Matthew 28:19. A christian needs to be a good learner and a good teacher. For you to teach you need to learn. It is important to understand what Jesus wants you to do so that you can be an inspiration to other people. Jesus learnt from God what was expected of Him and He was able to impart that knowledge to His disciples and in turn to us. Let us take a moment to look at John the Baptist. John was preparation for what was to come. He wanted the people to have a mental shift and refocus how they worshiped God. If religious teachers and pharisees of that day had taken heed of the message preached by John, they would have had the capacity and UNDERSTANDING to accept Jesus. Their lack of spiritual understanding resulted in them going as far as hurriedly crucifying Jesus so that they could observe the sabbath. Yet Jesus is the King of the Sabbath. Therefore a lack of understanding leads us to make the catastrophic mistakes.
As people we always work on priority. We do what we value first and most. How we value something is dependant on our understanding of it. There are certain things as people, that God expects us to do but we lack the understanding to accomplish them. It is lack of understanding that causes people to walk in ways they assume are right, but have no assurance that they actually are. Assuming something is right and walking in it is like delving blindly into the unknown. Therefore knowledge and understanding are vital in our christian walk.
Colossians 1:9. Paul acknowledges the faith and love the Colossians demonstrated. But he went on to pray that they could have the knowledge and understanding so that they could live according to the will of God and ultimately bear fruit. Understanding can be subjective and has varying levels. For example, there are people who think there is no need to worry about what God wants or believe that the principles in the bible do not refer to them. But they believe that when in trouble they can easily call unto God to deliver them. Clearly this person understands that God is there and has power to deliver, but it’s a low level understanding because they do not care how they live their lives. Others believe that as long as they physically set foot in church then they are believers and have no care about anything else. It is indeed another level of understanding but it’s not good enough. Others are regular church goers and believe they follow God’s principles and yet they harbour hate in their hearts. This is yet another level of understanding, but again this level is not good enough. This is why Paul was praying for the people of Colossians. Paul knew that love and faith alone was not good enough hence he prayed that they understood the mandates of God.
We need to aim for a higher level of understanding if we want to enter the Kingdom of God. As a Christian, what level are you? You cannot bear fruit without the knowledge and understanding the Holy Spirit gives. Lack of understanding is what caused the children of God to wonder the dessert for 40 years before entering the promised land. Had they understood God, it wouldn’t have taken that long. They were overcome by their enemies not because God was weak, but because they didn’t understand God’s principles.
Joshua 7 is an example of destruction resulting from disobedience and again lack of understanding. Many people died unnecessarily due to disobedience. After it was established what Achan had done, and Joshua corrected the mistake made, the Israelites regained the upper hand.
Therefore there are consequences for lack of understanding. So take the time to challenge yourself today. If you are someone who just goes to church and are not concerned about the day to day mandates expected of you, change your ways. Explore the Word of God and gain the knowledge and understanding you need. Jesus defeated the devil in the wilderness by quoting the mandates of God. He knew and understood what was written and made reference to it. That is how He overcame. If you lack knowledge, you cannot reference what is written. You become susceptible to following the wisdom of man that is presented as truth but in actual fact isn’t. Take time to evaluate whether your level of understanding allows you to live the way God wants? If not, pray for the Spirit of understanding and surrender yourself to the mandates of God. There is something you must leave and sacrifice in order to find the Kingdom of God.
Let’s look at this analogy. A recruiter for any job position wants to see what knowledge a candidate has and ultimately how they would apply that knowledge and understanding. Same as in Christ. As long as you don’t have the understanding of how God wants you to live, you cannot apply those principles in how you live your life. God does not dwell anywhere. You are the temple of God. His temple must be upheld in a specific way. The more you live in sin, the more you repel the Spirit of God. Just being a good person, isn’t good enough. Being born into a church and remaining in it, is not good enough. Seeking God in times of trouble only, is not good enough. Therefore pray for the spirit of understanding so that you can know exactly how God wants you to live. Just because a building is called a church doesn’t mean that God dwells there. The presence of God only dwells where his mandates are followed. So aim to live a life worthy of Christ.
Leviticus 16:19. We all fall short of the Glory of God, and our transgressions must be made right before God. Today is the day of Atonement. A decree that must be followed yearly for all time to come. Some may argue that this law is no longer valid, but Jesus came to fulfil the law not abolish it (Matthew 5:17) Be prudent not to deviate from the truth of God. Just because Christ died for us, does not mean we are not without sin now. So today is the day where we can be made right with God again.