Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Conversations with Peter - Part THREE - Spiritual Understanding

Tuesday, July 1, 2014
So don’t lose a minute in building on what you’ve been given, complementing your basic faith with good character, spiritual understanding, alert discipline, passionate patience, reverent wonder, warm friendliness, and generous love, each dimension fitting into and developing the others.  With these qualities active and growing in your lives, no grass will grow under your feet, no day will pass without its reward as you mature in your experience of our Master Jesus.  Without these qualities you can’t see what’s right before you, oblivious that your old sinful life has been wiped off the books.   2 Peter 1:5 - 9 (TMSG)
We are talking with the Apostle Peter – fisherman, follower of Jesus, fisher of men, Bible chapter author, martyred disciple of Christ, and a very good friend of mine!
The big fisherman is helping us understand the kinds of qualities that undergird the life of a disciple.  If it’s anyone who would know how to overcome the frailties of human nature, it’s certainly Peter.  He was the one who constantly spoke before his brain was engaged in spiritual understanding; the one who was ready to grab a sword when he should have been praying, and He was the one who ultimately denied the Christ he pledged to follow to the death! 
Peter knew firsthand what it was like to fail at every spiritual discipline.  Yet he eventually found himself at the very head of the movement to spread the Gospel.  That should tell us that no matter how badly we’ve messed up, Christ can use us in His Kingdom’s work.
And isn’t THAT good news!!!

So What is spiritual understanding, and How do I get it?

Spiritual understanding is a personal, intimate knowledge of Jesus Christ.  It’s not just general knowledge.  Anyone who has a computer and can type in “Google” can gain a world of general knowledge. 
But spiritual understanding is more than that.  Spiritual understanding is a matter of sensing how God moves and what His will is prodding you to do/say/be.  This is the kind of understanding which is coupled with good character, the moral integrity which makes power powerfully good.
If I have a stick of dynamite in my hand I can use it to blow up a train track and be the cause of lives lost and mass hysteria.  Or I can use it to blast a tunnel through solid rock so water can be via-ducted to a whole village in a third world setting.  Spiritual understanding holds well the power of God.
How does one come by this “add-on” to basic faith and good character?  The source of all spiritual understanding for humans is God’s Holy Spirit.

For You, Today

Peter tells us no day will pass without reward when we exercise spiritual understanding. 
Take some time today to pray for God’s Spirit to have all of you; that way, in whatever way God wants to use you today – He will have no trouble imparting spiritual understanding and wisdom into your heart and mind.
That’s a conversation worth having!

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