January 4th, 2014

Settling in to begin the first day of reading in my 365 Day Bible, I declared that I was going to proceed slowly in order to actually read every word.  Too often I am in a hurry and when I speed-read a verse, I miss much of the blessing.  I also decided to stop each time I read something I do not understand, and ask Holy Spirit to bring clarity to that particular message.

I got all the way to Genesis 1:2 before I had a question.  As I read the second verse, I found myself musing over a particular teaching I have heard.  Many preachers are talking about the possibility of there being a large period of time between verses one and two.  I re-read the two verses and tried to comprehend the meaning of each word, looking for a clue I could grab hold of.  Then I reminded myself that because I am not reading the original manuscript, I cannot trust that each word has been perfectly translated.  Oops, I had already forgotten my plan.  So, I quit trying to figure it out, and I asked the Lord if He would give me the answer.  As you probably guessed, He did not give me a definite yes or no; however, He did give me a download of quite valuable information.

Here is my understanding of what I received:  Scripture consists of printed words on a contrasting page.  What it says is what it means.  (God does not have trouble adequately expressing Himself.)  Everything I really need to know can be found in the Word.  Sometimes the complete message needs to be put together like a puzzle, so I might need to search the Scriptures to understand the complete message.  That’s the idea!  This is a task that is never supposed to be completed.  The entire gospel is contained in Scripture, in readable form, for anyone who will invest the time to study.  Oh, indeed, the Word contains many mysteries, but I should not be troubled.  Those mysteries are revealed in their proper time.  Often, finding a searched-for answer will lead to more questions, so I must keep searching.  (If I pursue Him, He will make Himself known to me.)  And when I ask, Holy Spirit will give me wisdom and understanding of what I am reading.  I am embarking on an adventure of a lifetime, one that brings eternal rewards and everlasting joy.

So, I suppose my original question will remain a mystery for today.  I trust that He will lead me to where I need to go, in the event this question is meant to be answered.  In the meanwhile, I will get back to my daily reading, looking forward to getting through the entire Bible this year.

I feel a pull on my spirit to remind myself, and you, that God does indeed speak to my spirit today, in addition to speaking through Scripture.  The written word is not always the last word; however, God will never contradict Himself.  That means if I hear something that does not line up with Scripture, then I have either mis-heard or else I have not correctly understood the written Word.  In addition, if I read a passage that seems to contradict another passage in the Bible, then I need to go back and read everything I can find until the two messages line up in my brain.  God does not change.  He does not contradict Himself.  He is not the master of confusion.  And I especially need to always remember that because of His incredibly deep and intense love for me, and because of His great desire for me to know Him intimately, He will never abandon me in my search for truth.  On the contrary, He will encourage me and draw me closer and lead me to that place where the Word transforms my life and prepares me for eternity.