Across the church I believe there is a deep and sincere desire for spiritual understanding. For years majority of the Lord’s people have been drawing from the same cisterns instead of the fountain of living waters.
Fountains are sources of fresh groundwater. They are figures commonly used in scripture to signify the free flow of life, truth and understanding.
Where fountains are scarce men build cisterns. Cisterns don’t offer an ever-flowing fresh supply. They represent spiritual nourishement confined and restricted by man. They serve as boundaries of spiritual wisdom and understanding.
Today we have an abundance of denominational cisterns from which many choose to draw but which offer no free free flow of the Spirit of life to satisfy the thirst within.
Unlike these cisterns, fresh spiritual understanding flows from depths unknown to man. And just as the cool spring bursting through the dry and scorched ground nourishes the earth so it is when the Lord awakens within us a fresh understanding.
Many of us can attest to the inspiration of the Lord when He first quickened our understanding enlightening our heart to a new hope, new desires, new ways of thinking, and a new awareness of reality. But only as these experiences grow richer and fuller will we begin to live out of the spiritual consciounsess of the life of Christ.
That is why in every soul that longs to press into the fullness of His life, God places a yearning for spiritual understanding. No man can enter into union with or become that which he cannot discern or perceive.
When the Lord Jesus offered His flesh and His blood to the disciples, that they might eat and drink and thereby enter into identification with Him, many turned away saying: “This is a hard saying; who can understand it?” (Joh. 6:60).
The disciples failed to hear what they heard. In them was fulfilled the prophecy that hearing they may hear and not understand (Mar. 4:12). Though they had followed the Lord and watched Him heal the sick, feed the multitudes and perform signs and wonders, their heart remained unreceptive. And what they failed to perceive, they failed to believe and assimilate into their being.
We read that from that time many of his disciples went back (returned to their old associations), and walked with Him no more. Correspondingly, Jesus states that to such He would not “commit Himself” (Joh. 2:24). Another translation reads that He would not “entrust Himself”. That is, He would not make known to them all His mind and will. He would not entrust them with the mysteries of the Kingdom. He would not reveal to them the full measure of His life and nature.
I believe the account of the disciples is not uncommon to the masses of Christians today who relate to God only in the outward things He is accomplishing in their gatherings and in their lives. These are a people who refuse to move beyond the outward forms and experiences in order to press into the inworking of His life.
When our sole desire is to know Him and to be transformed into all that He is, then our heart’s posture will always be: “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life”.
However, we will remain disciples in name only if we reject the word of the Lord that comes to us on a higher plane to draw us out of the state of being of the natural man, out from lower realms of external experience, out from the bonundaries of religious traditions, into a greater level of awareness of the power and glory of His life abiding within.
Dear reader, this invitation to eat His flesh and drink His blood is even now being extended to you. It is an invitation to a deeper level of vital fellowship and union with the Lord. It is an invitation to become as He is in your state of being so that the life of Christ may manifest in you.
Again, let me say that there can be no union with that which we cannot hear and understand. Speaking to this, Jesus said: “When anyone hears the word of the Kingdom, and DOES NOT UNDERSTAND it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart” (Mat. 13:19).
In the parable of the sower, Jesus identified four types of ground each representing levels of hearing, understanding and appropriating the word of the Kingdom. The quality of each ground was not only determined by its capacity to receive the seed but to allow the seed to germinate that it may sprout, grow and ultimately bear fruit.
Similarly, the capacity of our hearts to bear the fruit of the Kingdom depends not only our hearing but our understanding. Understanding is what sets in motion the spiritual germination of the seed of God’s word.
Jesus said: “But he who received seed on the good ground is he who HEARS the word and UNDERSTANDS it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.” (Mat. 13:23)
We can see then that in the economy of the Kingdom understanding and ignorance are not intellectual distinctions but the difference between fruitfulness and barrenness, life and death. Whenever our spiritual understanding is clouded we will not only remain in ignorance but be estranged and alienated from His life.
Concerning this, Paul wrote to the Ephesians: “Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart” (Eph. 4:18).
The Ephesians were a group of believers who lacked understanding of the riches of their spiritual blessing in Christ. They were believers who were devoted to their external Christian duty all the while unaware that they had become divorced from His life.
Similar to those disciples who rejected His flesh and blood, the Ephesians had abandoned their first love (Rev. 2:4). Contrary to common teaching, our first love is not the euphoric experience of our spiritual infancy (which some folks encourage us to revive) but the very life of God in Christ. His life is the chief or principal love that is first in rank, influence and honor. Thus, it was His life which the Ephesians had forsaken. It’s no surprise then that the Lord offers the overcomer of the Ephesus condition “to eat of the tree of life” (Rev. 2:7).
When God prepares our hearts to receive Christ as our very life then will we gladly partake of the tree of life and of His flesh and blood. To eat is to understand and receive His words that are Spirit and life.
Dear saint, the single greatest purpose of God in our generation; the conformity of the many-membered body of Christ into the image of His Son and their manifestation as the sons of God calls for hearts yielded to spiritual wisdom and understanding, for only then can we receive Him in all His fullness.
May God enlighten the eyes of your understanding and draw you into the depths of His life!