Do you wish to understand your struggles, and be free of confusion and shame?
Everyone wants clarity and peace within the personal circle of their life. I long to understand the struggles I face and what I could do to make things go better.
Scripture has much to say on this topic of ‘understanding’, so let’s look at a major key to gaining understanding.
Where Is The Place of Understanding?
Many times I have thought to myself, “I know lots of things, and I understand life well enough!!”
But then something happens. I come up ‘against a wall’ — a struggle, a conflict, a hard, immovable clash! And then . . . nothing seems right, and I am confused!
All of us face struggles throughout our lives, mostly struggles with people! It can be parents, supervisors, roommates, a spouse, children, or struggles with ourselves. If we are honest, we realize once again, there is much we do not know, and there is much we do not understand!
One of the oldest books of the Bible records the search for understanding. It was the man, Job, who asked: “But where shall wisdom be found? and where is the place of understanding?” (Job 28:12)
Job wanted to find that place where he could understand the struggles and unlock the confusion he faced.
The Scriptures reveal a major key to gaining understanding.
But first, let’s look at a few clues that will help us in our search for understanding.
An important clue for gaining understanding is to know ‘the place’ of understanding:
God looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, that did seek God. (Psalms 53:2)
There is a secret here, in the above Scripture.
Understanding is associated with seeking God!
Yahuwah Elohim [the LORD God] is looking for those who are seeking Him, and it is those people who have understanding!
I am telling you the truth!
Turning our hearts to God and seeking Him makes something good and wonderful happen!!
But most importantly, what happens when we seek God is that we gain in our understanding.
King Solomon, in Proverbs 2:3-4, tells us that if we want understanding we must seek for it, we must search for it. In humility, we must cry out for it, lift up our voice for it.
As we read further in Proverbs 2, Solomon tells us the source of understanding:
For Yahuwah [the LORD] giveth wisdom: out of His mouth cometh knowledge and understanding. (Proverbs 2:6)
Yahuwah, the Maker of heaven and earth, is the source of understanding!
Those unique moments when something ‘breaks through’ and we begin to have a better understanding — that understanding is from Yahuwah, our Maker!
So to gain understanding, we must turn our heart to Yahuwah, and begin to seek Him, by prayer and study of His Word, because He is the source or the ‘place’ of understanding!
Here is another clue to help us gain more understanding for the personal, intimate conflicts that happen within our lives:
Understanding Comes From Doing (Obeying) Father’s Words
Yahushua Messiah [Jesus Christ] told us:
If any man will do His will [God’s will], he shall know of [understand] the teaching, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself. (John 7:17)
As we see in this verse, when we become a DO-er of God’s Word [not just a hearer], then we begin to know and understand God’s ways for us! We will begin to know, understand, His ways for us, not only in the little circle of our day-in and day-out happenings, but also in the bigger picture of life.
This is an important clue! — that the doing of Yahuwah’s Word will precede [go before] our understanding and knowing!
The Reward For Seeking Yahuwah
In the smallest detail of our lives, Yahuwah is with us to help us, and to increase our knowledge of Him. He wants to help us gain in understanding! But we need to seek Him and cry out for understanding.
When we begin to seek the Heavenly Father, we will begin to see the rewards of understanding:
Evil men understand not judgment: but they that SEEK Yahuwah [the LORD] understand all things. (Proverbs 28:5)
The fear of Yahuwah [the LORD] is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy IS understanding. (Proverbs 9:10)
As these verses teach us, seeking Yahuwah with a true and sincere heart has the great reward of understanding! When we seek Yahuwah, He will give us the understanding we need!
This is so amazing!!
Seeking God, obeying Him, and learning about Him from His Word, will increase our knowledge of Him, and thus our understanding.
If we will study His Words [the Bible], asking His help to understand His ways, then . . . as we wait patiently on Him, Father will increase our understanding!
The more we know about Yahuwah Elohim [the LORD God], who is holy (Psalms 99:9), the more our understanding enlarges in every way because — the knowledge of Him IS understanding!
Do you see that? Wow!
As we choose to honour Him by seeking Him and obeying His truth, then our respectful fear of Yahuwah will increase. And this is how we gain in His wisdom, because it is the fear of Yahuwah that is the beginning of wisdom!
Here is another awesome verse:
The entrance of Your Words gives light; it gives understanding unto the simple. (Psalms 119:130)
This verse teaches us that every time we turn to Father by reading His Word, meditating on His Words, obeying His Words, we are taking His Word into our mind and heart, and thus we will gain in our understanding! Our understanding will begin to increase in all areas of our lives — in our relationships, in our schoolwork, our jobs, and in our walk with Yahuwah — simply because we seek Yahuwah by studying and obeying His Words!
But we must be patient.
We need to give ourselves to times of being with Him, learning His written Word for ourselves, and learning the things He has for us in His Word.
Little by little, by our commitment to seek Him, and to do His Word in the smallest of details, it is then that our understanding will increase.
The Major Key in Gaining Understanding:
Now here is the major KEY to gaining understanding!
And unto man, He (God) said, Behold, the fear of Yahuwah [the LORD], that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding. (Job 28:28)
… that we might turn from our iniquities, and understand thy truth. (Daniel 9:13)
These verses teach us two things:
- to depart from evil is understanding!
- to turn from our iniquites will result in understanding!
This is so amazing!!
But wait, ‘depart from evil?’
Yes, to depart from evil is understanding!
Departing from evil is as simple as obeying our conscience. All of us know deep in our heart whenever we have violated our conscience. God gave each one of us a conscience that rebukes us whenever we go against His standards for right behaviour.
Anything that separates us from God, and defiles our conscience is evil. No matter how small it is, even if it be a small, hidden dishonesty or a spiteful remark — these little things are what Yahushua describes as evil thoughts:
For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: these are the things which defile a man (Matthew 15:19-20)
Departing from evil truly begins with the small, intimate thoughts and issues in our lives.
Certainly, to depart from evil is to depart [or cease] from big issues like stealing, lying, hatred, cursing, fornication, murder, adultery, dishonouring parents! These are iniquities [sins], which separate us from Yahuwah, and hinder our understanding!
But departing from evil also includes not neglecting our attention to small, intimate things, like keeping our honesty and integrity from being spoiled, and not ignoring our duties or responsibilities. In other words, heeding our conscience!
Anytime we depart, or cease, from evil [whether big or little], then we unlock the confusion and understanding comes!
When we can depart from evil in anyway, then we will be part of that class of people considered by Yahuwah to be wise.
The Book of Proverbs clearly reveals that a fool will scorn or laugh at such instruction (Proverbs 1:7, 22, 29).
But this is The KEY!
The KEY to Gaining Understanding is — to Depart From Evil!
Faithfulness in Little Things
Depart from means we will stop — stop doing things are that are actually disobediences to Yahuwah’s Word. We will stop neglecting or ignoring the little things that we ought to be doing!
Little things like:
- getting to work on time,
- being honest about our work hours, and about the smallest matters,
- honouring and respecting our parents/our supervisors,
- driving the speed limit,
- brushing our teeth regularly,
- cleaning the bathroom or doing the laundry,
- returning the penny the clerk accidentally handed us,
- not complaining to the boss,
- showing honour and respect to all,
- not manipulating or intimidating anyone,
- not neglecting to correct our children,
- being a servant among all.
With Father’s mercy and grace, when we heed the rebuke of our conscience, when we begin to obey that whispered inclination to do the right thing! — then, our understanding increases, as well as our wisdom!
Our conscience is often the voice of the Holy Spirit.
The voice of the Holy Spirit will always be in agreement with God’s Word, urging us to walk in the fear of Yahuwah [the LORD]! If we will walk in the fear of Yahuwah, we will gain the reward of wisdom! (Psalms 111:10).
“We do not have to create a conscience for ourselves. We are born with one, and no matter how much we may ignore it, we cannot silence its insistent demand that we do good, and that we avoid evil.” – Thomas Merton
“Happy is the man who casts from him all that can stain or burden his conscience.” – Thomas à Kempis
Faithful Obedience to Yahuwah’s Words
Faithful obedience to Yahuwah’s written WORD, and to the still, small voice of the Holy Spirit, is the first step in departing from evil!
Remember Yahushua’s example:
He humbled Himself by becoming obedient (Philippians 2:8a).
Though we may stumble at times and fail in our obedience to the Word of Yahuwah, our determination to understand, and to humbly return to obedience to Father’s Word, is a major way that we depart from evil.
Do not give up our commitment to walk in Yah’s ways!
We can ask Father to help us get back up! Ask for His mercy and grace to do the right thing!
Learning to be sensitive and obedient to the leadings of the Holy Spirit is a step-by-step process of learning the Word of Yahuwah, and growing in our faith and maturity.
Sometimes we fail. Yet, we need to maintain our resolve to always return to Father, always return to honouring Yahuwah and His Word, and not let the devil defeat us with self-pity, bitterness, or hard-heartedness.
Also, with Father’s grace, let us purpose to be humble and obedient to His Words by keeping The Ten Commandments! This is a primary way to depart from evil!
So let us seek to remember this vital KEY in gaining understanding! Let us begin praying for Yahuwah’s help to depart from evil.
This is a prayer Yahuwah wants to answer!
Understanding comes every time we make the choice to depart from evil — everytime we turn away from our iniquities!
Whenever Yahuwah gives us understanding, sometimes it comes like a slow, trickling stream. Then sometimes, it comes like a waterfall. Either way, we gain in confidence, maturity, and wisdom — and understanding!
But let us also remember to — heed the warnings.
If we continually resist doing the right thing and harden our heart to the nudges of the Holy Spirit, then we cross over into a different category of people. Unfortunately, a lot of people are in that category!
A fool hath no delight in understanding…. (Proverbs 18:2)
Yahuwah declares … “For my people are foolish; they know me not; they are stupid children; they have no understanding. They are ‘wise’ in doing evil! But how to do good, they know not.” (Jeremiah 4:22)
It is as sport to a fool to do mischief: but a man of understanding hath wisdom. (Proverbs 10:23)
These Scriptures are warnings for us to seek Yahuwah and ask His help!
It is the fool who avoids understanding, avoids responsibility, and resists knowing Yahuwah! It is a dangerous thing for us to resist Yahuwah, and to continue practicing evil (Psalms 34:16).
It is the fool who continues to love foolishness, who continues on in mischievousness [behaving recklessly, with ill-will]: It is abomination to fools to depart from evil! (Proverbs 13:19)
We need Father’s strength and grace to seek Him, and to obey His Word.
We need Father to help us heed the voice of our conscience, listening to the still, small voice of the Holy Spirit, confirming God’s Word to us.
Father is looking down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, that did SEEK God (Psalms 53:2)!
The Wise Will Seek To Get Understanding
Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. (Proverbs 4:7)
Gaining understanding is the pursuit of the WISE:
“The glory of a good man is the testimony of a good conscience. Therefore, keep your conscience good and you will always enjoy happiness, for a good conscience can bear a great deal and can bring joy even in the midst of adversity. But an evil conscience is ever restless and fearful.” – Thomas à Kempis
“Take this rule: whatever weakens your reason, impairs the tenderness of your conscience, obscures your sense of God, or takes off your relish of spiritual things; in short, whatever increases the strength and authority of your body over your mind, that thing is sin to you, however innocent it may be in itself.” — Susanna Wesley (Letter, June 8, 1725)
May we all learn to depart from evil — the vital KEY to gaining understanding!
- See the companion post: Trusting in Yahuwah with All Your Heart — Part 2
- For more information on departing from evil, see: Great Bible Study Teachings