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Sunday I heard these eight words that broke my heart. Unfortunately, I am hearing them more and more as I am out in the world talking and speaking to various groups. These eight little words are, “I don’t know how to study my Bible.” As a woman who knows the importance of knowing the word of God for herself, you can imagine how heartbreaking it is to hear women tell me they have never studied the bible for themselves. They attend studies where they read someone else’s interpretation of certain passages of scriptures, but they don’t actually study the bible apart from answering the questions in the book that was purchased through some Christian bookstore.
In Hosea 4:6 God our Father cries out that His people are being destroyed for lack of knowledge. Over and over again His people are falling into sin, destruction, false teachings, and false doctrines, all because they don’t take the time to know His word for themselves. The other thing that breaks my heart is that no one is actually out there teaching women to study God’s Word for themselves. I have listened to these teachers who sell their studies in the bookstores. I have watched them on the various daily Christian television programs, listened to their radio spots and even went through one of their studies. What I saw was that they may open their bibles, but what we are learning from them is what they have learned- not what the Lord wants us to learn individually. More and more women are following these teachers then they are the Word of God. They rely on them for their daily devotions, their weekly studies, and their weekend retreats. Instead of just picking up their bibles and reading what God wants to speak to them through His Word for that day. (Note- I am not saying that they are all bad, but we must not depend on their interpretation alone. It is okay to read devotions, but don’t let that be all that you read that day- read a chapter, a few pages, something from God’s Word first.)
The Word of God is not just something we carry around in our cute little bags on Sunday. The Word of God is the source of life we have been given to live out our faith among the world. The Lord God said that His people were being destroyed because they had no knowledge of Him. We cannot take someone else’s word for it. You cannot even take my word for it. You must be willing to seek the Word of God out for yourself. The fact that more and more women are coming to me and telling me they don’t know how to study their bibles is proof that we have failed as teachers of God’s Word. If we were truly teaching women the truth of God’s Word then they would want to learn how to study the Bible for themselves. We would be encouraging them to dive in head first and seek God on their own.
The experiences that I have are not the same that you will have. God did not create us to only rely on someone else’s opinion of what His word says. He created us so that we could have a personal, intimate relationship with Him through His word. How can you have a relationship with someone if you do not know them? If we truly want to know God, if we truly seek a relationship with Him then we must learn to study the Bible for ourselves.
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Being an author and writer these words I am writing may sound hypocritical to you. But, as a Christian, I also must before God be completely honest and fully open before you, because you deserve my complete honesty, and God demands it from me. I would much rather you spend time in the 66 books God has given you, then read the ones I have written. I would much rather you spend your days reading through a book of the Bible then reading a chapter out of something that I have written. Because no matter what I write, how I write or how many books I write, nothing can ever replace the Word of God written for you by God Himself. He is the True and Almighty Author of us all- why wouldn’t we want to read His first?
Proverbs 30:5 tells us that “Every word of God is pure; He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him.” Every word of God is pure. That means that everything that has been written from Genesis to Revelation is His Word to you. Every letter, every point of punctuation, every single dot and title is from the Lord written for you. His Word is pure, it is without deceit; pure in all its form. There is nothing more pure than the Word of God. So why then do we seek to rely on someone else’s interpretation of the Word of God instead of going directly to the source? It saddens my heart because I see so many women struggling to survive day after day because they do not take the time to read one of the 66 books that God has given them. And just think- His word is free! You don’t have to send in a gift offering to get the latest copy. You don’t have to spend half your life savings to buy the latest study on CD, with accompanying work book. All you have to do is turn on your computer, type in the translation you want to read, or just pick up the one that has been gathering dust on your coffee table- no strings attached.
There is no specific method for studying your bible. I do have a page on how I study my Bible, but that may not work for you. You are you, and I am me- we may not study the same, we may not read the same- that is okay. The only thing that you must do is have a willing heart to read it. Our Bibles were not created for Sunday mornings only. They were created and given to us by God so that we could learn to have a daily walk with Him. Substituting other people’s opinions of the Word of God for the Word of God will leave you spiritually drained and you too will find yourself being destroyed for lack of knowledge. Do you not know that the life you lead is only life if the Word of God is your daily bread? Jesus tells us in Luke 4:4 that we do not live on bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. Your spiritual life is in turmoil because you do not take the time to read the Word of God for yourself.
It is my desire, it is my passionate hope that we, as women of God would start to become women of His Word. All it takes is a willingness to pick up one of the 66 books He has given us and put down the one that you are currently reading. There is never and will never be any substitute for the word of God in your life. You may not understand everything you are reading in His word, and that is okay. But just read it first before you rely on someone else to read it for you. It is my mission, my passion from the Lord (for lack of a better word) to bring women back to the Bible, to the place where they can find all that they will ever want or need nestled between the pages of Genesis and Revelation.
If we do not know how to open our bibles and read it for ourselves, then we are in danger of allowing someone else to lead us down paths the Lord would not want us to go. Just because someone says they are a teacher of the Word, doesn’t mean that they are. We must try the spirits that are teaching us (1 John 4:1), we must test those who say they are Christians, before we pick up their latest book, their latest CD, or attend their latest conference. If we are not Bereans,(Acts 17:10-11) and willing to seek thescriptures to see if what they are teaching us are so, then we are allowing someone else to control our spiritual walks- and because of it, His people are being destroyed for lack of knowledge. Don’t let it be said of us, my sisters, that we were destroyed because we lacked knowledge of His word.
It is my prayer today Father that You would draw us back to Your Word and Your Word alone. So many women are being destroyed day after day by false teachers and false doctrines because they do not know Your Word for themselves. Father, open our eyes to see the deep spiritual need we have for Your Word. Your Word is truth, there is no other. Father I pray, that You would send forth Your Holy Spirit into the hearts of all who read these words today and draw them back to the Holy Word which You have given us. Father, I pray that we would become women of Your Word, and no longer women of someone else’s word. Father, if any of these words are not of You, then I pray you would allow them to fall to the ground. I pray that through these written letters You alone would be glorified and You alone would be exalted, through Jesus Christ our Lord, forever and ever. Amen and Amen.