If you have been a follower of Christ for any length of time, you are familiar with the numerous passages that speak of faith. In fact, without faith it is impossible to please God! Most certainly faith is of utmost importance.
Recently in a time away studying and seeking the Lord, the Spirit impressed the words “spiritually apprehend”. The context of what I was reading and reflecting on spoke of the need to spiritually apprehend the meaning behind the scriptures.
Apprehend katalambano properly signifies “to lay hold of;” then, “to lay hold of so as to possess as one’s own, to appropriate.” Hence it has the same twofold meaning as the Eng. “to apprehend;”
(a) “to seize upon, take possession of,”[i]
Perhaps we see faith as believing, which it certainly is. Nevertheless, does not believing include apprehending?
I think of it as eating, chewing on, swallowing, and at last digesting. In digestion the body absorbs all that is nutritious and assimilates the nutrients for healthy growth. Is this not a natural illustration of what spiritual apprehension will do? We lay hold of God’s truth and possess it as our own to appropriate it, lay claim to it for ourselves.
Over the years I have reflected on how we often respond to music that speaks of God’s desire toward us or ours toward him. We raise our hands in hopeful expectation. Therein can be a confusion between hope and faith.
How often are we, with arms raised or just in our hearts, reaching, stretching toward God in the hopeful expectation of a blessing. Often we are hoping for things that we already have in Christ. We are trying to receive when we need to apprehend the truth of what we have already been given.
Apprehend it in the true sense of the word. We need to allow it to enter our innermost being and trust that as we keep eating the fruit of the tree of life that it will assimilate and provide the necessary strength and nutrition that will cause us to rise up into all we have in Christ.
I believe in the promises of God. I believe in the fullness of all Jesus Christ has accomplished for me through His death and resurrection. I have stood on those promises and often said of sickness that I have the right to health. I also state that should God allow otherwise; I still want to come before His throne standing on His Word.
And yet, when the Holy Spirit quickened the term ‘spiritually apprehend’, I became aware of something else. I recognized a subtle, accusing pressure, often around my faith stand. It seems to whisper like a breeze “Have you seen any change? Do you have any testimony to validate that? You can’t claim that if you have not seen the results consistently. Prove it!”
I also recognized it was quite possible that, in some areas, I was not in faith but in hope. Now hope is a good thing, it is the anchor of faith. An anchor prevents a craft from drifting due to wind or current. Hope keeps us stable, able to remain fixed through the winds and currents of life that could take us off course. Faith on the other hand activates things. It is the catalyst that puts what we believe in motion, releasing the substance of things unseen. [ii]
I saw the need to change my position. I needed to spiritually apprehend the facts, while refusing the hushed whispers of doubt and accusation. I needed to not just proclaim health and healing, but swallow and digest that fruit of the tree of life. I knew that I already have all that I need through Christ, but now I saw the need for an adjustment to my spiritual apprehension. They are! I needed to move from hope into faith, by faith!
May we all continually move beyond simple believing, into spiritually apprehending the fullness of our beliefs.
[i] Vine’s Greek New Testment Dictionary
[ii] Hebrews 11:1