I recently read a discussion about learning God’s way, by faith, instead of solely by the intellect, which is where I – and probably many of you – generally have learned to learn. One of the points that was made was that faith does not require understanding to function. This really set me on a new track of contemplation because, through most of my experience, I have relied on intellectual understanding to fully grasp something I’m learning. So how do you learn without understanding?
As I was considering this, I got a quick flash of insight I’d like to share with you. Accepting a truth by faith is choosing to believe a truth we are initially exposed to rather as a sketch or line drawing. A sketch or line drawing gives us the basis to visualize what something might look like although there may not be a lot of detail to such a drawing. We get the basic idea of the truth, like the reality the line drawing represents, and that gives us enough to grasp it, perhaps to choose to believe it, although there is much we don’t yet understand. As we move forward with our sketchy grasp of that truth, experience and revelation from the Holy Spirit then fill in the details, like color and texture fill in the details of a line drawing, and eventually we have understanding. Our understanding becomes more and more complete and clear as time passes and we receive more revelation and have more experience relating to that truth, just as a picture looks more and more like whatever it is that it portrays, the more detail is added The details don’t really change what we see, but they add to and enrich the image, or the understanding, of what we first saw in a very limited way.
This was a huge revelation for me. That certainly doesn’t mean I fully understand (there’s that intellect again) or can necessarily be completely secure in my ability to learn this way, but it gave me a new conceptualization of how to learn by faith, as God intends us to learn spiritual truths. I hope it will be helpful to you as well.
Blessings to you as we both are on the journey to learn to learn by faith, and with our hearts rather than our heads!