A few years ago, when I first became an Elder at the church we attend, I went to a seminar offered to those in our church who were in leadership. I thought it would give me a clue as to what was expected of me. Toward the beginning, the speaker asked us to close our eyes, and then to raise our hand if we had read the entire Bible. I didn’t raise my hand. After opening our eyes, we were told only three people did, and there were about twenty of us in the room, all in leadership or about to step into a leadership role.
The majority of the seminar was about the importance of knowing Gods word, especially leaders within the church. God’s Word is our shield and our sword. We use it to protect us as well as fight our battles, but we can’t use it for either if we don’t know it.
I left this seminar feeling convicted. I decided to jump into action and start reading the Bible. I didn’t like the idea of possibly being the only one who had not read it and certainly didn’t want anyone to know I hadn’t read it. I spoke with the Pastor to let him know what I was doing, but he encouraged me not to read it from cover to cover. He suggested doing a chronological reading or to follow a planned study to read the Bible over a year. That sounded to complicated and would take way to long. I thought ‘it’s just a book filled with stories, how difficult can it be?’
I think I made it to somewhere in 2 Kings. Trying to read it like a book, a chapter at time, was insanity! Some of the chapters are short, so reading one or two wasn’t good enough. I felt like a wimp, so I pushed through three to four chapters at a time. My brain was on overload. There was too much going on with to many people. I couldn’t keep up with who did what to who. Once when the Pastor asked how it was going, I said, “It’s like reading a soap opera”. I wasn’t getting anything out of it except the feeling of inadequacy, so I stopped.
I believe God spoke to me through the speaker at the seminar that He wanted me to know His word. My problem however, was jumping into action to make this happen, instead of waiting on Him. I wanted to accomplish the task He had put before me, the quickest most efficient way possible.
It’s been four years since that seminar and I still can not say I’ve read the entire Bible. I’ve discovered it’s not ‘just a book’ and have learned to let God guide me through it as He sees fit.
I’m thankful for God’s Word. I’m thankful it’s alive and active and meant for us today, just as much as it was meant for the people who lived thousands of years ago. I’m thankful for the way God speaks to me when I read and study His word. I’m thankful for the hope, encouragement and love I find when reading God’s Word. What do you find when reading the Word of God?
My prayer for us ~ Father God, thank you for the encouragement and hope you poured out in Your Word for us. I pray we would each be filled with a deep desire to know You through Your Word, Amen.