2 Timothy 3:16-17(KJV): “16All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”
The importance of staying in the Word has been on my heart for these past few weeks. Since being saved I have learned how important it is to constantly renew our mind but I am now seeing that it is more than important, it is vital. The other day I was talking with God and I asked Him, “God, what is my problem? Why do I sin even without temptation?” He had to remind me that even without temptation, my flesh is naturally wicked. Mark 7:21 (KJV): “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders.” It makes perfect sense because if in my natural form I am wicked, I don’t stand a chance in saying no to sin without the leading of His Spirit. Being inconsistent in our reading and studying of the Word makes us a victim to the wickedness of flesh and the perverse nature of Satan. When I first got saved I was always eager to read the Word. I read the Bible each time I got a chance, desperately asking God for deliverance and life. But now that He has started answering my petitions, I must do my job in filling my empty rooms with His Spirit. Matthew 12:44-45 (KJV): “43When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none.44Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished.45Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation.”
I read the entire Bible, from Genesis to Revelation in a matter of months, just because I couldn’t put the book down. Of course we never “finish” reading the Bible, that was only the beginning for me. I thought about reading different verses each day but as much as I have read books, I started with the way I knew how–from the beginning. Genesis 1:1 (KJV): “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” There is no correct way to read the Bible, this is just the approach I decided to take. I read it during meetings, during times of the night that my body begged me to sleep, in the morning before class, when I took breaks between doing homework, and when I found myself surrounded by conversation that seemed too pointless for me to partake in.
Today, a little over a year later, I ask God for that same zeal so that my mind may be saturated in His word.
Matthew 12: 43-45 (KJV): “43 When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none. 44 Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished. 45 Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation.”
You actually read the Bible?
A few weeks ago someone mentioned that Christianity is only the first testament of the Bible. I didn’t say anything because I didn’t feel led to but I certainly wondered what this person was talking about. About a minute later the same lady said to me, “I assume you only read the new testament as well.” I responded, “Nope. I read the old and new.” The woman and everyone else at the table stopped talking and looked at me. Then she asked,”Well why?” So then I said, “It is never a good idea to only read half of a book.” She nodded her head and that was the end of the conversation. Apparently that is a common misconception but that was the first time I had heard of it. As much as I have camped out in libraries and books stores, not once had I ever heard of someone reading only half of a book. That only shows you that there is something special about the Bible. There is life in the Bible—-why else would it be suggested that individuals skip over parts? I told someone a few months ago, “You can’t study Adam and not study Jesus. You can’t study the fall and not study the resurrection.” We must be logical, don’t allow ignorance to skew the perception of our God.
Why the Bible?
A few days later that same woman began to mention how she isn’t sure if she can believe the Bible. Her argument was that the Bible has been “tampered” with too much. I never understood how and why individuals use this as an argument for why they think the Bible is sketchy. My thing is that, we believe every word written in History books that supposedly give us insight into what took place years before even our grandparents were born. Some individuals suggest that our history has been saved and patiently documented regardless of what we hear through the grapevine. If you think the information we receive in our American History books are raw and honest, I am sorry to disappoint you. We all know that our history’s documents are skewed and the most tampered with. So what is the issue again? No one has come back from the dead to tell me about George Washington but in the past the Holy Spirit has given me Scripture to say in prayer that I had never read before, bearing witness of Himself. Not saying that our academic books doesn’t share some of our country’s history with us but I am saying that our books are no match for His book. People think I am crazy when I tell them that I believe everything the Bible says and guess what? I pray that I believe it more and more each day. So when people ask how can I to be sure that what is written in the Bible is true and accurate, my initial answer is…….. I can believe the Bible because I know and trust the Author.
If I was an author and I had written a book but an individual had suspicion that someone was interpreting my book wrong, was tampering with my verbiage, or was misleading my children—- all that individual would have to do is call or email me. It would be a pleasure for me to respond by letting that individual know either yes, the fruit of my book is being presented righteously OR that the pages of my book were being perverted by others. We should have that same relationship with God. I know the Word is truth because the Holy Spirit dwelling within me bears witness. If I am naturally wicked and I have the mind to tell a reader that my book has been tampered with, why wouldn’t He who is Holy do that and much more?
Luke 11:11 (KJV): “If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? of if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent?”
A few weeks ago I began to have a strong desire to buy a new Bible, KJV version, and do some heavy studying. So I ordered a new Bible, KJV, with Hebrew and Greek keynotes. I am really excited if you haven’t noticed. I plan to dedicate time each day to read the Word, meditate, and pray with active and genuine fasting. I read the Word but definitely not as much as I should or must—but that is a work in progress, just like everything else. Reading the Word is vital for all of our spiritual growth. We can’t fight Satan in our own name or with our own authority so we certainly need to know His. Nothing I say in my name can be taken seriously in the natural or the spiritual realm (Ephesians 6:10-17). How can we fight in a war of we don’t know our weapons and maybe more importantly, how to effectively use them?
Matthew 4:2 (KJV): “But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.”
I wanted to share something else. When I am out of the will of God one of the ways He gets my attention is when I try reading the Word. There has been times when I have tried to read a verse which I have read and understood many times before but at a specific time I suddenly sat there, confused and worried. 1 Corinthians 2:13 (KJV): “Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.” It takes supernatural wisdom, knowledge, truth, and understanding to understand the Word of God. Not being in alignment with God will certainly hide His truth from us. For those who have a hard time understanding the Bible, you must be making a genuine and fruitful effort to live righteously and without spot or blemish. It is not impossible to understand Scripture but it is an honor to be able to do so. There has been times that I have read a verse—- had a difficult time understanding it—-prayed and asked for understanding—- read the Scripture again and it made perfect and complete sense to me. Also, I want to mention that the way Scripture applies to our life can change as we change. Don’t be surprised.
I usually pray and ask God to lead me to read whatever it is He wants me to read. One time I was reading Esther but my Bible and Bible app kept going back to Job. I took that as God wanting me to read Job as I would wake up at all different times of the night with my Bible open to Job. As I read Job, I was able to extract something still truthful but different from the many times I read it before. God is that amazing! His Word never comes back void. Never. Ever. Romans 15:4 (KJV): “For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.”
Some of my favorite verses are below. When I first read this passage a year ago I had an understanding that we should eat the Word. Now, don’t go tearing out pages of your Bible and start eating them. I mean that we shouldn’t only read the Bible but we should eat and digest it, so that it becomes part of us. We must take note that the Bible isn’t just a book. It is a way of life.
Ezekiel 3:1-4 (KJV): “1Moreover he said unto me, Son of man, eat that thou findest; eat this roll, and go speak unto the house of Israel.2So I opened my mouth, and he caused me to eat that roll. 3And he said unto me, Son of man, cause thy belly to eat, and fill thy bowels with this roll that I give thee. Then did I eat it; and it was in my mouth as honey for sweetness. 4And he said unto me, Son of man, go, get thee unto the house of Israel, and speak with my words unto them.”
I want this post to be of encouragement to myself and everyone else who may be reading it. Lets be honest, God knows if you genuinely want to know Him more or if you sit at your desk grudgingly skimming through the pages of the Bible. You will only frustrate yourself more. When reading the Bible you must come with a desire to want to understand more, discern better, and retain abundantly. Our Word is our weapon and never lose sight of that. Without Scripture wrapped in our spirit, hidden in our heart, saturating our mind, and crucifying our flesh–we are doomed. In the natural, if we want to know more about something we read a book about it. If we want to know more about a person we read their autobiography. Why do we rush to read books that explain homeostasis to us? Books that give us an accurate breakdown of the economy? And even books containing pictures and stories about our past, trying to evaluate and validate our identity? Our entire existence is naturally hidden but spiritually revealed on each page of the Bible. Everything you need is in there, whether you are anticipating its truth or not.
I say all of this to say…..
Lord, saturate my mind. You know about every hair on my head. You know about every pore on my body. You know my days numbered on this earth. You know me. Why don’t I know You the way You know me? Why do I sometimes forget the words life You have given me to speak during moments of death? Why do I sometimes unsuccessfully seek for Scriptures of light because I can’t find my way through the discouragement of darkness? Enough. I have had enough. Oh Lord, saturate my mind.
Hebrews 4:12 (KJV): “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”