When we hold our Bible, we hold God’s living and active Word in our hands, nothing will replace it, nothing. There are great studies out there that can add to our experience, but nothing replaces plunging into God’s Word for ourselves.
I remember reading a great study and thinking to myself, “I wish I could understand God’s Word like she does.” Second hand was no longer good enough, I wanted it first hand, for myself. Somehow I had fooled myself into thinking I wasn’t smart or educated enough.
The truth is ladies, we have to know God’s truth first hand. It is the measuring stick for our lives. First I had to get a grip and realize a few things:
God’s Word is Not About Me, It is About Him
It seemed that no matter what I read, I wanted every verse to be about me, or speak to me directly. What if simply knowing God’s character more, changed me?
Don’t Go It Alone
I have come to realize that the times I have gleaned the most, were times I spent searching God’s Word with others. Pray, ask the Lord to send you a few ladies and then immerse yourselves.
Make God’s Word a Priority
I had to make the time, set an appointment. Time to plunge in and sink deep. To read small portions slow and then re-read them again. To think about what I read.
Who was speaking?
What were they saying?
Who were they saying it to?
Change Your Approach to God’s Word
Cherry picking verses that made me feel good had to stop. I am going to use the much quoted Jeremiah 29:11 as an example.
Who doesn’t love this verse? I love plans, especially good plans. Even better that they are the Lord’s plans for me. He plans to prosper me. Keep me free from harm. Give me hope. Give me a future. Do you see my common thread? Me…me…me.
I short change myself when I fail to read this verse in context. I miss important action steps and miss even more promises from the Lord.
As I look at the entire chapter of Jeremiah 29 I see some answers to my questions.
Who was speaking? The Lord of Israel is speaking through the prophet Jeremiah
What were they saying? He is telling them words of instruction and encouragement
Who were they saying it to? Israeli captives in Babylon
10 For thus says the Lord: After seventy years are completed at Babylon, I will visit you and perform My good word toward you, and cause you to return to this place. 11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you, says the Lord, and I will bring you back from your captivity; I will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you, says the Lord, and I will bring you to the place from which I cause you to be carried away captive. Jeremiah 29: 10-14
The Captives would remain in captivity for seventy years
The Lord was coming to visit them with good news, He was bringing them home
The Lord is very clear about His thoughts toward His people:
Thoughts of peace not evil
Plans for a future and hope
There is some action required on their part:
Call upon the Lord and Pray
Search with all of your heart
There are some additional promises from the Lord:
He will listen
He will be found
He will bring His people out of captivity
He will gather His people
He was the one who placed them in captivity, but why?
So they would Call, Pray, Seek and Search
In that place of captivity God was doing a work in the hearts of His people, but He realized they needed a glimmer of hope.
What Do These Verses Say to Me Today?
These words are for God’s children and as believers,they also fall onto us.
Throughout our life we may find ourselves captive to many things. God knows we are in that place of captivity, He has allowed us to go there. All along the journey His thoughts toward us are peaceful . In that place He is doing a good work within us and He is planning for our future. Grab on to that glimmer of hope and then Call, Pray, Seek and Search, He will be found by us and He is bringing us home.