“What makes the difference is not how many times you have been through the Bible, but how many times and how thoroughly the Bible has been through you.” –Gipsy Smith
Okay—you’re getting into the Word (which is a huge accomplishment!), but how do you ensure that you don’t walk away from that book without it getting into you?
Kay Arthur says the main requirement in learning to study God’s Word is “the willingness to slow down and really look at what the Scripture is saying.” So . . . the question is . . . Are you willing to slow down? To do some work?
It’s so easy to just let other people do the hard work—to turn on the radio or read someone else’s book about what they think God’s Word says or means. Kay Arthur likens it to reading a book about frogs instead of traipsing through the marsh looking for a real frog. It would be easier to read the book about frogs, but you’d only end up with secondhand knowledge. You’d never have a personal encounter with a frog.
Women often tell Nancy that they wish they could get as much out of the Bible as she does. Know what she tells them? You can! But there are no shortcuts. Most Bible teachers recommend a three-step process to studying God’s Word.
• Observation—What does it say?
• Interpretation—What does it mean?
• Application—What should I do?
I encourage you to ask these questions of the text as you study. But don’t get hung up on methods. Do what works for you. I know that for Nancy, “without question, next to the Holy Spirit, the single greatest help in my personal devotional life has been to read the Scripture with paper and pen in hand, so I can record insights from the Word. As I write down what God is saying to my heart through His Word, the words are lifted off the page and become full of meaning and life to me.”
Do you really and truly believe that God can help you understand His Word? That He wants to—and will—speak to you personally? What steps are you currently taking—or do you plan to take—to get His Word into you?