After my conversion, I was amazed that some people I knew could quote passages from the bible. Word by word, number by number. It was incredible.
But after living as an atheist for 15 years, and having been raised as a Catholic for another 18, I still had the misguided notion that I did not need to read the bible.
In my first attempts to read the bible, starting with the new testament, it was painful. I was not ready to see myself as the sinner portrayed in so many passages, because I didn’t know at that point who God was and what Jesus Christ actually meant.
In fact, at that point, reading the bible did nothing for me. It really was just a book.
It was only a few months later into my conversion, and after a series of misguided pursuits of new age, pagan spirituality, that I received guidance to understand the divine message of love that is present in all of the books of the bible.
This guidance came in the form of a non-religious pastor who does not belong to any denomination – and I know that it was God who lead me to him.
It’s been a few years since my conversion and my relationship with the bible is of a completely different nature now.
I read the bible daily, using four different translations on three different mediums (phone, kindle and print). I still follow and am deeply grateful for that pastor’s guidance on a daily basis, but God has also given me understanding as I read the bible on my own.
When I say understanding, I am referring very specifically to a level of consciousness, meaning and feeling that deepens as I revisit all the different books.
There have been times when reading a chapter, or a whole book, left me completely humbled, overpowered and transformed by God’s love.
The time I spend reading the bible is by far the best moment of my day. It takes me to a place of peace filled with love of a nature that does not exist in this world.
And the point I wanted to make with this post is that we genuinely need God to give us understanding in order to seek to know him further by reading his word.
It is pointless to advise anyone to read the bible in order to seek a deeper understanding of God and his word. I know better than that. That is not how it works.
So whether it is you who does not yet seek to know God’s love for us further or a loved one that you wish would: just pray that the Lord gives you or him/her understanding.
When the time is right, he gives us that powerful understanding. And he takes us on a journey of deeper levels of that understanding as he sees fit.
Of course we must first want that understanding.
So the question is: do you really want to understand?