Give Me Understanding

Give Me Understanding

Understanding God’s Word is a journey of discovery. As we travel with Him, we gain more and more insight into His character, truths, expectations, purposes and plans. And the more we understand about God, the more we understand about ourselves and others. But this journey of discovery is not a mental exercise – it is a process of transformation and application. As we learn and grow, we become and do.

Knowledge of God is a gift from God. Understanding of God is enabled by God. It is prideful to suggest or believe that our understanding of God is achieved through our own intelligence or ability. The realities of God are beyond our human nature. Without the Holy Spirit of God, we are incapable of grasping and applying the spiritual truths of God.

A Need
  • 1 Corinthians 2:14 But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
    • Human effort alone will never lead to the uncovering of spiritual truth. The gift of understanding is enabled by the power and presence of God’s Holy Spirit. Don’t give into the lie that you are smart enough to figure out God. He reveals Himself to you as you diligently and humbly seek Him.

A Promise
  • James 1:5-6 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind.
    • Understanding and application of God’s truths are not limited to a select few. God has promised that He will generously and graciously grant wisdom to all those who love Him and ask Him for it; but this promise is conditional – you must truly believe and trust that God will grant what He has promised in order to receive it.

King Solomon is a great example of these truths.
  • 1 Kings 3:9 Therefore give to Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people, that I may discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?”
    • After making a sacrifice to God, the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream and asked him, ‘What shall I give you?’ Solomon, recognizing his own limitations, asked in faith for God to give him understanding. And not only did he ask in faith, but he asked with the right motivation (because he wanted the ability to effectively serve God and lead God’s people).
  • 1 Kings 3:11-12 Then God said to him: “Because you have asked this thing, and have not asked long life for yourself, nor have asked riches for yourself, nor have asked the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern justice, 12 behold, I have done according to your words; see, I have given you a wise and understanding heart, so that there has not been anyone like you before you, nor shall any like you arise after you.
    • God was faithful and honored Solomon’s request; He gave him a wise and understanding heart.

There are five verses in Psalm 119 where the writer asks God for understanding. Examining the motives of these requests reveals some of the blessings and responsibilities that accompany God-given understanding.

Understanding Leads to Diligence
  • Psalm 119:34 Give me understanding, and I shall keep Your law; Indeed, I shall observe it with my whole heart.
    • We pay attention to what we understand. We heed the warnings and believe the promises. We respect the boundaries and acknowledge the responsibilities. We fulfill the obligations, realize the benefits and honor the One who establishes the standards.

Understanding Leads to Ownership
  • Psalm 119:73 Your hands have made me and fashioned me; Give me understanding, that I may learn Your commandments.
    • Once you understand something, no one can take that from you – you own it! Ownership brings responsibility. Our Heavenly Father expects us to responsibly apply what we understand about Him – for His glory and the benefit of others.

Understanding Leads to Accountability
  • Psalm 119:125 I am Your servant; Give me understanding, That I may know Your testimonies.
    • God knows our hearts and minds. There is no denying what we understand – we can’t claim ignorance. We are slaves to the truth whether we acknowledge that or not. We are all slaves of something – what better Master could we hope for? His gift of understanding makes us His servants.

Understanding Leads to Relationship
  • Psalm 119:144 The righteousness of Your testimonies is everlasting; Give me understanding, and I shall live.
    • Everyone has a relationship with God, they are either serving Him or rebelling against Him. God longs to be in a right relationship with every person He has created. Understanding of God opens the door to right relationship with Him.

Understanding Leads to Perspective
  • Psalm 119:169 Let my cry come before You, O Lord; Give me understanding according to Your word.
    • There is no limit to the application of God’s eternal truths. As we grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, understanding God helps us to see and appreciate the bigger picture of His love, desires and intentions.

I pray that these final verses will help stimulate your desire to understand and serve our loving, gracious, merciful Father.
  • 1 John 5:20 And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.
  • 1 Corinthians 12:7-8 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: 8 for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit,
  • James 3:13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom.


Father God, please give us understanding; Godly understanding that enables a life that honors You. Teach us, change us, mold us and guide us. Empty us of pride, grant us Your wisdom, open our eyes to Your ways. I pray that Godly understanding will transform lives. I pray to You Father in the name of Your Son, my Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.