Thursday, January 22, 2009

A Fresh Perspective

For a class that I am participating in, I was asked to read chapters 14, 15, 16 and 17 of the book of John. Not just read through them, mind you, but every day read them as if I had never read or heard them before. Like it was the first time I was exposed to the words.

Since I already know for a fact that this class is going to be a stretching one for me, I was relieved with how simple we were starting out. “Read through some chapters in John as if they were fresh...okay...I can do that, no problem!” Wow...did I have a problem.

My friends, if you have been a follower of Jesus Christ for any length of time, beware! We can become too overly familiar with that which is holy and miss out on so much that our Lord has to say to us. As I started, I really struggled. My mind just kept running through the verses at warp speed. Kind of like a “been there, done that” mentality I suppose. I really wrestled with getting my brain to wrap around these words as if they truly were new to me.

After having read through all four chapters a couple of times, I asked God to help me find a different approach. Praying and asking for help from the Holy Spirit, I started back at chapter 14 once more and read the first verse. Then I read it again and still once more. I then slowly read through each word while asking the Spirit to make the words new to me.

“Let not your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me.”

I visited that verse for several minutes until the words popped off the page as if Jesus Himself were talking to me directly! I went from verse to verse and surprisingly, shockingly they were all like that! Words, thoughts, instructions, promises, and prayers...I was being powerfully impacted and loved on by the words of Jesus Himself.

I pulled out my resource book, The Complete Word Study on the New Testament, so that I could look up a couple of the key words to go a little deeper. Not too much, I didn’t want to get off on bunny trails. I just slowly, meticulously, verse-by-verse worked through those 4 chapters over a 5-6 hour time period. I journaled each verse. Oh what an exciting time of revelation before the Lord!

Can I encourage you to give it a try? Ask God to slow your mind down and meet you verse by verse through a section of scripture that you have perhaps read dozens of times.

I pray that you will encounter the same exciting experience.