Knowing is not understanding. There is a great difference between knowing and understanding: you can know a lot about something and not really understand it. – Charles Kettering
The word, understand, means to grasp the meaning, significance or importance of something you know (information). Jesus and his disciples had just entered the ship to go to the other side. The disciples had forgotten to take some bread and they only had one loaf of bread on the ship. Jesus told them, Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod. Jesus made this statement because He didn’t want them to be contaminated by people who honored God with their lips, but not with their hearts (Mark 7:6). He didn’t want them to become like those who kept the tradition of men, but refused to keep the commandment of God (Mark 7:9). Instead of asking Jesus for understanding, the disciples reasoned among themselves. They saw when five thousand were fed with only five loaves and two fish and there were twelve baskets of leftovers. They saw when four thousand were fed with only seven loaves and a few small fish and there were seven baskets of leftovers. So, why were they fussing about who forgot to bring bread? There was something they didn’t understand. How is it that you do not understand? (Mark 8:21).
Nicodemus was a ruler of the Jews yet he didn’t understand what it meant to be born again. Are you a master of Israel, and know not these things? (John 3:10). Nicodemus thought an old man had to go back into his mother’s womb to be born again. Although his statement didn’t sound intelligent, he was smart enough to ask for understanding. How can these things be? (John 3:9).
When we were in school, some of us raised our hands to ask questions when we weren’t sure of something while others pretended to know or understand what the teacher was saying when they really didn’t. Maybe we just didn’t want to appear stupid or maybe we were just trying to impress someone we liked or maybe we were just trying to fit in. What happened in school is what has been happening in the church. We know lots of scriptures and can quote them, but our life living, our actions and our disobedience are proof that we really don’t understand what we are saying or what we heard. To shun evil is understanding (Job 28:28b, NIV).
There is something I’ve been doing for months now and recently the Lord told me that what I’m doing now is what He wanted me to do all along. Then, He reminded me of the things He told me to do (through men and women of God), but I missed it. All I could do was repent and tell the Lord I was sorry. I really didn’t understand. I heard, but I didn’t understand – neither did I ask for understanding. I was doing, but it wasn’t what God wanted me to do. I was giving, but it wasn’t the gift He required of me. When you are led by your feelings, you are going to either hit or miss, but when you are led by the Holy Spirit, you will never miss. God’s Spirit knows what is in God’s mind. There are things we don’t know, but He knows and understands all things. Nothing is hidden from Him. If you follow Him, He will guide you into all truth. He will let you know what is going to happen. He reveals what has been given to us from God. When He prays, He doesn’t pray amiss.
We are getting a lot of word and we are getting a lot of revelation– and that’s good, but with all your getting, get understanding. Some of us have been going to church most of our lives, yet we are blind. We have eyes, but we really don’t see. We have ears, but we really don’t hear and we forget what we should remember. Jesus doesn’t want us to be like the blind man who was brought to Him in Bethsaida. He wants us to see clearly. He doesn’t want us to be people who are not able to discern between men and trees (Mark 8:24-25). He wants us to recognize and to identify when it’s Him and when it’s the devil. There will always be a way that seems right, but He doesn’t want us to try to figure things out on our own. This is how we miss God. He gave the church true apostles, true prophets, true evangelists, true pastors and true teachers and He gave us the Spirit of Truth so that we wouldn’t be deceived like Eve.
People who are trained to recognize counterfeit money don’t study counterfeit bills. They study and learn every detail of real money so that when the counterfeit appears, they can see (discern) the difference. Let us study the life of Christ so that we will know what is Him and of Him, and what is not.
Prayer: I pray that you receive your sight today. May God anoint your eyes with eye salve so that you may see. May the Spirit of the Lord rest upon you, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord (Isaiah 11:3). Open our understanding that we might understand the scriptures (Luke 24:45). Father, You commanded the light to shine out of darkness. Now command Your light to shine in the hearts and minds of Your people. Thank you for restoring our sight, Amen.