Early in my Christian walk, when the Holy Spirit began pulling at my heart, I remember wanting to reach into the word of God and fully understand it. But, when I opened up this book of wisdom, I understood nothing. (And sometimes I still don’t – just look at Leviticus!) J
No really, it was frustrating to me because I had a hard time understanding the language and I only wanted to look deeper into it the way others around me had, to see what they saw, but I didn’t have the knowledge to understand on my own, nor a spiritual mentor to ask.
Later in life, as I drew closer to God, I learned a few things that had significant impacts on my spiritual growth when it came to understanding the Bible. So, if you’ve found yourself facing a similar struggle, or maybe you’re just wanting additional support, then this is for you!
ONE. First, don’t give up! Know that true revelation comes from the Holy Spirit. Before you begin reading, always pray and ask God to help you understand – He’s faithful to answer 💕 The Holy Spirit will reveal knowledge that’s difficult for us to understand on our own. You’ll be amazed as you continue pressing forward!
*Jeremiah 33:3 “Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know.” (One of my favorite scriptures!)
TWO. Next, try reading a different version. For example, the KJV uses traditional language which makes it a bit more difficult to understand. Some great modern versions are NLT, NIV, and ESV. There’s also AMP which means “amplified” and it includes extended descriptions within the verse, better clarifying its meaning – (this is great to use as a sort of “study guide”!)
1 Corinthians 14:10 “There are doubtless many different languages in the world, and none is without meaning…”
THREE. Initially the best way to read the bible is to read the story as it is, exactly the way it’s written. Try not to force yourself to read in between the lines – allow the Holy Spirit reveal to you where He sees fit. It’s so important to first understand the story as it stands, and in time you’ll begin to see it from a spiritual perspective. (Again, if there’s something you deeply want to understand, just pray!)
In reading this way, imagine everything that’s happening. Try to understand what life was like, how the people must have felt, etc. and see Jesus as the Son of God, the love and power that He is. It’s so important to know the story before you’re able to see “through” it… It’s ok to re-read passages and stories, but make it a goal to eventually read the bible in its entirety – no rush, but keep at a steady pace.
Psalm 119:105 “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”
FOUR. When you first begin reading the Bible the best place to start would be in the New Testament. The reason for this is because the Old Testament is filled with a foreshadowing of the life of Jesus and His miracles, signs and wonders. The New Testament is a revealing of it all. A good starting point would be one of the four gospels which include John, Matthew, Mark and Luke. These four parallel one another, seeing through the eyes of another witness. Doing this can bring additional clarity to what you’ve read. This will also help to better understand our Christ.
John 1:14 “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
FIVE. Get and stay connected! Try to read at least 1 chapter in the bible daily. You can sign up to receive emailed devotionals, watch online services on your TV, PC or cell phone, and/or listen to podcasts while working, driving or doing chores. These are all extensions of the word of God and can help you understand and apply biblical principles to your life. Consider joining faith-based communities online. And finally, look into Christian churches in your area (most have bible study groups), and pray for God to lead you to the right one for you.
Hebrews 10:24-25 “24 Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. 25 And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.”
*God bless you!
PRAYER: Lord, You know our hearts are sincere in our desire to know more of You and to draw closer to You. Your word tells us that there are those who will see and those who won’t, so Father God we ask that You would help us to be as those who see. We ask that You would bless us with revelation of Your word, and with righteous wisdom as we share the gospel and lead others to You. We ask You today to help us see through spiritual eyes, rather than carnal ones; that You would open up our ears to Your voice; bless us with visions and dreams, and help us to recognize You all around us, within Your creation everywhere. Reveal our gifts to us, Lord, and help us to use these gifts for Your Kingdom purpose. We thank You Father God for calling and choosing us. In Jesus’ mighty and precious name we pray, Amen 💕
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