Do you ever crack open your Bible for quiet time, read a passage, and then think to yourself, “I have no idea what I just read!” Or maybe you avoid reading the Bible, or certain portions of it, because you think you won’t be able to understand it. I was watching my 2-year-old daughter looking at books the other day and caught a glimpse of what I feel like sometimes when I am reading the Bible. My daughter loves books, and we spend a lot of time reading together. But when she looks at books on her own, she reads them in her own way, remembering a few words from the text or identifying things from the pictures. But she obviously can’t read—she’s only 2! So she skips the majority of the words, misses pages, sometimes has the book upside down…well, you get the picture. It is adorable. To her, she is reading, but in reality, she is only getting a fraction of the words and concepts.
Luckily, she doesn’t only read by herself. We read together several times a day. That’s how she learns. And thanks be to God, we aren’t alone when we read the Bible either. Jesus explained to his disciples when he told them he had to leave, “But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative—that is, the Holy Spirit—he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you” (John 14:26). It’s an incredible gift that Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to live inside his followers to teach us and remind us of everything he said. Jesus’ disciples only got to spend a short number of years with him here on earth, but we have the Holy Spirit living in us all the time, every day. The Holy Spirit can teach us and give us wisdom while we read the Word.
I have no doubt there are things we will never understand about the Bible until we get to heaven. I am in the middle of reading Revelation right now, and trust me, I was in complete agreement (and utter confusion) when I got to the part that says, “This calls for a mind with understanding.” However, God wants to teach us through the Holy Spirit. So even when I may feel like my 2-year-old reading, only understanding a few words or maybe reading it upside down, God wants to help me. The good news is my daughter will one day know how to read. It’s not even that far down the road. So let this picture encourage you to get into God’s Word, even the difficult parts, and ask his Spirit to help you.
by Lauren Bratten
“This calls for a mind with understanding.” Revelation 17:9
Lord, I want to learn more about you and your kingdom. Thank you for sending the Holy Spirit to teach me. Please help me understand the Bible with fresh insight today.
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