Tag Archives: understanding

An Understanding Heart

Throwback Thursday is a new feature I’m using to help build some margin into my schedule to pursue other writing ventures. Each Thursday I’ll be bringing you a previously written devotional that still speaks encouragement to us from God’s Word.

Ever since I was a child, I’ve been taught that Solomon asked God for wisdom. I tried looking up the scripture where he asked God for “wisdom”, but the Bible doesn’t put it that way. In I Kings 3:9, Solomon asked God for an understanding heart so he could judge the people well. In essence he was asking for wisdom, but as I dug deeper, he wanted more than just wisdom. He wanted to do well in God’s sight and to care for His people.

When I looked up the word “understanding” as it was used in this context, it had three meanings. The first was to hear. Solomon wanted a heart that could hear not only God, but what others were saying too. He didn’t want to just rely on what his ears heard, he wanted to really hear what people meant. Wisdom comes in not just hearing what is spoken. It comes when we can discern the true intent of the words spoken.

The next meaning of “understanding” was to listen. Almost everyone is born with the ability to hear, but only a few ever learn to listen. I believe that God is always speaking to us. We hear Him, but we don’t really listen to what it is that He’s telling us or showing us. Solomon was concerned about the ability of his heart to listen to God. He wanted God to know that he understood the only way to truly govern the people well would be if He could listen to His voice.

The third meaning of “understanding” in this context is to obey. It’s not enough to hear or listen to God. We have to obey what He tells us. I’m sure that Solomon had been told of Saul’s disobedience and of God’s response in I Samuel 15:22. Obedience is better than sacrifice. God is more concerned with our obedience to His word than in our obedience to religious rituals. Anyone can walk through the motions of a ritual, but only the wisest among us obey a God at all costs.

Wisdom was a by product of what he truly wanted. Hearing the voice of God, listening to what He really said and acting on it from his heart is what made Solomon truly wise. You and I can experience that wisdom. Solomon’s request for an understanding heart is one that you and I can ask for today. James 1:5 says, “If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and He will give it to you.” God would love to give each of us the wisdom that comes from an understanding heart.

Photo by Mayur Gala on Unsplash

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Under Construction

When I was a teenager, I got a summer job working construction. It was hard work to do in the Texas summer heat. I got to see how houses are built. Everything had to be built in order. The foundation crew had to set the form for the foundation, then the plumbers would come put their pipes in, the concrete would then be poured, the framers showed up after it cured, electrical would then show up before the dry wall and so on. Each crew had a part to play and a time to do their work so the house could be move in ready.

Our lives are constantly under construction as well. There are things going on that have to happen in order for God to build His master plan in us. Just like building a house, there can be delays. Things don’t always go according to the plan the way we think it should either. Working in construction and being under construction can be difficult and trying at times. The great news is that God is still working in you and in me. He still has a plan for our lives and He’s working it out. He’s not just building our lives as individuals either. We are being built together as one.

Ephesians 2:22 says, “In union with him you too are being built together with all the others into a place where God lives through his Spirit” (GNT). We are each a part of the same construction project. Knowing that, we need to give each other some grace. We’re all under construction and we’re all being built together. Your life may be farther along in the process than someone else’s. Be a person who helps them through the processes you’ve been through. Look for ways to edify others instead of slowing their progress. We’re all a work on progress. Let’s give God and others patience because we need it too.

Photo by Randy Fath on Unsplash

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