When I wrote the topic of this post, I knew a lot of readers would see that as borderline heresy. But let’s be realistic here, there are times you read the Bible and you have a great, big question mark on your forehead. What??
The Bible is a very personal book; I have discovered that the same verse in the Bible will have five different meanings to five different people. Which is why sometimes, the Bible just does not make sense to the person reading it at a particular time. For those familiar with biblical scripture, there are times you read and there seems to be divine clarity; everything just seems to come together in what is often times called rhema.
Rhema is defined as the inspired revelation, word or insight from God; it is an enviable experience…this is when the word takes on a life of its own. Unfortunately, that does not always happen and not everyone gets to experience rhema all the time. There are times, especially for me, when I read the Bible and it’s almost indecipherable – like I’m reading English quite alright, but it does not translate to my brain as English. When that happens, what do you do?
I remember as a child, I went to my mum and complained about the problem. She gave me two solutions:
- Pray. She said I should ask God to make it clear for me since it was His word anyway. And truly, the Bible is Life and it has a Spirit of it’s own. Asking God for clarity and understanding works like a charm. Sometimes. Colosians 1:9 says “… We ask God to give you complete knowledge of his will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding.” But the verse of scripture in James is even more specific, it says: If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking (James 1:5) …It can be as simple and as straight forward as that. Even then, there were times when I would pray but there just seemed to be a block in my understanding. Mum had another solution
- Just Keep Reading. Yep. That was it essentially. She told me that sometimes it did not matter if I understood or not, I should not stop reading. The Bible is not always understood by the rational mind; sometimes while the human mind grapples with some part of it, the Spirit man is soaking it up and storing it for an appropriate time. That is the essence of continuing to read regardless. It is not until you are in a situation like Jesus was when he was tempted by the devil in the wilderness – when you find yourself in such a situation or in a place where you desperately need encouragement and reassurance of God’s love, then the scripture you thought you did not understand filters back into your consciousness to rebuke, inspire and comfort.
So as a born again Christian, when you are reading the Bible and it just doesn’t seem to make sense, remember: PRAY and KEEP READING!