But it is the spirit in a man, the breath of the Almighty, that gives him understanding. It is not only the old who are wise, not only the aged who understand what is right. Job 32: 8 – 9
In this modern age of technology, isn’t it amazing that at the click of a finger, we can have all the information on a topic that we could possibly want – on any topic you could ever imagine!
For example, if you look up the harmful effects of chocolate, you will find 2,240,000 articles on why chocolate is bad for you. If you look up the benefits of chocolate, you will find 111,000,000. Wow! I don’t think I need to go any further, and will just go eat some chocolate!
But seriously, if I did read some of the articles, I am sure I would find some pretty strong arguments on both sides. One thing we can be sure of is that there are going to be many different viewpoints on a subject, and as we research and study, we will need to form our own opinions about what the “truth” is for us. And as for eating chocolate, I can tell you that it is not what is best for me – even if they try to convince me otherwise!
We need to take these steps to fully understand so many things in life – to research, read, question, become informed about both sides of an issue, try to figure out whose word we can trust and believe, and then come to our own conclusions. But sometimes this can be difficult, and we end up being more confused than ever.
Reading and understanding Scripture can be just as challenging as we try to gain insight and knowledge. We read the Bible and sometimes we may lack understanding as to the meaning of certain passages, and we may go to others for help, such as to our pastors, teachers, or other knowledgeable individuals. We may search for answers in Bible studies, books, and articles online, and we can expect once again that there will be many differing viewpoints and interpretations. It can all be so confusing as we question and try to understand what God has to teach us. In the end, we have to conclude that no one knows with certainty – not even the most renown scholars and theologians can agree. We may have to accept that we may never know, or we can search for our own “truths”.
Worldly wisdom, knowledge, and insight from others are important qualities to have, but they are not the most important criteria for understanding God’s Word. True understanding can only occur when we have the desire to seek Him, and our hearts are open to being taught by the Creator Himself. Then his loving inspiration and anointing grace will be on us to grasp and understand what He has to offer. We need His Spirit to bring the words to life for us. We need a heart willing to seek Him, believe in Him, and want Him to be a part of our lives.
I love the words, “It is the breath of the Almighty that gives understanding. It is not only the old who are wise, not only the aged who understand what is right.” It is the Spirit in the young and the old that God has breathed into us to give us the wisdom to comprehend His truths, His principles, and His amazing love and grace. As we read His Word, study it, reflect on what others have understood about its truths, and learn from our own life experiences, He is giving us the wisdom to understand the truths He wants us to have.
I am reminded of the verse from 2 Timothy 3: 16: “All Scripture is God-breathed”, and I do believe with all my heart that it was divinely inspired by God and remains our living, breathing Word. God breathed His Word into existence, and He continues to breathe His words into us today.
I believe the basic truths found in God’s Word to be infallible and His promises to be real. I don’t have all the answers. I like everyone else, am just a flawed, lost soul, trying to find my way to Him. I am still traveling on this journey and as I do so, God is shaping me, teaching me, and opening my heart to Him. I am learning to trust Him, to believe in His love and goodness, and to find joy and peace in His presence. I share these writings and my thoughts with you, as my story – with Him by my side.
But in truth, each of us in large part is a solitary being in this life – our feelings and experiences are our own and no one else can truly understand them. We can go through life with many loved ones and friends, but in truth, we walk this journey with God alone. I believe God will reveal to each of us what He wants us to understand as we open our hearts to Him. Our relationship with Him is a personal one, and deeply unique. You have your own story of how He has touched your life, transformed your heart, and given you understanding about His love and grace. A story that only you and He can truly appreciate. May we all grow in the love of Christ as He breathes life and understanding into each of us.
Our most gracious and loving Father, thank you for giving us your Spirit to help us understand your Word – no matter our age or intellectual ability. We thank you for the wisdom to grasp the depth of your love for us and for the knowledge to understand your truths. Thank you for your love, comfort, peace, and saving grace, but especially we thank you for your presence with us. Amen
*Good sources of reading material for spiritual growth:
There are many excellent Bible studies available. Many you can do on your own – It’s easier for me to have a regular routine with a study and explanations which help me to understand Scripture. Also, I have done studies with a small group of friends in our homes, or a larger ladies group or mixed group at our church. (In our young couples class, there is the cutest, young, “hip”, married couple who do a study together several nights a week. They love discussing the topics and learning together. What a loving bond that creates to learn in Christ at any age, at any time!)
There are so many wonderful Bible study teachers, such as Beth Moore, Jennifer Rothschild, and Priscilla Shirer. You can purchase these workbooks at any Christian bookstore, such as Lifeway, or order online at www. christianbook.com. Many of them come with DVD kits for group watching, which are really good, but they are not necessary to do the study.
Favorite Beth Moore studies: Believing God; Daniel; David – A Heart Like His; The Patriarchs; Esther – It’s Tough Being a Woman; James, Mercy Triumphs; John, the Beloved Disciple
Favorite authors and books:
Phillip Yancey – What’s So Amazing About Grace?; Disappointment With God; Where is God When It Hurts?; The Jesus I Never Knew; The Bible Jesus Read and Does Prayer Really Work?
Max Lucado – Experiencing God; Traveling Light; Great Day, Every Day
Linda Dillow – Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World; Satisfy My Thirsty Soul; Calm My Anxious Heart
Francine Rivers – wonderful Christian fiction books – Redeeming Love; Mark of the Lion series; The Atonement Child; The Scarlet Thread; Leota’s Garden