Holy Spirit Understanding

As I age, I sometimes think, ‘I wish I understood 40 years ago what I understand now.’ What would I have done differently? What different paths would I have walked? What different relationships would I have pursued? You see, knowledge is one thing, but understanding that knowledge and how to action it is a different matter altogether. Understanding opens the possibility for wisdom and Christlike insight into life which can change our choices and actions.
Holy Spirit Understanding
Amidst the noise and busyness of life, God the Holy Spirit ministers from within us that we might understand the things freely given us by God (1 Corinthians 2:12). Experiences, in and of themselves, are not the Holy Spirit’s goal for the believer. Rather, understanding clearly what God has graciously given us through Christ and for God’s glory, this is His purpose. It is the believer’s understanding of God that opens up the possibility of living more Christlike with growth towards maturity. This understanding can also open up opportunities for service for God which were never before imagined. Knowledge without applied understanding is powerless, ineffective, and unproductive for God.

It is understanding that lifts the believer above the frustrations of life, and above selfish desires. This is because understanding generated by the Holy Spirit is God focused and God glorifying. It is the Holy Spirit who invisibly manufactures His understanding within the believer? Paul continues to explain that we impart this (understanding) in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual (1 Corinthians 2:13).

The Holy Spirit searches the depths of God (1Co 2:10) and translates those truths of God into understandable language and thoughts within the believer (1Co 2:11). The Holy Spirit does not do this through fresh extrabiblical revelation or experience, but through His Word which contains spiritual truth. His words are easily found and identified in the Bible, as it was the Holy Spirit who authored the Bible (2Pe 1:20-21). There is no mystery here. There is no elevation of self with unique access to heavenly information that no one else can access. No, this is simply God the Spirit granting understanding to the believer who spends time mediating and praying over the Word of God with a soft-hearted attitude.

This is what happens when you let the word of Christ dwell in you richly… (Colossians 3:16a). The Holy Spirit illumines, He clarifies, and He awakens our thinking to deeper levels of understanding about the things He has written in Scripture. This, however, comes at a cost to the child of God. Time, energy, and surrenderedness are required. This means there must be an exchange of priorities and activities within the life of God’s child. In this way the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God (Ephesians 6:17) is taken hold of and enabled for standing against the attacks of the enemy. As with all the other pieces of spiritual armour supplied by God (Eph 6:13-18), believers cannot be passive or half-hearted with their handling of God’s Word.

As we grow in the faith, so our understanding of God’s Word increases. With this comes the ability and responsibility to use our understanding of Scripture for God’s purposes. The Holy Spirit, through God’s Word, equips us to destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God and take every thought captive to obey Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5). May we encourage and enable one another to be people of God’s Word, always growing in our understanding as the Holy Spirit walks with us and uses us for God’s glory.

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