How Should We Approach the Word of God?
“Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15, NKJV)
“Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me.
How, exactly, when we break out our Bibles (or our Bible app; I love my Logos!), should we approach when and how to study, learning how to rightly divide the Word of God? Do you approach your studies first, in prayer? If so, for what do you ask? Discernment? Wisdom? Knowledge? Guidance? Comfort? All of the above?
The correct answer is, of course, whichever approach applies to you in that moment, but have you ever thought about how you approach Him and how you speak to God? Do you come to Him as a little child as Jesus instructs us in Matthew 18:3? Are you able to put your pride aside when you seek God’s guidance? I’m not talking about tucking it away in your pocket to use later, but willing to throw your pride on the ground and smash it under foot as if you were bruising the serpent’s head; confident that you will walk away from your intimate encounter with God’s Word, free from any sinful desire, regenerated and renewed in faith, with a fire blazing in your heart for the love of Christ and your brothers and sisters within Him as His one Holy Church.
Do you remind yourself that the Bible is our Father’s letter to us? All too often I hear and read Christians debate about whether or not what Paul, Peter, James, John, etc. said is to be held in as high regard as the word of Jesus written in red. Why do we question this? Is not the Bible, in its entirety, the inerrant Word of God, Almighty? Do not be deceived into believing this nonsensical way of thinking, saints. Everything, and I mean everything, from “In the beginning” (Gen 1:1) to “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.” (Rev. 22:21) is “profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Tim. 3:16–17) Do not buy the lies that Satan attempts to pedal through secular teaching and manipulation. Hold true to the knowledge that God has spoken to you when you feel He falls silent. If you begin to feel like God’s silence is deafening, open His Word.
Why are you reading your Bible in the first place? I mean not to raise doubt to the authenticity of anyone’s motive. This question is truly a personal one. If you read God’s Word with the approach that you would take with any other book, what, then, should you expect to gain from it? I have found that my most in-depth sessions in His Word come after I am able to communicate vertically in solitude, asking for, and receiving, an increased indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
God’s guidance is not always contextually the same. I have discovered that even when re-reading a familiar passage, I am led to learn something different from the encounter that closely relates to a specific area of my life that needs attention. The most difficult part is recognizing it and not resisting God’s instruction as He means for it to be received. This, I’m still working on.
Whatever your reason, remember that biblical study is not a competition. As long as your heart and mind are ready, willing, and eager to receive what God has planned to speak to you through the pages, He will be glorified and you will be filled. Your cup will run over.