"By faith we understand..." Hebrews 11:3
If we don't understand the Word of God when we hear it, it won't take root in our lives. It becomes seed sown by the wayside as described in Matthew 13:19, so understanding is important. Understanding not only involves the ability of the physical ear to hear, but the brain's ability to interpret the words. So, understanding is a two-step process of physically hearing the sound, and then interpreting the words/language. Pretty simply--the words find their way to you, and you know the language so you understand. However, to properly understand the meaning of God's Words, we need to learn His language and definitions so we interpret them correctly. His thoughts are not like ours."So faith comes from hearing..." Romans 10:17
For example, you might define patience as an intense time of suffering through a difficult situation. You come up with that definition based on past experience and what you've been taught. Yet, another person may define patience as stepping out of the limitations of time and into God's eternal realm where the things that are not yet seen are accessed. Two very different viewpoints.
Paul told the Corinthians if a bugle sounds and the tune is unfamiliar to the soldiers, the hearers won't know to prepare themselves for battle. We too, need to learn God's language so we may properly understand the meaning of what He's saying, and live accordingly. Learning the language of God involves reprogramming our brain to think like Him.
This reprogramming or renewing of our mind means that not only do understand His language, but we also accept His thoughts as truth, and judge our prior thoughts and experiences according to His truth. Normally, your brain will judge what it hears according to what it (you) already accept as the truth. It will judge according to the "pre-existing conditions" that influence your thoughts. If what you hear conflicts with what you consider to be true, you won't accept the "new" truth UNLESS you are humble enough to admit you may be wrong about something, and seek the Lord for understanding, being willing to accept His thoughts as truth.
From the time you were in the womb, you could hear the sounds around you. Words were spoken which, as you grew and experienced life, defined your understanding of those words. Often, we come to false conclusions because of erroneous teaching, misconceptions, and misunderstanding of events. With these kinds of deceptions lodged in a person's mind, they will reject what is contrary, even if it's the truth. It takes a heart willing to surrender to the truth in order to live free from deception.
To live in the ways of God, we all need a renewal of our minds after we are born again. Daily meditation of the Word will reprogram our brain. Even after that, there may be times we discover strongholds/deceptions that need to be pulled down out of our thinking. But for that to happen, we must be willing to surrender to God's truth. Praying in the Holy Spirit also helps to keep us from rejecting God's words and overcome misconceptions.
But there's more! Not only do we flush out the old, erroneous thought patterns, we also learn how to partner our thoughts and memories with the Holy Spirit to access the eternal realms of heaven where fresh new memories replace the old, deceptive strongholds. How do we do that? Not only with our heart, but with our memories.
When you dream, you create memories. The same thing happens when you activate your imagination--you create memories. These memories are just as powerful as ones created from experience. All memories are powerful. They are eternal. They are the substance of the heart. Like faith, they are the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
The Bible tells us that the Holy Spirit brings things to our remembrance, and shows us things to come--memories of the past and the future. These memories are outside of the defines of time. They are in the eternal realm. The thing is, we can intentionally access this eternal realm. We use our thoughts and memories/imagination to do so. We're told to bring every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. Rather than waiting for God to do something for us or to us, we can take the initiative.
Take a minute to close your eyes and imagine a room of your home (that you are not sitting in). Envision the walls, doors, windows, furniture, floor and get as detailed as you want. Now do the same thing with a Scripture. For example, Revelation 21 describes the New Jerusalem. In Revelation 22 he describes the river coming from the throne of God. Read these Scriptures and envision what it looks like. In the same way, you can close your eyes and behold the Lord. As you do, you are changed into His image as Paul said in 2 Corinthians 3:18.
Learning to do this will cause you to live an overcoming life. Don't think that the battles you face are not important. Every time you overcome a personal battle in your life, it affects the spiritual climate around you--you are weakening strongholds of the enemy. This affects your life, but also what is around you and what you are praying for--your family, workplace, community and nations. We need you to learn to access the heavenly realm for the kingdom of God! Remember that we...
"...look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal." 2 Corinthians 4:18
Other Scriptures: Isaiah 55:8, 2 Corinthians 4:1-4, Romans 12:1-2, 2 Corinthians 10:3-5, 2 Thessalonians 2:10-13, John 14:26, John 16:13, Hebrews 11:1, Joshua 1:8, Jude 20, Ecclesiastes 3:11