"Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding," Proverbs 4:7 (KJV)
In this age of super-advanced technology where we have lightning fast information at the touch of our fingertips, it is becoming less and less popular to have to wait for anything.
If we want it, we can generally have it right this instant.
However, that's pretty much the opposite of how spiritual understanding works.
One of the best analogies I have ever heard came from my brother who recently said that gaining spiritual knowledge is a lot like putting together a large, difficult puzzle:
Some pieces you look at and immediately quirk up an eyebrow in perplexity. But you don't throw that piece away, right? All of those odd, random puzzle shapes came in the box, so it's obvious they belong somewhere, they just don't have a purpose in the big picture just yet. So, you put them aside until their placement becomes clear.
Likewise, just because we don't understand something right away when reading scripture or listening to a sermon does not mean we should just ignore it, or assume that it is false or not for us.
|Manarola, Cinque Terre, Italy|
We aren't allowed to pick and choose to believe what we want while claiming to follow Christ.
Unfortunately, though, this is what many people do. They think, "well, it doesn't make any sense to me, so I guess it isn't important and I don't need to adhere to it."
If I had said that about all my math classes in high school...well, let's just say I would be in a totally different position in life than where I am today.
Truth is truth, even if we are unsure of how to apply it.
Thus, if we claim God's Word is our absolute, then every line within it has an application.
The best method to dealing with a spiritual topic or teaching that isn't quite clear to us is to ask the Lord to give us revelation on it, and then just wait. Put it on the back burner.
Just as 1 Corinthians 14:33 (KJV) explains, "For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints."
Seek the Lord and pray it out--don't throw it out. Don't overthink it or
over-complicate it or argue and debate about it with anyone either.
Countless times I have come across a scripture that actually seemed contradicting to everything else I had learned.
My faith wasn't ready for it. I had tried to look at it with a carnal mind and physical eye instead of a spiritual sense.
But then I prayed about it, and basically forgot about it. Then later on I would be in service and the minister would suddenly say something that completely clarified that topic--it all just clicked.
All it took was removing the magnifying glass from the specific spot on the image for a bit so that my faith could build and my spiritual eyes could adjust to the overall masterpiece.
It is a comfort in recalling that even Jesus' disciples had moments of misunderstanding, like when they said "This is an hard saying; who can hear it?" in John 6:60 (KJV). There were times the Lord didn't go to great lengths to explain the parables He spoke because He knew in time they would catch on.
Each and every one of us are at different levels of understanding; we all learn and grow at various paces, both in the natural and spiritual. Some topics and concepts are easier for some to grasp than others.
Remember, God's ways are not our ways (Isaiah 55:8). God is limitless; His mind is infinite.
In other words, if we were meant to solve everything with our human intelligence, we would not have need of the Lord as our Father or Teacher, as He is often called.
If we obtained and sustained everything all at once--if all scriptural knowledge was downloaded into our brains and hearts at one time, not only would we be overwhelmed, but what would be the point of attending church and even having the Good Book in our possession, after all the history it has survived?
God never asked us to comprehend everything. He just wants us to believe it.
However, be assured that it is His promise to unfold His thoughts to us, all in His time.
His intention is not to leave us in the dark pondering over all of His mysteries, as those who are not His children do.
We just need to allow the Spirit to open our eyes as we keep taking baby steps by reading, studying, and meditating on what we visually consume.
Don't try to get ahead of Him. If something in His scripture stumbles you, pray about it then move on.
These things take time
. (<--click for a coincidentally perfect titled acoustic song by Sanctus Real)
Labels: analogy, answers, believe, Christianity, confusion, doctrine, everything, faith, GodsWord, growth, knowledge, patience, prayer, promises, puzzle, questions, revelation, spirituallyspeaking, understanding, wisdom