It’s often said that knowledge is power. When it comes to living out our faith, those who live empowered lives are those who go from knowledge to understanding. The Bible says that knowledge alone puffs us up with pride, and scripture also teaches that God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. That would explain why some can quote scripture as a weapon of criticism and condemnation, but never grasp the basic principle that a true disciple of Christ shows love and compassion. Knowledge must be transformed from information to understanding. Understanding is only by the revelation of the Spirit, and the Spirit reveals as we humble ourselves and seek God.

It isn’t just seeking information, but fellowship. From the beginning of the Old Testament, through the unveiling of the Covenant of Grace in the New Testament, this is reiterated in scripture. Long before there was a temple, as God’s people wandered through the desert, they erected the tent of the tabernacle of meeting each time they stopped to rest. It’s interesting that the Bible calls it the Tabernacle of Meeting. The congregation did not meet there. According to Exodus, those who sought the Lord would go there. It was a place where seeking hearts met with God.

In the New Testament, we are called the temple of the Holy Spirit. We don’t need a building or structure to meet with God. We just need to set the world aside long enough to seek Him. But in that day, people met God where the Ark of the Covenant rested – which at this time was in the tabernacle. Look at Exodus 33:

7 Moses took his tent and pitched it outside the camp, far from the camp, and called it the tabernacle of meeting. And it came to pass that everyone who sought the LORD went out to the tabernacle of meeting which was outside the camp.

13 Now therefore, I pray, if I have found grace in Your sight, show me now Your way, that I may know You and that I may find grace in Your sight. And consider that this nation is Your people.”
14 And He said, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”

There is a lot going on in this section of the Bible, but two things jump out in this passage. First, Moses made it his priority to leave the world behind and seek the Lord. The crowds were in the camp, but he separated from people long enough to seek God and spend time with Him.

Second, notice the focus of Moses’ seeking. His goal was to know God and for God to show him His ways. The world pulls us in many directions, but the one who finds rest for their soul is the one who seeks to know God and understand HIS ways. We are not trying to shape God into our world, but step away from distractions, selfish ways, and busyness so that we can establish ourselves onto the firm foundation of God’s ways and His plan. He promises to give us rest, and we will experience His presence with us. Life is hard, but dealing with life is a lot easier when we are coming from the place of resting in the understanding that our ways are grounded in His presence.

Understanding this truth is difficult. We may know it in our head, but when life is difficult, rest seems impossible. God has to reveal our place in His rest in order for us to be at peace, while the world around us is far from restful. We prepare for life now – not when we feel like we are drowning in chaos. This comes by seeking understanding from Him.

Jesus often taught large crowds. He used parables to communicate concepts that our natural understanding can’t grasp. There were times when Jesus taught thousands, but few left with real understanding. During one of his teachings, He fed five-thousand men. In that era, people were often counted as family groups, so they would count based on the number of men old enough to be fathers. That five thousand could have been as many as twenty-thousand or more. The Bible records that they were all amazed at his teaching, but most walked away with inspiration, but not understanding. Inspiration fades, but a seeking heart grows.

After teaching with many parables, some of Jesus’ disciples came to Him afterwards and asked Him to help them understand the parables. He says an interesting thing in Mark 4:11

And He said to them, “To you it has been given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God; but to those who are outside, all things come in parables”

There is a difference between those who our outside of understanding, and those who are ‘on the inside’. Jesus said, “Seek and you will find.” Those who seek God and seek to understand His ways are given something those who are without do not receive. Jesus made a similar statement in Luke 8:18

Therefore take heed how you hear. For whoever has, to him more will be given; and whoever does not have, even what he seems to have will be taken from him.

This is the difference between those who are inspired by a message, and those who seek to understand God’s ways. The message will soon be forgotten. I once knew a preacher who had 200 sermons he recycled over and over. He said, “No one remembers what I preached last week, much less what I preached two-hundred weeks ago. For the last thirty years, I have just preached until I get through them all, then I start over again.” Though I don’t agree with this perspective, it does show how quickly we lose what we hear.

One thing we don’t lose is how God reveals His understanding to us. I can’t remember what I taught or preached last month, but what I do remember is how God revealed Himself to me as I studied. The understanding He gave me becomes a foundation where I can receive the next revelation.

There was a time when I tried to reach a certain number of chapters a day, and it was merely a checkbox in my religious duty. I read, but I did not receive. It was a task, not a time of seeking. As a result, I got little out of it. When my perspective changed, my life changed with it. Now I study with expectation. I ask God to reveal Himself to me, and reveal His ways to me. Even after years of experiencing the revelation of God, I still say, “There is so much I don’t understand. Open my eyes to see.”

The moment we stop seeking, we stop receiving. The moment we think we have the answers, we stop searching for revelation. God used Moses to write the first five books of the Old Testament, which was the only scripture at that time. Yet he still sought God and asked for understanding. He still said, “Lord, teach me Your ways.” The Bible calls him a man of humility and the friend of God.

One thing Moses said, “You said I have found grace (favor) in your sight. If that is true, show me your ways.”

The Bible says that because you are in Christ, you are called the friend of God. You are favored by God. You are His blessed child. Take this truth as the opportunity to pray, “Since you called me favored, show me Your ways. Teach me.” Then explore the word with the expectation that God will reveal Christ in it, and His ways to you. Walk by faith, knowing that everything you do, know, and this walk of life, is His gift to you. Everything good is a gift. Pray for the revelation of that truth, and that He would teach you how to trust and be led through each step of this journey of life.

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