Whether you are a seasoned believer or Bible studier or not, there are terms & things that are talked about during Bible studies, sermons, or on blogs that can trip us up. You know…those things that never get explained & “should” be common knowledge. But what if you don’t know what they are? Not everything is common knowledge & what we “should know” isn’t always something we do know, so what do we do then?
That is where our Foundations series comes in. Our hope is that this will be a resource you can refer back to, answering questions like: what is quiet time, a Bible study, or a devotion? What are people talking about when they say they “read a commentary”? What in the world are all these different Bible translations?
By bookmarking this post or the Foundations tag, you can refer back to these foundational things. Allow it to guide your into your next step or a deeper Bible journey, giving you tools that may have confused you or that you simply didn’t know about before. But also, be on the lookout for those foundational stories you may or may not have learned as a kid in Sunday School.
The Bible can be a confusing place to be. Unfortunately, the modern-Christian world hasn’t made it any easier by assuming we should know certain things. But it doesn’t have to be that way. There are a lot of resources & helpful things out there to usher you deeper into your walk with God & the study of His Word.
So allow me to start you off with one of the most important – but often forgotten – tools you can use in your Bible study, devotional, journaling time, etc. Are you ready?
Yes. That is the single most important thing there is when it comes to studying the Bible (well, after the book itself). Prayer is so important because it is our direct line of communication with God. We don’t have to have another person intercede for us; Jesus came so He could be our direct line to the Father. Why not talk to the Author about the book you are reading if they are sitting with you at the table? God wants us to understand His Word, because understanding His Word teaches us His character, who He is, & gives us an instruction manual to this life.
1 John 5:14-15 tells us,
“And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.”
Matthew 7:7-8 says,
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.”
Anything according to His will…anything! It is absolutely in His will for you to understand Him & know Him. Matthew tells us we simply must ask. But here’s the thing you must understand: it is incredibly unlikely it is going to become clear to you that very moment like a flash of lightening. I am not saying it won’t, but don’t count on that. There is a time for everything & that includes understanding a specific section of the Word.
Sometimes we don’t understand things because we don’t know the history behind it or we haven’t learned enough to fully grasp every verse & principal & story. And you know what? That’s okay. We don’t have to know it all now. How boring would this book be if we didn’t have to read it & study it & have scholars explain parts to us & pray about it? Hebrews 4:12 even tells us,
“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”
The reason we need to pray is because the Word is “living and active.” That means it is ever-changing. The actual text doesn’t change, but as we learn more, verses mean more, and we understand more deeply. The words will remain the same, but the way they apply to our lives grows & shifts. (I’m sure that’s confusing, but it is kind of a post within itself!)
Romans 8:25-28 says,
“But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts, knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with the will of God.”
Wait for it patiently. Don’t get discouraged, my friend, if you don’t understand every single thing you read. No reliable Christian, despite their maturity or longevity, understands every single part of every single thing they ever read. Frankly, if they say they do, well….they are severely misguided.
So when you venture into reading & studying the Bible & start to pick apart these verses & words for yourself, don’t get discouraged. Don’t give up! Pray & walk away or move on, because it may not be time for you to fully grasp what you are reading; but God will never leave your desire for wisdom & growth unanswered. It will be in His time, not ours.
So please join us as we discover resources & stories & truth about His Word. Be present. Be patient. Be ready for God to blow the lid off of your current understanding. We hope that you’ll join us here & on social media. Leave us comments, questions, ah-ha moments, or anything else you want to share. We would love for our community do this journey together.