The Problem With My Understanding

This post is a reflection of the Download the Application series. Pastor Matthew shares how to understand the word of God and how our understanding can be problematic.

The girls officially have their first pet! They were goldfish we won at a fair. Me and my wife thought these will be great first pet for the girls because goldfish are:

  1. Generally, low-maintenance and
  2. A great chance for the girls to learn about responsibility too.

We found out really soon that when you place 3 goldfish in a bowl, the water gets dirty real fast.

Not a problem. I got a 55-gallon fish tank from a neighbors garage sale. It came with the filters and everything. Sweet. But then the filters had stopped working. And the water started getting cloudy.

This is when things started to get way over my head and I asked myself what I got myself into. I felt that Im just not winning here! It wouldve have been easy to just throw everything and declare the goldfish went to fish heaven but I couldnt imagine how the girls would react.

So I persisted. I realized I threw some things that the filters needed but after an adjustment here and there I got the filters working again.

We needed so much more than a simple fish bowl!

My understanding is flawed

In our Christian lives, when we encounter bumps, it is easy for us to just say, Forget it. I tried it and it does not work. Im just throwing the rest of it out. When we hear a good message and then we apply it but we realize were still missing something. We cannot throw out the destination. We cannot throw out God just because we didnt get all the pieces together yet.

If something is missing, dont throw out things. Keep pursuing.

There was nothing wrong with the pieces I got. Nothing wrong with the goldfish. Nothing wrong with the bowl or the filter either. It was how I put it all together that was not right.

The problem was my understanding of how things work.

4 Steps in Studying the Word of God

Pastor David Platt has four basic steps to understand the teachings in the Bible:

  1. Observe
  2. Understand context
  3. How does this relate in my life?
  4. How do I apply in my life?

For more details, you can watch his Study the Bible Series.

Bible verses in this sermon:

Nehemiah 8:10

10 Then he said to them, “Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.

Exodus 15:1-5

15 Then Moses and the children of Israel sang this song to the Lord, and spoke, saying:

“I will sing to the Lord,
For He has triumphed gloriously!
The horse and its rider
He has thrown into the sea!
2 The Lord is my strength and song,
And He has become my salvation;
He is my God, and I will praise Him;
My father’s God, and I will exalt Him.
3 The Lord is a man of war;
The Lord is His name.
4 Pharaoh’s chariots and his army He has cast into the sea;
His chosen captains also are drowned in the Red Sea.
5 The depths have covered them;
They sank to the bottom like a stone.

Meditate in the word of God until the truth is resounding inside of you. The more you understand Christs vision for you, the more you can make adjustment to your path. Remember that we will make adjustments for the rest of our life.

As interpreted by Cherry Mayola, assistant to Pastor Matthew 

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