Summary: Paul tells us to live up to what we have already attained. This is a crucial obligation of every believer. We must walk in the light that we have.
Play To Your Potential
-- Don’t worry about what you don’t understand.
"What I don’t understand about the Bible does not worry me; What I do understand does!"
--God gives understanding.
-to those who have ears to hear.
-to those who are "living up"
--Understanding follows obedience
The old timers use to say that we have an obligation to "walk in the light that we have." Paul says the same thing in Philippians 3:16. "Live up to what you have already attained." I reworded this from my basketball coaching days as "Playing up to your potential"
To play up to your potential you can’t worry about what you don’t understand. Paul says in this passage that if you differ with me on something, God will make it clear to you. Paul does not seem to be concerned that these Philippians don’t have full knowledge. Paul does not seem to be bent out of shape the these people don’t see eye to eye with him about everything. The principle remains the same" Walk in the light that you have." Don’t understand much about this Holy Spirit stuff. That’s ok, Just walk in the light that you have. Don’t understand much about this second coming stuff. Walk in the light… Don’t understand much about tithing. Just walk in the light… For every one thing in the Bible that you don not understand there must be 25 that you do. Walk in the light that you have. The statement by Twain is classic.
This passage also says that God gives understanding. "God will make it clear to you." That’s a good word for us preachers who get frustrated with our people. It’s God who gives the understanding. He gives it to those who have ears to hear. Preachers, you can elaborate much here on what it means to have ears to hear. The gospels are pretty plain here. The passage we are studying also says that he gives understanding to those who are living up to what they have already attained. That leads us to our last point.
Understanding follows obedience. Paul seems to say that God makes things clear to those who are walking in the light that they have. To those who are being obedient to what they know to be obedient to. Mark 4:22-25 is applicable here as is the parable of the talents.