Thursday, September 19, 2013

A Confession

I have a confession to make. 

For someone considered "smart" back in the day (don't feel so smart these brain seems to be fried more often than it is alive! motherhood? age? too many things going on?), I feel so "not smart" when it comes to studying the Bible. 

There you have it. 

I said it out loud.

Well, I at least typed it for the world to see.....or at least the ones that read my ramblings.

I LOVE scripture.  I find GREAT value in it.  I hunger for it. 


I struggle. every. single. time. I. want. to. study. it. for. myself.

Surely I'm not the only one!

Scripture is alive and it comes alive in our hearts when we GET IT IN our hearts.

I can read it.  I can write it (as in copy the words). I can even memorize it.  I can pray it (scripture).

However, I just can't seem to dig deep into it without the help of a study guide, commentary, devotional, blog, etc...

In other words, I can't do it alone.

I can take the time and read, re-read, and try to apply it....

But to just pick up a passage, chapter, etc.. and study it in context, with historical applications, cross references, etc...

I can't.

I try.

But fail.

I can't remember timelines, names of places and minor characters, etc...

Grace says that's ok.

It's the content of my heart and motivation that matters.

Do I want the knowledge so I can "appear" more spiritual or do I want the knowledge so that it penetrates my heart more?

Do I want to study to "show off" my skills or do I want to know God more?

Do I want to study because I "have to" (legalistic approach) or because I'm hungry for the word and it's power in my life?

Do I study it because I'm in need of more of Him and less of me? Do I study as an act of spiritual warfare?  To transform my mind?

Struggling with understanding is NOT an excuse to skip it or to not attempt it.  I do let life get in the way of the amount of time I spend too often.  Sometimes that is an excuse and sometimes it is reality.

I know this....

I won't quit.  I won't stop trying. 

I'll keep praying, asking for wisdom and understanding.  I'll keep using references and doing what I can to bring at least a slight amount of background and context to what I'm reading. I will continue to read it and decide for myself, through the best of my ability and the leading of the Holy Spirit, what I think the message to my heart should be.  I'll continue to read excellent books and follow blog writers that are willing to speak truth and make "sense"....and read their personal thoughts about how to apply it to my daily life.  I will choose to exercise discernment in choosing authors and not just jump on the bandwagon of something popular (or follow every suggestion of the "must" read book of the week). 

I won't quit because I want to study with my children.  I want them to know much more than have it in their hearts.  Especially as the world continue to call right wrong and wrong right.

God is concerned with my heart.  He's concerned with my motivation.  He's concerned with my love for Him and my desire to serve Him.  Yes, it's important to know as much Biblical knowledge as I can and teach it to my children, but he's not sitting there grading me on how many correct answers I can give. (I still cringe at the thought of what grade I made on my college entrance exam of Biblical knowledge....I don't remember the grade...but I remember thinking they would probably not let me walk out the door without the big "L" on my forehead {this is not true by any means...but I did feel that way}. It didn't matter how many verses I could quote...I couldn't recall facts. ) My ability to be called HIS child is not contingent upon what grade I might get on a test.  I'm HIS because I accepted that I am a sinner and need His saving grace through the blood of Christ. 

 Yet, I can't get lazy.  I can't put learning about Him and His word on the backburner.

Though if you see me, don't be surprised if I have a perplexed look on my face and wonder how in the world other people can pull page after page of thoughts out of a passage and how they know the translations of the words in the original language.  But I won't quit....

I'll keep on....

Praying for wisdom.
Praying for understanding.
Seeking Him.
Soaking in His words to the best of MY ability.

Because I am His and I want to know more of Him. 

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