Are you walking through a “valley of the shadow of death” right now?
Andy Andrews says it best, “We’re all either in a crisis, coming out of a crisis, or heading for a crisis. That’s just part of being with us on this planet.”
But, we learned in the last post through the story of Jesus calming the storm in Mark 4:35-41, “we’re going over to the other side.” Jesus doesn’t want us to die in the midst of the storm. He is there through it with us and teaching us that we can “get to the other side.”
How? How can we walk through the “valley of the shadow of death”? How can we “get to the other side” when it looks like the storm is going to take us out?
We learned last week that Faith in the Greek is pístis = persuasion (God giving His persuasion). This is the God given faith. A persuasion He gives us.
In order to receive this faith–this God given persuasion–we need to “listen.”
It’s when we “listen” that faith will be birthed in us so we can believe Jesus when He says, “we’re going over to the other side.”
We learned that one way we develop this faith, is through “listening” to God’s Word.
I don’t mean putting one your headphones and listening to the audio version of the Bible. It’s also not reading for reading sake, but really listening to hear what God wants to teach us as we study His Word.
This week, let’s delve into one way we can develop our “listening” skills.
John 14:26 NASB
But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.
The Holy Spirit was given to us for many reasons. One is to be our teacher.
When you were a student, what was one way that helped you learn when you didn’t understand something?
Asking great questions will help you extract great answers. Questions will help you understand the material you’re trying to grasp. Questions will get you thinking in ways you might otherwise overlook.
As you read God’s Word, here’s some great questions to get you started:
What does that word mean?
Pick words in the scripture you’re reading that jump out to you and look up what they really mean in the original language they were written in.
If you’re unsure how to do that, I wrote a post on how to do that here.
When you discover a words true meaning, it will bring clarity. Many times, we’re thinking that word means one thing, but it really means something completely different.
I remember when I was learning French. We were learning to conjugate Demande.
You would think it was obvious what that word means. Demand right? Nope. It meant ask or request. Big difference between asking and demanding!
The Bible was written in three ancient languages. Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic. It can be difficult to translate these words. Sometimes one word was used in modern English, but it still doesn’t convey clearly what the actual writer of that passage meant in his ancient language.
So many times in these moments of clarity, God speaks to me. Opening my eyes to who He really is and what He has done for us through the finished work of the cross. Most of the blog posts I create come out of these moments of clarity.
I believe He will speak to you through this process too.
What is Jesus saying to me that I need to “Listen” to so God can birth His faith (persuasion) in me?
Sit and listen.
Sit and listen some more.
The Holy Spirit will begin to illuminate God’s Word to you. He will birth faith into you through this understanding.
I will also continue to mull over in my mind what I just read, what the words that I looked up means, and what I should understand from what I’m reading. This process brings understanding and opens my eyes to what God is trying to say to me.
How can I apply what I’ve learned to my daily life?
Ask yourself, “are there any lessons I can take from this passage of scripture to apply to my life today”?
God’s Word was given to us not just to be inspiring stories of the past, but to impact our every days lives. Right here and right now!
John 10:10 NKJV
The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
Life here in the Greek is Zoe = life, both of physical (present) and of spiritual (particularly future) existence.
Abundantly in the Greek is perissós = "more than" ("abundantly"); beyond what is anticipated, exceeding expectation; "more abundant," going past expected limits ("more than enough . . . ")
Jesus came so we can live a life here and now (not just in the after life) that exceeds our expectations! He wants us to have a life that’s past the expected limits of what we think it could be.
Jesus has provided so much more for us than we realize most days.
As you dig in to the Word, as you “listen,” as you ask yourself questions, you will be persuaded. God will birth His faith in you!
One thing He wants you to be persuaded of is this Zoe life that Jesus came to give us. God will birth His faith into you, so that you can not just understand what He has done for us, but also so we can experience it as well.
Next post, we’ll explore listening skills that will help us through the hard places in life.