Not Just Any Book
For any other book, all that would be needed is to simply open and read. But the Bible shouldn’t be treated this way, because it isn’t like any other kind. This book alone contains the records of our history. How To Study The Bible Pt. 1 | Bible Summary It holds the truths of God and Jesus Christ. It allows us to understand salvation, among other vital key terms we need to know.
Not Focused On Our Relationship With Christ
Multiple times in scripture, both in Old and New Testament, we are given the words “ears that do not hear,” and “eyes that do not see.” Within scripture, there are secrets, keys if you will, to understanding God, Christ and the Holy Spirit. If our hearts are not right, or if we are simply reading the lines to feel “accomplished” that we read, we won’t see these secrets.
(NIV) Colossians 1:26-27, “the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the Lord’s people. To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”
People can go to church. They can go to Bible study, Sunday school, and hear sermons preached. But if we aren’t opened to the truth, it will go right over our heads. A majority of it relates to us not understanding what we claim to believe in. If we only use other people to teach us scripture, but not spend our own time with God’s word, then it is much easier to fall away.
(NIV) John 20:31, “But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in His name.”
Believing Starts With Prayer
Belief takes effort. Claiming to “know” is not enough. Knowing and believing are not the same. Believing is a form of trust, something we apply to our lives. Therefore, in order to be able to apply the word of God to our lives, we need to be willing to hear it. This is why prayer is so important.
(ISV) Colossians 4:02, “Devote yourselves to prayer. Be alert and thankful when you pray.”
If we can’t spend time to talk to God, then why would we be able to hear His word?
(I’ve covered prayer in the series, Layers of Prayer if you are interested in a deeper understanding of prayer. Layers of Prayer Pt. 1 | Outer Layer)
Prayer allows God in our heart. He gives us confidence through it. These are all pieces we need before we go into scripture. Therefore, every time before a scripture reading, make it a priority to pray to God before you open the Bible. Ask for these things.
1. Ask for God’s direction.
(NIV) Psalm 119:133, “Direct my footsteps according to Your word; let no sin rule over me.”
Ask that He directs you in whatever portion of scripture you are reading.. Whatever God wants you to know right now, ask for Him to guide you to those scriptures.
2. Ask that God opens your eyes to the Truth.
(NLT) John 17:17, “Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth.”
Many people, who have read the Bible multiple times, say they still find something new each time. This is the power of God. He knows us, and knows what we need. We need to seek truth and understanding in all things God gives us. When God opens our eyes, nothing will be hidden.
3. Ask that God helps your heart be open as well.
(NLT) Acts 26:18, “to open their eyes, so they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God. Then they will receive forgiveness for their sins and be given a place among God’s people, who are set apart by faith in me.'”
Scripture can feel “prickly” when we are being convicted by the Spirit. Many people don’t want to hear “negative” scripture that goes against the sin they have in their life. Ask for God to help your heart be willing. And remember this, if you feel guilty of conviction, that means you are sensitive enough to hear Him. This isn’t a bad thing! It is wonderful you can hear Him! Listen to what He has to say. “Perfection” is Christian maturity. We reach maturity through giving up our old life, and ways.
Prayer and scripture are one of the main ways God is able to speak to us. We won’t be able to hear Him if we don’t pray and understand His word. Our ears won’t be focused on His voice. We will be focused on ours, and the world’s.
Till next time…
~T. R. Noble
(All images are from Pixabay)