In the mountains it is common to keep a “little extra” in the closet for running to the store is not an option. An extra ink cartridge for the continuous printing of notes, bottle of laundry detergent to keep up with the wash, or a can of coffee to ensure a fresh brewed cup each morning. Preparedness is even more important when a snowstorm might prevent long distance travel for many days or result in a power outage.
We “store up” to meet physical needs and it has proven beneficial during the time of panic following orders by government officials to shelter-in-place when store shelves were stripped of product. This same method of preparedness needs to be applied in the spiritual realm as well. Those who have not taken time to place God’s word on their heart, or to know Him, walk by sight. People assumed there was a food shortage, not a lag in transporting enough supplies to meet the demand, because they saw empty shelves. A sister in Christ told me her family was not hoarding food at this time but purchasing only what they needed. The difference is walking by faith versus walking by sight.
How do we prepare spiritually for such a time as this? By the Word of God.
2 Timothy 2:15: “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
Hebrews 4:12: “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”
Unlike the physical realm there is no way to take in too much of God’s Word. However, there are different ways of storing it up.
I have a small box filled with cards on which is printed a memory verse for each week of the year. It looks like the boxes sent at Christmas time by Operation Christmas Child, a ministry of Samaritan’s Purse, and is titled “Shoe Box Scripture Treasures” because it was distributed by this organization as “a gift to bless”. A card from Franklin Graham, president of Samaritan’s Purse, is tucked inside reading: “My parents knew the time would come when we would need the strength that comes from God’s Word. When I was a boy, every Sunday afternoon was reserved for memorizing Scripture. As you commit verses to memory, your heart becomes like a treasure chest filled with verses that can bring you comfort, strength, inspiration, courage, and refreshment.”
The only way to understand the meaning of Scripture and how to apply it is to study it book-by-book, verse-by-verse. In “Living by the Book, The Art and Science of Reading the Bible,” the authors Howard and William Hendricks wrote: “There isn’t a verse of Scripture that was thrown in by accident. Every word contributes to meaning. Your challenge as a reader is to discern that meaning.”
Take a class, or find a book, that provides the skills to rightly divide the word of truth. Also purchase software and tools that help with interpretation. For example, learning the Hebrew and Greek meaning of words provides greater understanding and depth to each verse.
In the book “To Walk and Not Faint,” author Marva J. Dawn writes: “Oh, the changes that take place in our lives as we grow to know God better! Each time we deeply study a verse from the Scriptures, God’s Word reveals to us so much more of who He is.”
Devotional Reading and Devotional Time:
Sitting at the feet of Jesus, with His Word in our lap, He speaks to us through the Holy Spirit as we read. To contemplate a passage is to meditate on the Scripture expecting the Holy Spirit to clarify the voice of God. Like Samuel, we should have an attitude of “Speak, for Your servant hears,” as we read our Bible (1 Samuel 3:10).
Worship is part of this time of devotion. I have clipped together the names of God to create a heart of praise as I consider who He is.
No time I have spent in learning God’s Word and knowing Him has been wasted. As guidance for a specific situation or struggle, in perfect timing the Holy Spirit has uncovered notebooks from a past conference with a teaching that provides insight and wisdom or draws me to a Bible study I have completed in the past. At the time we may have seen no value in the hours we spent at the conference or in the Bible study, but the knowledge we stored was beneficial. It was part of the Spiritual preparedness process.
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