The truth is. . . we don’t know the Bible very well. People are constantly quoting it, or at least think they are quoting it. Have you heard, “money is the root of all evil”? OR, “God helps those who help themselves”? What about, “God will never give you more than you can bear”? And, “love the sinner, hate the sin”?
While some of these are based on a verse (that has been taken way out of context) most are not anywhere, in any form, in the Bible. The quotes come from religious leaders like St Augustine; politicians like Benjamin Franklin; and writers like Shakespeare. SO, is knowing what the Bible really says important? Of course. . . it is God revealed to us through HIS Story, the Story of His people and our own Story.
From the beginning of the Bible God IS, El, God Almighty and Eternal (Genesis 7:1). He is El Olam, the Everlasting God, revealed to Abraham in Genesis 21:33. He is El Roi, the God who sees me, for Hagar in Genesis 16:13. Jehovah Rophè, the Lord our healer, to the Israelites as the Egyptians suffered. And, He is Jehovah Shalom, the Lord of peace, to Gideon in Judges 6:24. In each of these encounters with those He cared for and loved, God gave a piece of His character to them. He gave the part of Himself they needed at that time to get through their circumstance.
Not only in the Old Testament but also in the New we see Jesus first name, Immanuel, God with us. He came down to earth to be with His people (Matthew 1:23). Jesus is our Rock (1 Peter 2:8) and because we are His he becomes the basis of all we do. And then He is our Bridegroom in Matthew 25; our future is secure in Him.
This is only one way to know God’s Character. By studying the Names of God, He can show you Himself in new ways. Seeing how He shows up for others in the Bible can give you the assurance that He will show up for you. It is by learning their Stories that you see God’s Story: His faithfulness, His love, His care, His provision, His heart. Studying the Bible reveals the layers of God through His Story. It strengthens you because you are sure of Him.
How do you need God to show up right now in your life? As a Shepherd (Jehovah-Rohi), a Father (Abba), a Counselor, a Companion (Jehovah-Shammah)? He is all that you need at the exact time that you need it. Only by reading your Bible, studying His Word, will you find Him. AND, He will satisfy all your needs. Your heart will connect to His Truth and you will be comforted, loved, challenged, inspired, and healed.
It is a BIG Job, right? You feel overwhelmed by it all. You have probably tried a group Bible Study before only to feel guilty by not completing the homework OR feeling like it didn’t really relate to you. AND, studying God’s Word on your own can feel haphazard and not focused. There are even numerous studies about God’s Names. Which to choose?
This Christian life is not supposed to be difficult. God has called us into a relationship with Him. That is all. You want to know your friends, right? How do you do that? You hang out with them; you do things together that you both enjoy; you talk. By being in each other’s presence you get to know their moods, their tics, and their heart. It is the same with God. He has given us His Story through His Word. By spending time in it, by seeking His presence as you read, you will begin to see God’s moods, tics, and Heart for you.
So let me ask, Do you have a daily time set aside to read God’s Story, learn about Him? Do you want a plan to make it a habit? Charles Duhigg says in his book, The Power of Habit, that every habit follows a 3-step pattern: 1) Reminder- the trigger that initiates the behavior; 2) Routine- the behavior itself, the action you take; 3) Reward- the benefit you gain from doing the behavior. So, set the alarm a little earlier, skip the morning news, take lunch in solitude, put an alarm on your phone; whatever it takes to remind yourself to stop and read the Bible. For 21 days carve out a time every day, the same time and the same amount of time each day. Do it for 21 days, this creates the routine. The Rewards are more than you can imagine.
Become a participant in His Story. Choose a subject/person that interests you. Then, see yourself battling enemies and standing up for God’s side. Put your own situation in the Story where He provides a solution and builds you up in His strength. Make your life the main Storyline and watch how God shows up with His Character Name and shows Himself to you. It doesn’t have to be a lot of scripture. It has to be one story, one person, one verse. Ask God to guide you to the right place.
Wise Woman, I know how busy you are. I also know that you must fill up on Him. So, plan your time with Him. Your day will go much better when you fill up with God first. Then, Wise Woman, you will overflow into all the other parts of your life in a way that is good and serves others. Only by connecting to God, to His super-abundance, in a way that speaks to your heart will you be satisfied. AND, by developing your Personalized Faith Plan (PFP) you will know exactly how you best connect with Him. You will be given activities to incorporate into your spiritual life that will make a real difference in your faith. These activities are designed to grow your relationship with Christ in a manner true to how He has created you.
Proverbs 8:34 (NLT) says, “Joyful are those who listen to me, watching for me daily at my gates, waiting for me outside my home!” Are you anticipating what God will teach you? It will be great, I just know it.
This is Deneen, the Titus Teacher and founder of Grow From Your Overflow, Tap into HIS Super-abundance and you will thrive.