Our Need for Spiritual Understanding

Happy Thursday blog readers! First let me apologize to those of you follow this blog regularly for not showing much love to this site over the last month. To be quite honest I feel like God has really been changing my perspective on a few important matters and I really haven’t had much to share. Today however, I feel like I do.

Over the last week and a half I have been reading a book by T. Austin Sparks called The Significance of Christ which can be found in The Centrality of Jesus Christ (Works of T. Austin Sparks: Volume 1). In the book TAS discusses a few matters in detail regarding Christ’s significance. He talks about both specific events that happened throughout the life of Jesus as well subjects relating to His very being, who He is. So far the book has been incredible and I highly recommend it. This post however is not a review of this work by T. Austin Sparks but rather it is a declaration of something that God has made and is making much more clear to me. This is something that takes place at the very beginning of our Christian life, as we’re “finding” Jesus and still very worldly and dependent on the natural self as well a practice that must continue throughout the remainder of our lives in Christ in order to advance and mature.

In Mark 10:46-52 we read about a blind beggar named Bartimaeus who is sitting on the side of the road as Jesus is leaving Jericho. When Bartimaeus realized that it is Jesus of Nazareth passing by he begins to cry out for Jesus to have mercy on him. Many people around him rebuked the blind man and told him to be quiet, but the man pressed on. He cried out again until Jesus had the disciples bring the man to Him. The man then asked Jesus for sight and Jesus responds by saying “Go your way; your faith has made you well.”

This of course is a short summary but it gets the point across very well. Bartimaeus understood that he couldn’t just sit there passively as Jesus passed by if he truly wanted to be healed, if sight was truly that important to him. This man was so desperate that he cried out out, yelled for Jesus to have mercy on him. He didn’t just do this once, he cried out multiple times before Jesus stopped, called Him and gave to him what he was so desperately after. Even after others in the crowd tried to shut him up and keep him quiet he still pressed on.

We can all relate to Bartimaeus, and if we can’t then perhaps that is why we continue to struggle and our growth in Christ is stifled. When you first came to Christ (truly came to Christ, not when you answered some altar call because you were emotional) was it easy? Did you hear about Jesus and immediately receive the revelation of who He is or was it more difficult than that? Now I’m not talking about using our reason in order to figure out the scriptures and learn about Jesus because our natural reasoning and understanding cannot even begin to comprehend the depths and riches of Christ. I would venture to say that when you really came to Christ, and perhaps some reading this are currently in this exact phase, didn’t you have to cry out to Jesus? Didn’t you have to ask and then keep asking for spiritual sight and understanding as to who Christ is? Well this isn’t something that ends when we accept Christ and are saved but this crying out to God, asking the Lord for understanding is the only way we can continue to grow, ever.

We cannot expect to get very far with Christ if we think that when we read something or when we attend a meeting and hear the word or some teaching ministered that we can go on and expect that we truly know what has just been given to us. We must continue to seek God on the matter until the Holy Spirit reveals its true meaning. No matter how long we go on with Christ we will not be able to understand His fullness and have it be applied in our lives if we are simply studious and rely on our understanding, our flawed reasoning and weak ability to understand spiritual things and aspects of Christ. Like the blind beggar we must cry out until Jesus answers and until we know.

Recently, I have failed greatly in this area. I realized last night that the reason I so often forget something I’ve read, even things that I instantly knew were very important and life changing is that I try to go on thinking that I’ve got it. In reality unless I have taken it before the Lord and allowed the Holy Spirit to reveal these truths and aspects of Christ I do not know it in the slightest. To mentally know and memorize something is light years away from understanding something spiritually. To have spiritual sight is to know.

My prayer is that this once again becomes the norm for my wife and I as well all of the other believers that we know, love and interact with. Please read the full passage in Mark 10:46-52 and seek spiritual understanding that cannot be found in commentaries and study.

I would love to hear thoughts, experiences and anything else that you may want to add to this. Please feel free to share in comment section below.

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Stuck in Colossians

For the past couple of weeks I have been stuck in Paul’s letter to the Colossians. Every time I open up the Bible I seem to go directly to that letter. Even when I attempt to read something else I lose focus and am quickly pulled back. Clearly there’s something in Colossians that I need a better understanding of, a revelation of Christ that’s waiting there for me. I’m just not quite sure what that is just yet.

Considering the above makes me think of something else I’ve been reading lately. I recently started reading The Temple Within by Milt Rodriguez again. The main theme in this book is fellowship with an indwelling Lord. Essentially understanding our place in Christ both individually and corporately as well as His place in the Father and in us. Something Milt mentions early in the book is our tendency to know so much about Jesus, to have a large amount of biblical knowledge, yet not truly know Christ himself.

Perhaps this is why I keep coming back to Colossians. Maybe I simply know it by memory and understand the truths in theory but I’m still missing a revelation of Jesus Christ. Head knowledge is overrated and doesn’t result in much more than being able to give quick answers to questions and debate with individuals who have a differing view and belief system than us. A revelation of Jesus Christ himself however is a whole different story. Understanding that Jesus himself is our peace, hope, joy, rock, love, salvation, patience, strength and all the other things that Christ is is something much greater.

I want to approach Colossians, and all other reading for that matter, with a search for nothing more than Christ. I don’t want to read the Bible like some blueprint, I want to read in order to allow Christ to reveal himself to me in greater and deeper ways. I want to find Him in the scriptures, not material for this blog and information that becomes useless apart from Him.