All of my life I never FULLY understood the importance of reading the bible – until recently.
As a kid, I knew about God and learned about His Son Jesus through Sunday School, youth church, and the family devotions my parents would lead at home. To me, I simply viewed the bible as a factual book that told the story of the world and humanity. Growing up in church and the admonition of the Lord (regardless of what anyone says, PARENTS are responsible for the nurturing of their child’s spiritual beliefs, you can’t just expect them to “make their own decision” without guidance and being given a point of reference … see Proverbs 22:6) I heard people say to “study God’s Word and show yourself approved” and “faith comes by hearing, hearing from the Word of God.” But that was challenging for me to understand how reading historical accounts and prophecy could help me in my life NOW.
My parents did EXACTLY what they were supposed to by exposing me to Christianity and bringing me up in the House of the Lord – now it was up to me to make MY own decisions admist the conflicting voices out in the world/society.
I was a good person for the most part, but whenever I found myself in tough situations, I’d cower and run right to my parents (who knew and KNOW how to get a prayer through). At first I never really paid attention exactly to just WHAT they were saying during their prayers, and to be honest, I didn’t care … I just wanted them to be answered. As I got into my late teens/early twenties, I actually began taking note that their prayers really weren’t that complex. They declared different scriptures that fit to whatever I was dealing with.
At first I was like WAIT A MINUTE….so you mean to tell me ALLLLL this time I’m thinking you’re praying from some deep untouchable well of words, when in reality, all you’re doing is reminding God of something He already said?!?!
The answer was YES!
When my curiosity peaked enough to ask them WHY they prayed in that way, my parents responded to my question with Isaiah 55:11 in which God declares, “So will My word be which goes out of My mouth; it will not return to Me void (useless, without result), without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.”
BASICALLY that meant, if you want to get results, you’ve got to declare and speak the very promises of God because He won’t renege on them! If YOU are saved, walk in Christ, and are one of His children; you have the authority, right, and privilege to cash in on those promises!
After that was explained to me I thought to myself “I’m only 20-something years old! How ON EARTH am I going to be able to remember all 3,000 + scriptures and promises by the time I experience another hardship?!?!”
Simple. Start with just one.
By this time, I’d already graduated from college and had gotten settled into my full time job. I wasn’t used to studying like I used to, so I had to really tap into my memory bank! When prepping for an academic test, I’d study the material up and down until it was ingrained into my mind. I realized I had to approach the Holy Bible in the same way. In order to be able to declare God’s promises in times of trouble or rejoicing, I had to study them one by one until they became singed into my soul.
THAT’S how my parents were able to pray such effective prayers. That’s how God-ordained preachers are able to counsel/pray for you at the drop of a hat. They all spent/spend time studying God’s Word and committing the scriptures to heart.
Now that I am coming upon 30 years of life (woo hoo) I am realizing that my every day discussion with friends (or random people) is often sprinkled with godly wisdom. This is only because I’ve made it a priority to learn the Word of my belief and am grounded in my faith in God through Jesus Christ. My prayer life is getting stronger. My spiritual life is getting stronger. But perhaps the thing I’m most excited about is that I’m able to share the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ with OTHERS because I ACTUALLY know it for myself! Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t memorized the entire bible nor do I completely understand EVERYTHING in it, but I’m getting there. There are still times where I REALLY have to work hard to focus and recall God’s promises over my life — especially when facing an urgent emergency with tons of distractions. God reveals new mercies and depths to His words each time I read them so I know I’ll always be learning.
I’m not sure if this post sounds more like a ramble or is a bit confusing to you, but just remember to take away this:
- If you’re a Christian you SHOULD be reading the bible regularly
- If you want an effective prayer life, you need to make sure your prayers include scriptures which are put simply: God’s words to us
- Don’t be discouraged if you don’t have the ENTIRE Holy Bible committed to memory, learn a little each day. This is not The Book of Eli — God rewards your faithfulness and sees you trying
- The only way to know what you have rights to as a child of God (healing, peace of mind, victory, joy, etc) is to READ and study the Word of God and learn through church and bible study.
If anyone wants any tips on how to focus or wants me to share some of my methods for learning God’s Word and memorizing scripture please feel free to comment or email me!
Be blessed – Joc