This is a guest post by Nikka – http://www.peacefulwifephilippines.blogspot.com
Regarding Bible reading, I have experienced for myself that the ONLY time that the Words of God starting being lucid, easy to understand convicting for me was after I truly let go and let God.
Before, when I would read it, it felt like a “chore”. Sometimes, my eyes would read just one sentence again and again and again, without it sinking in. Other times, I would have finished one whole book and when I try to recollect what I have learned, my memory comes out empty.
I am a Catholic Christian and Bible-reading though encouraged, is not the order of the day. A Catholic Bible is almost always “immaculate” from lack of use. (A running joke among Christians, I know! My own Bible was “perfect” before my conviction.)
It was only when I died to myself, got convicted by our Lord, and repented for all my sins did the Bible become the source of inspiration and joy and peace, that it now is to me. Now, I cannot NOT read my Bible daily. It would seem like NOT drinking water or NOT eating food, which would be the death of me!!! I thirst and hunger for His Word daily! That is not my doing, but the Spirit’s leading.
“I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.”
Suddenly, without any extra effort on my part, after my dying to self, the Spirit has filled me up with a hunger and longing to read Scripture at any time, so much so that on easy days, I read for hours on end, and I still want more! I never go out without my Bible anymore. I read it when the line is long in the grocery, when I am waiting for the priest to start mass, when I am in the car stuck in traffic, etc.
Since my conversion, the Words of God are now seeming to jump off the pages! I am getting to know Who God really is, as opposed to Who I thought He was/is. It’s like the Lord and I are in this intimate getting-to-know-you stage. He is telling me Who He is, What He can do, and What He will do for ME if I cling to Him… On the other hand, because He constantly reveals Himself to me through His “Love Letters” (The Bible is a book of God’s Love for us!), I am getting to know myself more and more too. I am learning that I am nothing in comparison to God, and yet what is mind-blowing about it, is that HE LOVES ME! Jesus DIED FOR ME! The Spirit was SENT DOWN FOR ME!
In reading His Word, I am getting to know God; and in getting to know Him, I get to know myself too. This allows for me to find my most authentic self. That I am a sinner, and were it not for God’s Grace and Mercy, I, who am already nothing, will amount to much less than nothing.
Now, I find God in every page and what is amazing, is I find myself in every page too! I feel God speaking to me and I find myself being spoken about too!
I felt led to share this because, I believe that the beauty of God’s Word fails to transform even the most religious of people, if the death to self, repentance and seeking for God is not FULL. The Spirit can only FILL a person up if he/she is “empty” of one’s self. Otherwise, it can only poke a bit here and there, not being able to make a dent or much of a difference in one’s whole being.
One may know ABOUT God without knowing God.
It is the Spirit that will allow us to comprehend things that only the heart “sees”.
In ending, let me share this with you from 1 Corinthians. It might explain why the Truth in the Word fails to transform some of us here, who read the Word but are not changed by the Word…
God’s Wisdom Revealed by the Spirit
6 We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. 7 No, we declare God’s wisdom, a mystery that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. 8 None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 9 However, as it is written:
“What no eye has seen,
what no ear has heard,
and what no human mind has conceived”—
the things God has prepared for those who love him—
10 these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit.
The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. 11 For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12 What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us. 13 This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words.c 14 The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit. 15 The person with the Spirit makes judgments about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgments, 16 for ,
“Who has known the mind of the Lord
so as to instruct him?”
But we have the mind of Christ.
* * * * *
Just wanted to share this because some of us here might be wondering why despite reading the Word daily, it still does not excite you, comfort you or allow you to feel God’s Love for you.
It could very well be that the Spirit has not filled you up yet, because you are holding back, or are still cherishing sin.
Whatever it may be, my prayer is for you to fully let go and let God, sister. That is the only time that the Bible will become the wellspring of wisdom and knowledge to you. 🙂
Coming from a Catholic Christian who had an “immaculate” Bible for decades, this is a MIRACLE!!! 🙂