Wednesday, August 17, 2016

My Book In The Bible

I know I am not alone. I know you too have often wished you could open your Bible and turn to the book that bears your name so you could know what God would specifically want you to do in a certain situation.

Yet, none of our faith heroes whom we learn about on the sacred page had such a resource to figure out God's will for their lives. They didn't even have the access to God's written word the way we do! Most all of them in the Old Testament didn't have the presence of the Holy Spirit dwelling within them to prompt and prod them along.

We've all longed for the specific 411 on our lives, trying to verify what we think God may be asking of us to do. It's easy to bemoan and despair, losing nights of sleep and gaining extra weight from the "needed" comfort food to get us through.

We just don't want to make a mistake.

As I've gotten older, (not necessarily wiser) the uncertainty seems so much more scary. My husband and I have been entrusted with three little souls. Our decisions don't just affect us. They affect them and we really don't want to blow it.

The "What If" Game becomes suffocating. The ramifications seem daunting if things go bad, and, of course, my first assumption of any possible outcome is almost always negative.

So, how do we know what God's will is?

I don't have an easy, pat answer to this question. No acronym or sing-song saying to sum it up into a neat little package topped off with a bow will do.

I did see a saying though recently that rang true:

"Don't Say God Doesn't Speak, If Your Bible Is Closed."

This summer my husband and I have been seeking God's direction. We have been asking Him some questions that we wish we could do a concordance search and find where in the Bible the scriptures tell us that this is what the Vinsons should do in the summer of 2016.

I had been reading through the book of John. In it's pages Jesus tells us repeatedly that we don't have because we don't ask. So we began to ask. God answered - not always in the way we wanted Him to, but He was always faithful to answer. He spoke to us through the Bible.

Finishing the book of John, I continued reading a few verses a day into the next book, the book of Acts. As I read about Paul's travels and the moving of the Holy Spirit, again I found God speaking to me, Tara, in my modern-day, current circumstances. 

No, my name was not printed on the page, but words and phrases seemed to jump out at me. I would begin to contemplate the passage and pray through it and ask God what this could mean. He would answer. 

In recent months, the Holy Spirit has really convicted me about my closed Bible. Having grown up in church, being married to a minister and working at a church for many years I had become very self-righteous and prideful. I had taught the Bible in various settings to various age groups for various lengths of time. I was using the Bible BUT I would not to allow the Holy Spirit to use it to speak to me. 

God showed me my need to really ingest and digest the Word. 

Not to earn a GA badge or some jewel in my heavenly crown. Not to show off or to brag about how much scripture I had memorized.Not to teach a class or lead a discussion ---- BUT to truly know His will for me. 

It may not be highlighted under a fancy subtitle, but what I need to know from Him can be found in His word. My first name, maiden name or last name won't be found on the page of any Bible unless it has been written inside the front cover, but I am finding that there IS truth on every page specifically for ME.

Can you share a time from either recently or awhile ago where you knew God was speaking to you directly from the Bible? 

If so, please share. Let this be a place where we can encourage each other in our search for His truth for our lives. 

If not, I challenge you to ask Him to reveal Himself to you this way. I really think He would delight in your request. Afterall, He will be glorified as you seek Him instead of worrying and trying to figure things out on your own. 

Maybe we don't have all our own books in the Bible so we will learn to depend and submit all the more on Him.... Hmmmm.....


Sara said...

Do you have a strategy for reading? A friend and I have been reading together just a chapter a day. First in Proverbs and now I & II Corinthians. We use Facebook messenger to discuss what stuck out to us or ask each other questions. I struggle to know what to read or how to apply it. I am with you I can study to teach or read to do a bible study with a group, but when it comes to just reading on my own I fail. I have tried devotional books, but they seem to me to be very basic and not very deep.

Tara said...

Sara! I am SO sorry! I just found your comment!

Like you I have tried various studies and plans. And honestly, until recently, when the Holy Spirit nudged me to get back to the basics, I felt like I needed something "deep" but didn't felt like I had the time to personally dig deeper.... If He is calling you deeper, by all means, pursue Him that way with your whole heart.... For me, right now, my strategy is to just read a handful of verses on my phone before my feet hit the floor in the morning. No commentary or devotional thought, just scripture. I took over a month or so to just read through the book John before moving on to the book of Acts. Now, wanting to read more about Jesus, I've gotten through the first 5 chapters of Matthew.

God has been so faithful to show me things and remind me truths. Of course, He's been faithful, I just have to continue to ask Him to help me with the application and to rid my day of the distractions that keep me from dwelling on the truth....

I hope this helps! Again, I am SO sorry I haven't responded before now!