Have you ever come up against a problem or situation in your life where you did not know what to do? As Christians we have the answer living inside of us but if you are like me, at times, you have had a difficult time trying to find answers to what you are facing. I have had the privilege of attending some amazing ministry schools and have learned some powerful tools to study the Bible. Being a Christian who has studied the Word of God extensively and in ministry for twenty-five years have also helped me learn how to practically apply the truths found in the Bible. I would love to share some of the things that I have learned so that you will be more fully equipped to face everyday life.
Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” This means that the very words that God has spoken to us through His Word (and by His Spirit) have inherent power in and upon them to bring forth what God is desiring to do. If you are anything like me, you have often wondered if God’s words have so much power, why do we not see what He has said come to pass? That is a legitimate question that I believe we can find some answers to.
First of all, I believe the Word of God is so practical. If we cannot understand it, we need to seek help so we do not get discouraged and stop reading it all together. Our heavenly Father wants us to understand what He is saying to us more than we want to. He has left His Spirit with us to lead and guide us into all truth (John 16:13). We need to access the Teacher who lives inside of us in greater measure. Jesus was so adamant that we needed the precious gift of His Spirit that He spent several chapters in the Word of God exhorting us to wait for and fully depend upon the Spirit that He was leaving us with when He ascended to Heaven. Before reading the Word of God, it is an excellent idea to take a minute and ask Holy Spirit to lead and guide you into all truth and to help you have revelation of what your God is saying to you.
Next, seeking help from practical tools is another way to understand the Bible. For the sake of time I will just give a few ideas that will help you. A super-easy way to find topics that you want to study is by using the index in the back of your Bible. If you would like to dig a bit deeper, using a concordance is another great tool. When you are studying a passage and see a word that you would like to have a broader understanding of the meaning, you simply find that word in the Hebrew section of the concordance for Old Testament books of the Bible (that was the language used then) and you look for New Testament words in the Greek section (also the language used then). Purchasing a good quality study Bible is a very practical way to begin to dig deeper in your studies. I personally love my Spirit-Filled Life Bible and have had in for over twenty years. I would be so lost without it!
This next truth is so powerful and has dramatically changed my life. We need to study and meditate and apply the truths of the Word of God in the specific area that we need it or are struggling in. For example; if I am having trouble or have questions about how to raise my children in the ways of the Lord, studying or hearing truth about how to prosper financially is not going to help me. While both are found in the Bible, we need to know where to turn when we need specific truth. If we have a headache, we need to take medicine (or pray!) to help with headaches, not put a bandaid on our head! This is where having tools to help you find specific topics in the Bible will really help. The more you study, you will also become more familiar with where passages are and you will quickly find your go-to weapons to use when you need them! Seeking out resources such as teachings on CD or books,etc. on specific topics that you need help with will be super-helpful as well.
Jesus spoke some powerful words about His Word in Mark 4:23-25, “If anyone has ears, let him hear. Then He said to them, ‘”Take heed what you hear. With the same measure you use, it will be measured to you, and to you who hear, more will be given. For whoever has, to him more will be given, but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.” Jesus is placing the responsibility upon us to take His words and put them to action in our lives. He has spoken so much and continues to reach out to His creation. We need to be sober about the price that our God paid for us to live in freedom and to hear His voice. We need to embrace the Spirit of God who is continually drawing us closer to the Father. We cannot afford to miss what He is saying to us because His words are our very life. Jesus said in Matthew 4:4 that we need to live on every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. The word there for “word” is rhema. Rhema is the freshly spoken word of God that can be specifically applied to our lives, not simply the written word. Jesus desired for us to live like Him. For us to be so close that we could hear our heavenly Father whisper and we would catch His word and meditate and study what He has said.
Beloved, this is how we live in victory! This is how we overcome and inherit all the promises our Father has waiting for us!