Understanding the Bible; April 14, 2020

Luke 24:45 Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures.

What a blessed thing! And how necessary! If we are honest, we too have to confess that sometimes the Bible seems like a blank wall, communicating nothing to us. However, when the Holy Spirit opens our eyes, we discover that the “blank wall” was really the inside of our spiritual eyelids! That’s why every time we read the Bible we should ask the Holy Spirit to be our guide, to speak into our hearts what the Father is saying to us. If we will do that, we will find that He is amazingly faithful to do exactly that. There is no embarrassment whatsoever in that. After all, those to whom Jesus was speaking here had been with Him personally for over three years, and yet they still needed to have their eyes opened. It’s like Paul said: “The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.” (1 Corinthians 2:14) Without the Holy Spirit, the Bible can easily become the foundation of a legalistic, man-centered system, and that is tragic. We need always to read the Bible with the “running commentary” of the Author. (2 Timothy 3:16)

I had taken in occasional sips of the Holy Spirit from childhood, raised in the home that I was, but it wasn’t until I received the baptism in the Holy Spirit by faith that the Bible really came alive to me. I had had a clear example right under my nose for a few years prior to that, because Cathy was baptized in the Holy Spirit shortly before we left Hawaii when I got out of the army in 1972. After she had that experience, she couldn’t get her nose out of the Bible! Her foreign language in college was Biblical Greek, and every day while I was at work she would be digging into the Word, rejoicing to see it unfolding before her. Thinking about it, it wasn’t until after I was baptized in the Spirit in 1974 that daily devotions became an ingrained habit that is the foundation of my life. I had the groundwork of Biblical knowledge already, but it took the direct help of the Holy Spirit to enable me to understand what I “knew.” In the years since then I have found that often I will say things that seem completely obvious to me, since the Bible expresses them clearly and repeatedly, and those listening to me will say, “That’s so deep!” I should be used to it by now, but I’m still surprised by that at times. One of the joys of reading the Bible under the Spirit’s guidance is that often I will read a passage that is completely familiar and find that God is speaking to me now, through those very familiar words. That’s having the eyes of my heart opened, and I am deeply grateful.

Father, You know how much I want this life in the Spirit for each of those in my care, but I know You want it even more. Help me not try to make it happen by my strength – which is no strength – but allow You to use even me to bring it about. May we all be so filled with Your Spirit that Your Word comes alive to us and we hear You clearly, to be and do all that You desire, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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