¡Hola, hola! Can you believe this? We are on week 34 already! God has clearly prospered our plans and has been incredibly kind to us these past months. We have been learning to wear this new habit daily and it feels comfortable and natural to wear it now.
Today I want us to consider for a moment how the world we live in is one in which, more than ever, the written word abounds. No matter where we turn we find words to read. But the problem that many of us are facing is that we are no longer reading, but skimming through the words in front of us. We have been training our minds for the last several years to read superficially, to read headers and bold print, and words that are always accompanied with images. Words, not ideas. We no longer wrestle with the texts we have in front of us, we no longer want to wrestle with words. But if we are Women of the Word – and if we are Christians, which we are indeed – we must resist this temptation and learn (re-learn?) to read and read well. To read thoroughly and not skim the text, especially when we find ourselves in front of God’s Word open before us. We have mentioned many times that we should not despair if we don’t “get it all” the first (or second, or third) time we read a passage, and that is true. But we shouldn’t be lazy either and deliberately skim through the hard passages or difficult texts we encounter. Friends, God has given us a wonderful mind and has given us His Word and His Spirit so that we may know Him and His will for us. He is a God that wants to be known, and this means that He wants us to understand the Scriptures.
When we come to the harder passages or books of the Scripture, we must come knowing that God has given us extraordinary minds, yes, but also limited. We will never fully understand all the mysteries in the Word of God, but by His Grace, God will increase our understanding as we pray and faithfully open the Scriptures and wrestle with the passages in front of us. As we read and read again and resist the temptation to skim through it, God, in His kindness, will remember our frame and help us understand so that we may know Him more, love Him more, praise Him more, and obey Him more.
George Whitfield once said, “My mind being now more open and enlarged, I began to read the Holy Scriptures upon my knees, laying aside all other books and praying over, if possible, every line and Word. This proved food indeed and drink indeed to my soul. I daily received fresh life, light and power from above. I got more true knowledge from reading the Book of God in one month–than I could ever have acquired from all the writings of men!”
Let’s ask God this week to teach us to read, to help us pray as we read His Word, and to trust that His Word will never return void.
This week we will read the book of Daniel and start Zechariah. We will also read (and pray) Psalms 74-80, and Jude. We have a catch-up day on Thursday in which I recommend you read 1 and 2 Thessalonians (only 8 chapters all together). Read attentively, read prayerfully, read and do not skim the texts this week.
May our prayer this week be, “help us, O Lord, to build ourselves in our faith and persevere in prayer in the Holy Spirit, keeping ourselves, at all times in your love, and waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Jude 20-21)
Under His sun and by His grace,
Becky Pliego and the Ladies Fellowship Team of Christ Church