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I love to read. When I am into a truly good story, I get mildly obsessed and can generally put down a 300 pager in a day.
But when I read that way, I’m skim reading. Meaning that I am reading it fast enough to get the main things, but I’m not picking up the detailed descriptions or the subtle nuances. That is also why if a book is good I’ll read it more than once. So I’ll see all the fabulous things hidden in plain sight by the author.
This is completely different than how I read The Word or a book about The Word. I can read one verse and ponder in it for several days. Or look up other verses on the same topic and spend several hours reading and rereading these verses until I understand what Jesus is showing me that day.
For example…it took me nearly 2 years to read “Captivating” by Stasi & John Eldredge. That book gutted me. I’d read a paragraph, or a sentence even, and I’d have to go to Jesus with what it brought up in me and let Him help me with it. Once I was healed, I’d go back to that book. This happened repeatedly for nearly 2 years.
One of the best and hardest to read books ever.
With The Word, from a single verse on one day I can get a general overview meaning that inspires me that day, and come back another day and get a deeper meaning from the same verse. A revelation that changes my whole perspective. It’s what I love about The Bible. It’s living and double edged.
I’m currently reading Good or God? by John Bevere. God has revealed some things to me over the years about the Garden of Eden that are being confirmed by this book, and I’m only in chapter 2! So I’m reading it slowly. Pondering. Chewing on it. Going into The Word from the verses mentioned and chewing on that.
What made me write this post today is something that I wish more pastors and teachers would remind people….
…verify what you hear for yourself!
How many people leave church after a sermon and just accept what they’ve been taught without going into The Word for themselves? Without taking it before God and asking Him to reveal how this can be applied to their life and situation.
I’m not judging….believe me…I’ve done it too. It’s easy when you sit under an excellent teacher to just take what they’ve spent hours and years to learn and move on with our day. But how effective is that in growing and maturing you?
Be honest. It isn’t. Not for you or me.
Think back to something you’ve learned in school. Like a foreign language or subject you didn’t care about. I took 2 economics classes as a part of my major, International Relations. I can tell you that economics is about supply and demand and that Adam Smith is the founder of modern economics. That is all I remember from 6 months of study.
So it’s not effective to just listen and not verify or study it for yourself. It only stays for maybe a day or a week at the most. If, we don’t apply what we’ve heard, the excellent teaching we received is wasted.
The person speaking is also human. They may have taken what The Word said and twisted it to support what they want it to say, rather than what it actually says. One of my favorite pastors, Duane Vanderklok, used to remind us every so often that he is just a man, and that we should be checking up on him, by reading The Word ourselves.
I’d like to believe when this happens it wasn’t intentionally done, but there are people in the world with selfish intentions or even dark motivations. We’ve all seen news stories about people who have been fooled by someone claiming to be good.
So it is always best to verify for yourself.
It’s like gossip or “fake news” on the internet. People read it and share it before verifying it’s true. One of my big pet peeves!!
Just because someone said it doesn’t mean it’s true. So if your skim reading your way through life, and never verifying what you’re hearing is true, then you’re probably believing at least one big fat lie. So take some time to verify for yourself.
Point to ponder while you wander… “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.” James 1:22-25 NKJV
“I had only heard about You before, but now I have seen You with my own eyes.” Job 42:5
Everyone has hard times, but not everyone learns or grows from those times. You have the choice to become hard and bitter. And You have the choice to remain positive and open to change. Your perspective in the situation really is everything.
Job came out of his situation with a perspective shift, a softer heart & a real relationship with God.