Today we will be discussing going deeper into God’s understanding. This means that we will not lean upon our own understanding, but rather on God’s. There are times when God calls us to go against man’s understanding. These are places where what we are doing makes no sense to “man”. Many years ago now, I graduated with a degree in radiologic science (I took x-rays). I loved my job and enjoyed serving the patients. But, I had a greater desire than serving my patients. God had placed a desire within me to be home with my baby.
And so, I eventually quit my job and stayed at home with our little one. Over time as we kept having babies, it became harder to keep up on my continuing education and I felt God prompting me to let it all go. I realized that I had been defining myself by my degree and God was releasing me from that. After all this, I ended up running in to a teacher I had during my schooling. After learning what I had done, she went away shaking her head in disbelief. She couldn’t understand why I would do that!
There will be times when people don’t understand what it is that God is calling us to do. And that needs to be okay with us. We are leaning not on our own understanding, nor on someone else’s, but upon God’s. In Luke 5: 4-5, we find Simon Peter and Jesus conversing. Jesus says to Peter, “Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” Peter responded that they had been out all night toiling and had caught no fish. But, he also said, “Nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net.”
It made no sense to Peter. They had already been out fishing at the regular time to catch fish in the regular spot in which they caught them. Now Jesus was asking them to go out at the wrong time and in the wrong place. But, Peter did it. He wasn’t leaning on his own understanding, but rather the understanding that Jesus had. We see the outcome of this launching out into the deep in verse 6 of the same chapter, “And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish and their nets were breaking.”
We launch out into the deep not based on our own understanding, but rather in trust that God will meet us there with His understanding. Proverbs 3: 5 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding.” We are to have confidence or trust in the Lord with all of who we are. And we are not to lean upon our own understanding. The Hebrew word for lean is sha’an and means to support oneself. The word for understanding means to separate mentally. We are not to figure it all out in our minds and then support ourselves with that understanding.
Peter acknowledged that they had toiled and caught nothing, but then he stepped out in faith. He chose not to lean on his own understanding but rather to have confidence in God. He chose to launch out into the deep with Jesus and because he did this, he got to see what Jesus could do. If we rely upon our own understanding, then we get what our own understanding will do. But, if we rely upon God’s understanding, we get what God can do.
How do we go deep in God’s understanding? We reject our own and accept His instead. We stop trying to come up with a plan that is acceptable to God and instead let Him make the plan. We begin to understand what Isaiah 55: 8 says, “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways.” We launch out into the deep leaning upon His understanding…and then we get to see what He will do!