I’m trying to read through the Bible this year. I have been consistently behind my goals for the daily reading plan, but I am really enjoying the journey. Right now I am in Proverbs. Can I just say “wow!”? It’s like drinking from a water hydrant. So many words of wisdom in one chapter! I probably have the same reaction every time I read Proverbs. Psalms was so refreshing. It’s also hard to read very many chapters in the same day because it isn’t a story line to follow. I am always amazed at how much the Bible speaks to me right where I am each day. Passages that I’ve read over and over again continue to minister to me in new ways. The Holy Spirit will use what I read to help me get through the day and refocus on God.
Proverbs 1:7 says:
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.
I am so glad that all I have to do is fear (respect, revere) the Lord! As long as I love Him and let His Word instruct me, I will mature in life and will not be considered a fool (at least not by the Lord). The world says Christians are foolish, but what they say doesn’t matter. In fact, it is only the Lord that really knows the truth about me. Proverbs 21:2 says:
Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the heart.
We are very good at justifying our actions and making ourselves look good to those around us . . . and even to ourselves. It is when things go wrong that our true colors show! Proverbs 19:3 says
When a man’s folly brings his way to ruin, his heart rages against the Lord.
Have you ever been angry with the Lord? I have. I’m not proud of this, but I am learning the truth. I had misconceptions about God’s promises. I thought that if I lived a moral life, that God would bless me, which to me meant: give me what I want. I always said the prosperity gospel was wrong, but then I found out that I really believed in it more than I wanted to admit. You may look at my life and say that I haven’t been involved in “folly,” but I will tell you that it was folly for me to live my life as though I had control over my circumstances. I wouldn’t have been so disillusioned if I had really been putting my trust in God. I would have had peace if I had been looking at God’s character instead of what God could do for me if He really wanted to. So, now I am reading the Bible to learn more fully who God is. I’m not interested in a list of “thou shalt” or “thou shalt not” because I can’t keep all the rules anyway. Jeremiah 33:3 says:
Call to Me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.
Philippians 3:10-16 says:
That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and may share His sufferings, becoming like Him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me His own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. Only let us hold true to what we have attained.
I don’t particularly like the “suffering” part, but I have noticed that it is in the hard times that I feel closest to God. Probably because that is when I look up to Him the most. I encourage you to read the whole passage of Philippians 3. So much encouragement is found in realizing that God is the one who gives us everything. It is not our efforts that make us successful or wise in God’s kingdom. God loves us and is calling us to confess our sins and run into His loving arms for comfort and healing.
I’m going to keep reading and keep asking the Holy Spirit to teach me the truth! Thank You Jesus for the gift of forgiveness and relationship with God!