One of the most common conversations I have with friends about reading the whole Bible goes something like this: “I want to read the Bible, but I just don’t understand it.” I remember feeling this way too. When I considered reading the whole Bible on my own I felt intimidated, so I just didn’t try. As a result of some rather spirited encounters with my dear husband, I decided to take some time to unpack that thought process. I wanted to try and figure out how I arrived at that conclusion and more importantly, was my belief about my lack of ability even valid?
One of the most memorable arguments my husband and I ever had was about this topic. While I was born and raised in church culture, my husband’s experience was limited. When we purposed in our hearts to read the whole Bible together for the first time, we would take turns reading to each other every night. I would make a habit of skipping between reading aloud the scriptures and the added commentary that was in my Bible. My husband would inevitably notice this each time. He would stop me and say, “Are you still reading scripture?” I would explain that I was reading him the scholarly commentary that had been added to the bottom of each page in my Bible “so we could understand” what we were reading.
Repeatedly, he would tell me that he wasn’t interested in the opinions of men about what we were reading, he simply desired to read the scriptures and let them interpret themselves through the help of the Holy Spirit. I would come undone. I vividly remember getting so upset and frustrated that I began yelling at him, desperate for him to understand, that even if he didn’t, I needed that commentary because without it, I was not able to understand the scriptures. That’s when my husband’s gentle, quiet logic that has a way of plowing straight through even the deepest seeded fallacies pierced my heart with a question no one had ever asked
me: “Who told you that, Cassandre? Don’t you believe He meant for you to read this Word and that He can help you?”
Suddenly, it was like a veil was torn from my heart and eyes that I hadn’t even known had been there. How had I come to that conclusion? When had I begun to believe it so wholeheartedly? Who had convinced me? All these questions battered my mind and heart. I wondered what God had to say about the matter. I found no lack of answers on the topic.
* The unfolding of your words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple. Psalm 119:130
* Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, Luke 24:45
* But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. John 14:26
* Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. James 1:5
* Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual. 1 Corinthians 2:12-13
The One Who created me, the One Who wrote the love letter to His people (>>me<<) says I CAN read it AND understand it AND that He will send His Holy Spirit to help me do just that!
I realized that if I were to start a college nursing program, my first response to the learning material placed before me would not be frustration and exasperation that I didn’t already understand the intricacies of the anatomy, physiology and biology of the human body. The very same would be true if I decided to take up crocheting. I wouldn’t give up before ever getting started because I didn’t already understand how to properly loop a stitch around the needle.
These sorts of responses to learning something new wouldn’t be logical. We naturally understand that we can’t know what we don’t know until we endeavor to apply ourselves to knowing. Treating our ability to read the whole Bible for ourselves any differently just doesn’t make sense.
I had to admit to myself, and my husband, that somewhere along the way, I had been persuaded to believe that I was incapable of knowing the Father through personal study of His whole Word and I had accepted that fate without questioning it. I was so relieved to trade my hazy view for the clarity of a biblical one! Just because someone tells me something, or just because I think it, does not make it so. It’s crucial above all else to know what God says about it!
So what do we do? We get started. We show up. We endeavor to persevere to know this God we serve. We commit to studying the original so we can more easily spot a counterfeit. We let the Author and Finisher of our faith guide us on our expedition through the bountiful riches hidden in His Word!
What are you waiting for? Grab a headlamp and a shovel, friend. All the treasures of heaven are buried within those pages! Let’s go exploring together! 📖🔦❤️