So glad you stopped by today! I promise that you’ll be so glad you did because we are being treated to a wonderful guest posting by my friend and fellow blogger and writer, Francie Winslow! She has some GREAT ideas of gettin’ some good JOY and hearing from God through scripture! ENJOY!!!! Take it away, Francie!!!!
This summer with Wendie is about finding REAL JOY!! I love that! Today, we’re going to talk about finding JOY as you meet Jesus in His words.
But first, let’s get honest in this space. Do you ever feel a bit foggy, overwhelmed or confused as you read the Bible? Like its distant or a bit hard to relate to? Reading such an old text can seem daunting, and when it feels like this, it is hard to get into it, much less find JOY in it. Been there, done that.
BUT, the almost too-good-to-be-true NEWS, is that when we look for God, He shows up and leads us into truth! There’s nothing boring, foggy or hard to relate to about experiencing God’s nearness as you read His alive and active words.
God’s word is a BIG DEAL, and is thoroughly amazing.
Jesus said that we don’t actually live by bread alone. We LIVE by HIS words. (Matthew 4:4) We know from Psalms that in God’s presence, we will be filled with JOY! (Psalm 16:11) As we know Him and His words, our hearts and minds get transformed with Truth so that we think and live like Jesus! Digging deep into God’s word is also a way to discover God’s purposes and heart not only for us, but for all of creation!
So, if God’s words are that amazing, and are a vital key for thriving in life, then how can we experience joy and wonder as we read His words? How can we connect with Him in a real way and let His words impact our lives?
Here’s the deal: Read the Bible WITH the Holy Spirit, allowing Him room to be your teacher and to guide you as you go.
Here are some ideas to get you going:
1. Begin your time reading the Bible by asking God to lead you and for the Holy Spirit to open your eyes to truth. Pray for eyes to see. If we read the Bible like we are kids sitting in our Daddy’s lap reading a story written just for us, then we can surely ask Him to interact with us while we read. It is His delight to teach us and reveal His heart to us!
“Open my eyes, that I may see the wonderful truths in Your instructions.” Psalm 119:18
2. While you read, expect God to “highlight” truth. Look for the “Holy Spirit Highlighter” to emphasize words as you read. Be aware of words or images that stand out, as though the Spirit of God just drew a big circle around a word, or drew a yellow highlighter marker over a sentence. Watch for things that He is emphasizing, and if something sticks out to you, don’t move forward…stay there and re-read it several times.
“The Helper, the Holy Spirit…will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things I have said to you.” John 14:26
3. Write out the verse/word that was highlighted in a journal or on an index card. And read it again. Go back to that verse for the next several days or weeks, until it has become a part of how you think and live.
“Do not let truth and mercy leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.” Proverbs 3:3
4. Put the verse into a prayer form, and say it back to God. Thank Him for the truth and wisdom you see. Ask Him take the truth from the paper, and to write it on your heart; to feed your hungry spirit with His lasting Words so that as you walk about later that day, you will carry that truth in your mind and heart and apply it to your life.
“But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves.” James 1:22
I pray this post has given you fresh perspective and excitement about getting into God’s everlasting, rock-solid words. He has words to speak straight to our hearts and into our circumstances; words that will feed and satisfy our hungry hearts like nothing else. Praying your spiritual appetite is stirred and that you experience His JOY in a real and life-changing way as you read His living Word!
“You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with JOY in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.” Psalm 16:11
AWESOME stuff from Francie, right?!? And in case you are interested on how to find her blog, here’s a little more info on this amazing woman of God!!!
Francie specializes in moving piles of laundry from one room to another and making tents out of old sheets. During any free time she has, you can find her writing blogs, Bible studies, and speaking to audiences of mostly moms like her. The thing that excites her most, is inspiring others to experience the heart of God, be transformed by His love, and make a difference in the world.
Francie graduated from Wheaton College with a BA in Political Science and an MA in Evangelism and Leadership. She now lives in Northern Virginia with her husband and three kids. You can find Francie’s blog at http://upinandout.com/. If you want to check her out on Facebook or Twitter, here’s the scoop:
FB: Up In And Out, Twitter: @franciewinslow
Up Monday: The letter “O” and Why “IRL” is so important (hmmm, what in the world is “IRL”?!? Don’t you LOVE a good mystery!!!)
Peace, love, and JOY!!!!