Knowing, Yet Not Understanding

Life is full of learning, or it had better be, if we want to keep up. Since the Industrial Revolution began, we’ve been on a technological fast-track that, most of the time, boggles the mind. My techie sons know exactly when they’ve lost me. My eyes glaze, not from disinterest but from information overload. Ever felt that way?

Compared to a lot of my friends, I am very computer literate. I use an IPAD regularly, I surf the net, and I’m involved with social networking. I own a website where I post somewhat regularly. Then I listen to the new innovations and want to stick my head in the sand. “No more,” I shout. ”Let me relax in knowing what I do know now without moving me into another whole avenue of brain freeze.” At least to me, that’s what it feels like. 

I think it must feel the same for people who have no Christian faith. They understand that there is probably a God out there, somewhere, but they do not understand Him and they certainly can’t understand why anyone would want to be a Christian anyway.  They have a limited knowledge of God, but not enough to help them understand.

When they encounter someone who walks with the Holy Spirit, the words they speak, their rationale, everything about them is foreign. And there’s a reason why. In 1 Corinthians 2: 14 (NLT), the Bible says, “People who aren’t spiritual, can’t receive these truths from God’s Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them and they can’t understand it, for only those who are spiritual can understand what the Spirit means.”

The Holy Spirit of God is our interpreter.  He helps us understand and then apply the truth of God’s word because He is the author of scripture. 2 Peter 1:20-21 tells us, “Above all, you must realize that no prophecy in Scripture ever came from the prophet’s own understanding or from human initiative. No, those prophets were moved by the Holy Spirit, and they spoke from God.”  Do you remember a time when, like a light bulb coming on, you understood a concept for the first time? The Holy Spirit helps us understand the words we read when we read scriptures. Without Him, all seems like a foreign language. We may be able to read it, but the understanding is lost. It doesn’t even sound interesting.

The next verses in 1 Corinthians, talk about the fact that with the Holy Spirit “we understand these things, for we have the mind of Christ.” When Christ taught concepts like those in the Sermon on the Mount, there were people sitting, listening, who did not understand what He was saying or how He could expect people to do the things He talked about.  They knew the words but did not understand the concepts because they did not have the Holy Spirit living within, giving them the mind of Christ.

When Jesus transcended to heaven, He left the Holy Spirit to take His place, to indwell believers so that they could understand, so they could have the fortitude to do the things he asked of them. My son’s brain is wired so he can understand all the new technology. When we have the Holy Spirit living in us, we are wired to long for, and to understand all that Christ has for us, and to want more.

Trying to live as a Christian without acknowledging that the Holy Spirit is a vital part of that walk is to cut off the very part of God that makes life as a Christian conceivable. I want His understanding because mine is limited. Don’t you?

For further study: Acts 8:30; Rom.3:11; Rom.7:15; Rom.15:21; Heb.11:3; 2 Pet. 3:16

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1 Comment

  • Marge Dawson says:

    Dearest Barbara you have explained it very clearly, I have walked with the Blessings of God since a young age, considering I am nearly 83years my life has always been good, with the Blessings of the Holy Spirit Guiding me. My great marriage of 53 years, before my darling passed on, was an example to our great family as they were also taught about the Lord from an early age. May God continue to teach all who read your writings, to have the great walk too. God Bless, love, Marge Dawson.