the world and fall into the many traps therein. "And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect." (Romans 12:2) Repentance is not only to turn away from the old path but also to turn away from the old way of thinking. If we do not seek to learn the wisdom of God, then we will not run the good race and stumble and fall. "So the people without understanding are ruined." (Hosea 4:14)
If we are committed to our Lord and Savior, to following Him in faith, if we are to fully accomplish His plan and purpose in our life, then we must not be negligent in hearing His word for us. We must have the Wisdom of God within and understand its practical use in our life in order to fight the good fight for His glory. If we allow the world to pull us away from the priority of our life, then when the trials of life come upon us we will not be equipped to deal with them effectively. God knows the road ahead of us that we must travel and He knows how in His power to make everything work together for our best benefit, for His plan and purpose for our life, and to get us home to His glory. God loves us and will provide for His children, and, we love Him. "And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." (Romans 8:28)
Thomas N Kirkpatrick
First Baptist Church of Durant
May 10, 2015