One Sunday morning in northern Wisconsin there was terrible winter weather and most everything was closed down as a result. The church where I fellowship is approximately an hour drive from our home. As I prayed about it, I felt that God was telling us to go in. Reluctantly, yet obediently, I loaded up my daughter and my wife and we began the drive to the service.
I was a long ride in but we made it safely and without incident. I believe that the lord certainly assigned a host of angels to watch over our travels. I have come to understand and believe that when we are walking in obedience to God, seeking his kingdom first, that we are under a supernatural hedge of protection. Look at it this way, if Jesus is your Lord you have chosen to battle. It is up to you whether or not you choose to do battle with an army army of angels or go it alone.
Here in the USA some years back the US Army started this foolish notice of "an Army of 1". It was to play on young man or woman's desire to feel special, unique, and empowered. The reality, on the other hand, is this. There is no army made of one individual. That is a vigilante acting on there own for that individual's sense of justice.
The only effective warfare is that of many working towards the same goal. So it is with the body of Christ, we are to walk, fight, and speak in accordance with God's Word. When we do this we can better position ourselves in the battle where we will be most effective. If you want to hear directly from God read your Bible. If you want to hear the voice of God read it out loud. If you want to understand His ways and purpose – read, listen carefully, and then discuss what you have heard with him in prayer … then listen again.
You may ask how we can better understand the Bible and study it effectively? One way is to gather together with others where the truth of God's Word is spoken clearly and accurately.
Back to the church that Sunday morning …
When we arrived, there was just a handful of people that were able to make it in that morning. Our Pastor felt God was leading us to do something a little different that morning. We would send our service 'LIVE' to Facebook and we would answer questions in real time that our views asked. This save the opportunity for others to ask question that they may not ask in person. During a church service is not always the most conducive place for asking questions. So we approached it line as a Panel Q & A Session. It was a great opportunity to reach out and connect with those who can not come out in person.
The only problem we did have is that we did not have time to answer all of the questions that our internet viewers asked. Thus the birth of "A Question of Faith". Through this podcast, we hope to continue giving answers to the hard questions that are not often not asked in church and therefore left unanswered in the minds of believers and non-believers as well.
Here are some simple tips that will help you to better understand the Bible:
- Recognize the sovereignty of God and surrender to the authority of the inspired word, the Holy Bible. You must turn away from your old way of thinking and be willing to look at life through a new lens if you will. Go to the Bible and read about how God would have you live and then start living it.
- Study the Bible. Like any other thing in your life that you desire to learn about, you can not simply just read a book about it. You must study that material. Read for retention. Read as though you are searching to find a hidden truth that will alter your life for all eternity. You will find it. As you read His Word, ask God to give you guidance and understanding. Then approach it simply, "God said it, that's it, end of story. If my belief does not line up with God's word it is my understanding that needs adjusting, not God's Word."
- Remain open-minded and approach your study time as a student with a desire to forget the truth. If you choose to read without any preconceived notions about the Bible your heart will be more open to receiving what God has to say to you through it.
- Pray as you read and study. When you read something that seems to stand out in your reading, stop and ask God what it is that he is trying to teach you through it. Take some time after each reading and study session to stop and just think about what it is that you have just read. This time is crucial to hearing God speak as your heart has just been bored like fresh soil and the seed of truth has been planted. Let the living water of God's revelation help it to grow.
- Make sure to read in context. For convenience, the Bible was broken down into chapters and versa. Sometime a single verse may only be a section of the entire sentence that was written. Can you imagine trying to understand a conversation if you were only able to hear half of the sentences?
- Most importantly, read the Bible with the intent to find what God is trying to teach you. Do not use the Bible to try and support your beliefs. God's Word is the final authority in all matters … even when it is not popular.
I hope that you find this to be useful aid in helping you on your journey to better understanding the Bible, God's Holy Word.