What to pray for?

I came across the word “insight” recently, defined as the understanding of a specific cause and effect within a specific situation.  In a world that has changed so much over the last three years, having insight would be a real advantage.  Insight is also described as an understanding of the inner workings of things.  It also refers to having insight into oneself.  Psychologists say insight is when there is the sudden discovery of a correct solution following incorrect attempts based on trial and error.

An “Ah-ha!” moment!

The ability to see what you could not see before, or hear what you could not hear before.

To come to a knowledge or understanding that you did not have before, a perspective or vision that is new to you.  Who would not want that?  Realistically, everyone of us can be in the dark, lost and needing some form of insight into our lives. Insight sounds like a breakthrough to me.  A new understanding that brings about change when one is actually stuck.  I want insight.  How does one get it?

Deeper hearing would result in spiritual hearing and deeper seeing would result in spiritual seeing.

Jesus defined a lack of insight as follows: someone who is: “ever hearing but never understanding…. Ever seeing but never perceiving.”   Matthew 13:14

This passage comes just after the Parable of the Four Soils and Jesus’s disciples asked Him why He taught in parables.  Jesus explained that he was not hiding truth from sincere seekers, but if they were receptive to spiritual truths (spiritually hungry) they would understand spiritual illustrations. For all others, it would just be a good story.

Wanting insight is a choice.

Jesus goes on to point out that:

“Whoever has will be given more, and have in abundance.  Whoever does not have, even that which he has will be taken from him.” 

So whoever has spiritual insight, will be given more to the level of abundance (a great harvest from the seeds of truth planted in the soil of a receptive heart).  But whoever does not have spiritual insight, even that which he has will be taken away from him, not by God himself, but by the enemy (represented by the birds) who eat the seeds of truth that is not taking root in the heart.

Jesus longed for people who would: “see with their eyes…hear with their ears… understand with their hearts and turn…I would heal them.” (Matt 13:15.)  Jesus longs to bring about healing in our lives.

Gaining insight is a vital part of our spiritual growth; it is part of preparing our hearts for the truth to take root and our lives to be productive.

In Hebrews 5:11 we find a group of people who lacked insight despite hours and hours of good teaching and thousands of opportunities to gain insight.  They are described as “spiritually immature” needing baby milk instead of solid food.  The reason for their spiritual state is described in the NIV as being “slow to learn.”  The King James says: “dull of hearing” and the Message: “picked up this bad habit of not listening.”  But I love the Amplified: “dull in your [spiritual] hearing and sluggish [even slothful in achieving spiritual insight.]”

Spiritual maturity is the result of gaining spiritual insight from scriptural truths (hearing, seeing and understanding). 

Therefore all of us should long for spiritual insight so that we may mature and grow up in our relationship with the Lord.  The passage goes on to say that these spiritually mature have “trained themselves” through constant use of the word.  They have not waited for others to teach them, or train them, but have taken responsibility for their spiritual growth, they themselves have been responsible for their own growth.  They read the word of God on a constant basis and apply it to their lives.

The result is that they are characterized by being able to discern between good and evil.  They are able to discern their personal life path according to scripture and make correction.  They are able to recognize temptation before it traps them.  They are able to discern between truth and false teaching, as well as the correct and incorrect use of scripture.

Are you a person like this, or are we like the man in James 1:23 “who looks at his face in a mirror and after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like?” 

Spiritual growth does carry with it our responsibility to engage in the word, our bibles are not to be neglected.

James 1:22 tells us to not “merely listen to the word and so deceive ourselves, we are to do what it says.”

I am praying for spiritual insight, clear guidance and direction from the Word of God like I have never had before.  A spiritual A-ha moment that will change the direction of my life.  I choose not to merely see and hear the word, but to practice and use the word, so that I gain insight from it.  Then to use this insight, to find practical ways to apply it into my life, so that I may become spiritually mature.  Have you been challenged?

What you praying for?

Lord I am asking for insight in this year.  Help me to spend time in my bible, so that the Holy Spirit can teach me and show me what I need to understand from scripture.  Help me not to just read it or hear it, but to meditate on it, apply it and use it creatively in my life.  I declare that I am growing in my spiritual life because I am constantly using the word of God in my life.  Thank you Lord that I am able to read my bible whenever I want and grow from the insights I receive.

If you enjoyed this post, also see:

A Vital Spiritual Discipline

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Don’t Nibble, Eat!

Five Obstacles to Spiritual Growth