Spiritual UnderstandingNew Every Morning | April 27, 2018
GOD INTRODUCES UNDERSTANDING, also referred to as intellect, as “the most noble aspect of the soul.” For God, understanding includes rationality but is more than that. Spiritual understanding is not reason alone but reason coupled with faith.
God uses the eye as an analaogy to explain the role of understanding. We all know what our eyes do. They perceive images. Just as a camera needs a flash to be of any use in the dark, we need light in order to see. For both sight and understanding, we use the term perceive.
Our eyes perceive the physical world, and our souls perceive the spiritual world. But the intellect, like the eye, does not produce its own light. It requires an external light source. The intellect is the eye of the soul, but it cannot see without the light of faith.
Reason alone cannot lead us to faith; rather, reason with faith leads us to spiritual understanding.
From pages 75 of Deeply Rooted: Knowing Self, Growing in God by Christopher Maricle. Copyright © 2016 by Christopher Maricle. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.
How would you describe the relationship between reason and faith? Share your thoughts.
Beloved, since God loved us so much, we also ought to love one another.
1 John 4:11, NRSV
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This week we remember: Anselm
(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
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Reason makes me think of discernment. Reason in the non-spiritual sense makes me think of being logical and having common sense when making decisions. Spiritually – we reason with not only our noggin, but also with our Spirit-led heart…hence, where faith comes in. Faith allows us the ability to step beyond the “common sense” of the world, to allow things to “capture” us and to be drawn to the Trinitarian relationship. Faith is knowing that I know that I know…things that are non-sense to the world.
I am so grateful for two things which occurred yesterday at school. The first – a student (I think I have mentioned her here before – she is in my first class, she is a Believer and we have talked a bit about our faith) came up to me after class and asked me to attend her baptism in June. Almost moved me to tears. And secondly, another student…also a senior, was beaming as he walked towards my class. He got accepted into med school at Baylor – his “dream” school. He had been wait listed. He profusely thanked me for the letter of recommendation I wrote for him. It did my soul so good to see his sheer joy.
Connie – prayers of consolation for you during this loss of your cousin. May you sense Our Father’s presence.
Very much appreciate this reflection and its explanation of spiritual understanding. I am very much in agreement with these statements:
“The intellect is the eye of the soul, but it cannot see without the light of faith.
Reason alone cannot lead us to faith; rather, reason with faith leads us to spiritual understanding.” Both reason and faith are needed. Faith from the heart and reason from the mind. The reason needed for spiritual understanding is the kind that tells us right from wrong, recognizes the truth, confirms our faith. Faith trusts in things the world does not know or considers foolish, but in reality are true and essential, life giving and sustaining. Thank You, Lord for the gifts of faith and reason that enable us to have spiritual understanding.
Wonderful news from Jill’s school. Amazing to be accepted to medical school as a senior in high school. Having believers in your classroom and sharing in their spiritual journey is a great blessing.
Prayers for Marcy, Rusty, Heidi and all who come to the UR. We witness, testify to the wonders of the Lord, share our lives, are loved, and comforted.
Thank You, Lord.
An enlightening devotional passage about faith and reason. I’m reminded that historically, they were seen as incompatible. Historians felt the physical couldn’t be explained unless by scientific means; faith was not a component. Now, we see that the light of God enhances our reason, can add to our spiritual acceptance of Him. Thanks to Jill and Robert for their further explanation of this .
Safe travels to you, Andrea, as you take a trip with friends.
Robert, blessings to you, Erich and Annalise. Hoping your new tenent will work.So sorry to hear of your cousin’s passing, Connie. Blessings to your family during this time. Your sharing of your students was uplifting, Jill. Blessings on their hard work and faith.
Thank you all for prayers for my neighbors. Dennis is back home, with a new anxiety medicine. Hopefully this will help him and his caregivers.
Blessings to all our UR family. We support each other in all things.
Wow, I had to read this several times and let it all sink in. Thank yu Jill, Robert, and Betsy for your thoughtful and thought provoking insights. I am reminded of those who refuse to believe because all of the Bible’s words cannot be physically proven. I am also reminded of the many spiritual concepts that we mere humans do not have the capacity to fully understand, such as the holy trinity.
Jill, so wonderful that God sends you upifting moments throughout your day. How reassuring and a way to let you know that you make a differnce for your students.
Robert, prayers for you and Erich and Pearl. I pray you hear from Annaliese and that she is doing better.
Betsy, prayers for you and your family. Thankful for the good news about your neighbor.
Connie, my condolences for you and your family for the death of your cousin.
Andrea, prayers for safe and enjoyable travel. I pray that you are able to leave your issues with your daughter at home and simply enjoy your time away.
Blessings and prayers for and thank you to all of the UR family.
Wherever you are it is your own friends who make your world.
Julie, thanks for your thoughts, prayers, and the quote. Have emails from Anneliese and she is doing better. will need to find a new pain management doctor as her long time doctor moved away. The new tenant should be helpful as there is a commitment to help with garden and yard work.
I really like today’s reflection.It helped me a lot and the comments just made it all the better.
Thank you, dear Reflection Family, for your thoughts of me. You ALL are such a blessing.
“Reason and Faith”…….My faith is deeply inbedded in my soul and reason-well, I have no reason to doubt.
Connie, your final sentence really summed up all of today’s topic in the neatest way. Thank you!
Prayers for you and your family at the passing of your cousin. Like many important events words often do not fully express what our hearts feel. Your faith will keep you.
Grateful for the weekends
Blessings to all and may all be well
May our faith increase day by day
Blessings to you and your family!