About Understanding…

Colossians 1:9 “For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding.”


1 Corinthians 14:15 “What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also.”


Sometimes, more likely than not, when we are in prayer or contemplating Scripture, because the reality is that the Holy Spirit desires more than anything to increase our understanding of who we are and what we’re “doing here on earth for heaven’s sake”, we can find ourselves in a space where our minds and hearts are being stretched seemingly into infinity. It’s a great space to be in. Along  with that comes a “rush” of God’s own love, as we realize we have come into greater spiritual understanding. This is something God truly desires us to know – His unfathomable love!


This can be a very heady thing! One is reminded of Peter, who while being elevated into the experience of the Lord Jesus’ own transfiguration burst forth with his own ideas about the experience, “Lord, it’s so good for us to be here, and if You wish, I will build 3 tents for You, Moses, and Elijah…” [A loose paraphrase of Matthew 17:4]. Clearly Peter wants more than anything to savor the flavor of basking in this glorious moment. But in this case, it’s not about what Jesus wants, but what Peter wants, so he offers what he wants with the excuse that surely the Lord would want the same thing!


However this is interrupted by the voice from the cloud reminding him [also loosely paraphrased and expanded to illustrate our focus], “Look, Peter, this is My beloved Son; listen to Him…” This isn’t about you; this is about Him, and it’s about all that must follow such a bright. overwhelming, and dazzling experience. This revelation of My Son has been given to you in order for you to realize Who He really is, and the supernatural nature of your calling in Him, and as a memory seared into your heart to sustain you when the going gets rough. And believe Me, it will get rough. This isn’t a place to take a vacation or even go on a spiritual retreat!”


But is that really so far fetched? I may have stretched this into a bit of a tale, but isn’t that the way we not only approach God, but one another? Instead of asking, “What is it YOU would like me to do for you?”, instead, withholding ourselves,  we say, Here’s what I want, but I’m going to address it to you as if I know what you want, when it’s really what I want!


If we want understanding, revelation, insight, wisdom, and even faith God will give us that. God will give what we ask without reproaching us for asking [James 1:5]. 


But it doesn’t stop there. It doesn’t stop with the heady, mountaintop experience, or the terrific aha moment. We have to come down out of the mountain. At some point we close the tattered, well marked Bible, we and go out into the family, the workplace, the street. And there we see Jesus in His disguise as the “other”, and once more we are compelled to ask, “What is it You want of me?”, boldly and without fear.


Thanks be to God for the opportunity to meet Him right “where we live”. May our thinking, our intercessory prayers, and even our singing be done in this realization: Lord, what would You have me do with the understanding that I’ve been given?


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