Why should I bother to understand? Can’t I just believe what I’ve been told about God and His ways? Certainly, the simple answer is, “Yes, you can, even if those thoughts and beliefs do not make good sense.” But consider this truth: God fully understands and to Him, everything makes good sense. Wouldn’t it be in our best interest to seek to see from God’s perspective?
Our heavenly Father thinks so! He gave clear expression of His desire for us to understand. Proverbs 4:7 tells us, “With all your acquiring, get understanding.”
Our perception of what is true and right sways where we go, what we do, how we treat one another, even affects our physical and mental health. Shouldn’t we seek to see from God’s viewpoint and make good sense of concepts, principles, and what we believe to be true?
Understanding All God Desires to Reveal
Why would God give us a mind that can reason and understand if He intended us to ‘just believe’? As a teenager, that question occurred to me while attending a meeting. I was enjoying the message when the preacher said, “You do not have to understand, just believe it.”
I found myself facing a quandary—“just believe” what I was being told or seek to understand? The third time the phrase was repeated; I decided I would not be satisfied with such a lame approach toward God or Scripture.
“Lord, show me what I’ve not yet seen.”
Without hesitation, I committed myself to reasoning through and understanding all God would reveal. I began the practice of praying as I picked up the Bible to read; “Lord, show me what I’ve not yet seen.”
God has looked…to see if there is anyone who understands… (Psalms 53:2)
Your testimonies are right…; give me understanding that I may live. (Psalms 119:144)
As I sought to understand how all Scriptures are actually sensible complements, I found God’s Word makes more than good sense. My Relational Gospel view of Scripture began to formulate.
The Power of Perception and Understanding
As offspring of God and of man, we all have the ability to observe, question, and form understanding. Asking, seeking, and knocking indicate we are open to comprehend and understand in greater degrees. God is more than willing to share insight with each of us.
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find…” (Luke 11:9)
Insights can develop, flourish, and bring clarity. Clarity however, can fade away when we don’t take time to reason through the subject and understand. Understanding why we exist and how we are designed to function, allows us to enjoy life more appropriately.
Jesus admonished us to allow the Spirit of truth (His presence with us) to “lead and guide” us into more than what we currently know (John 16:12-13). Are we willing to devote the time needed to enter into greater understanding and make more sense of this life?
“Lead and guide” us into more than what we currently know.
God Shares Greater Insights
While our family, culture, and racial make-up dictate how and where we start this life, they are not intended to control, limit, or restrict our growth and development. Our beginnings are not intended to determine how we live and act.
We often restrict ourselves by not considering ideas and thoughts that stretch our current perceptions. While the depths of God and the full secrets of life are beyond our ability to fully understand, we want to remain open to the rich insights God desires to share with us.
The LORD gives wisdom; from His mouth come…understanding. (Proverbs 2:6)
Oh the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! (Romans 11:33)
Do You Negate God’s Input?
When we say “I don’t understand,” it is usually a genuine request for more information. On the other hand, when we say, “I don’t care,” we admit we do not want to understand. The old saying “ignorance is bliss” is often quoted as a beloved excuse for not wanting to understand.
Trust in the LORD…and do not lean on your own understanding. (Proverbs 3:5)
What does “your own understanding” mean? The phrase speaks of thoughts and perceptions that ignore or seek to negate God’s input. Socialism and Communism are examples. Both utilize the Biblical concept of sharing, but disregard God and negate His involvement; consequently their methods degrade life. In a similar fashion, when our experiences teach us an ill behavior is normal, we tend to believe it is right even though it is wrong.
Our heavenly Father clearly desires for us to understand.
Our Source of Understanding
When we seek God’s influence first and foremost, Scripture says our understanding develops. Scripture relates our heavenly Father’s clear desire for us to understand.
With all your acquiring, get understanding. (Proverbs 4:7)
So we ask: do you earnestly desire to understand? Are you energetically pursuing more insight? We encourage you to not be satisfied with passive or occasional involvement with our source of understanding.
Keith Carroll, “The Relationship Guy”
Relational Gospel Founder