Help! Water, water, give me water. Medical professionals tell us we have an intense need for a daily intake of water if we are to maintain a flourishing level of physical health. Replenishing our body with water is essential to avoid dehydration which will drastically impact our physical life.
Help! Word, word, give me word, my spiritual life is shrivelling. In the same manner, we have an intense need for a daily intake of the word of God if we are to maintain a flourishing level of spiritual health. Replenishing our spirit with the word is essential to avoid spiritual dehydration which will drastically impact our spiritual life.
Church for the ministry woman is not an adequate place to receive her primary source of input and intake from the word of God – she must be a self-feeder. We don’t have the luxury of relying upon someone else to feed us. Sunday, most often, is the most pressurised day of our week. Following the initial effort of getting the family to church, registering children in their various areas, we greet, talk, listen to and pray for people. We stand for the duration of worship and are then instructed, ‘You may take your seat’.
While the congregation leans in to hear the word, you force yourself to concentrate rather than thinking, ‘Wonderful, I can finally sit, I have been on my feet since dawn’, or ‘I haven’t seen Mrs Kay today, I hope everything is alright’, or ‘I must remember to remind that musician to smile while on the platform’. Or you pray your unwell preacher husband through his message. Or then again, you may have other responsibilities and not even be in the service.
A ministry woman is continuously in contact with people who are looking to her for prayer, counsel, advice, wisdom, a prophetic word, encouragement and more. If we only pass on our life philosophy, expertise or personal experience, which are all acutely valuable, we are doing our people a grave disservice. As beneficial as these are, they must not replace the word of God.
God says it is His word, not ours, which ‘shall not return to Me void and without fruit. My word will accomplish what I please and will prosper in the thing for which I send it’. (Isaiah 55:11) To impart His word, we must know His word.
Announcing 16 guaranteed ways to understand scripture.
- Come to scripture with the prayer of David. ‘Open my eyes that I may see wondrous things from Your word. Ps 119:18
- Obtain a reading programme. This enables you to read the whole Bible, rather than just your favourite, repeated books. I recommend SOAP from Wayne Cordeiro’s book Divine Mentor or Project 345 on the You version app.
- Read a different version from your regular one. Try a chronological or a gender inclusive version.
- Look for a recurring word. In the gospel of John, Father is a recurring word. Mind or like-minded recurs in Philippians. Stop and contemplate what the author is repeating.
- Look for and highlight Jesus. Romans and Hebrews are excellent for this. Heb 1:2-4 states nine things about Jesus.
- Write out a book of the Bible by hand. These causes you to slow right down and think about nearly every word you are writing.
- Memorise a verse or group of verses. Memory cards are most helpful as reminders when strategically placed in frequently visited locations in your home, like the kitchen sink.
- Do a character study. Glean life lessons from Bible characters. You will learn how to hit the mark with delegated authority from Joseph, outstanding courage from Jael, commitment to prayer from Daniel, putting works to your faith from Rahab.
- Read a book as you would any other book. Ignore chapter numbers, topic headings and verse numbers. Read from full stop to full stop.
- Read aloud with engaged expression.
- Do a topical study. Compile a list of scriptures related to a specific topic from which to gain insight and understanding. A concordance or Bible programme is most helpful for this. A topic may be healing, lying, divorce, forgiveness or whatever Holy Spirit inspires.
- Meditating in the word is like holding a magnifying glass over an ant. You can see detail that you would never have noticed otherwise.
- Personalise scripture where applicable. Ephesians chapter one is brilliant for this. ‘…who has blessed me with every spiritual blessing…..just as He chose me in Him….having predestined me to adoption…..He has made me accepted in the Beloved.
- Engage your imagination to sit with Peter in the courtyard while he warms himself by the fire, then hear the rooster crow. Position yourself against the wall in the bed chamber as a young virgin named Esther stands naked before her king. Feel the desperation of a woman who has been haemorrhaging every month for twelve years as she touches the hem of Jesus’ garment.
- Ask questions. How did that happen? Why did You do that? Who is being spoken to? Is there an application for myself? Holy Spirit is there something You are wanting to say to me?
- Pray scripture. ‘I trust in You Lord with all my heart. Please help me to not lean on my own understanding. I will acknowledge You in all my ways and I trust You to direct my path’. Prov 3:5,6
As we become a student of the word, or as the psalmist repeatedly says in Ps 119 as the word becomes our delight, we position ourselves for outstanding life changing and life enhancing benefits.
- We gain knowledge, comprehension, insight, revelation of the word.
- We gain an increase in depth of relationship with the One who is the word.
- We grow to know and understand on a deeper level the One we have committed our life to and the One we serve.
- We are increasingly empowered to live life according to the will of God. His will for our life is recorded in His word. When we honour our parents, contain our anger so as not to sin, forgive someone, show kindness, close our mouth when tempted to gossip. These are just a few examples of living daily in tune with the will of God.
- We gain a wealth of resource from which we can continuously draw to assist others.
- We have an arsenal of verses at our fingertips from which to draw when facing a challenge, crisis or onslaught attack from the devil.
- We give Holy Spirit something to work with. He is limited in what He can bring back to our remembrance if we haven’t taken the time to lodge the word into our memory.
One closing thought. Google and Bible programmes are excellent tools to assist in explaining and understanding the word, as well as being a quick and effortless way to find a verse. Be aware though, to not let them replace your own personal interaction with the word, or Holy Spirit given revelation on the word.