The sound of giggles and high pitched squeals often accompany my conversation with my girlfriend, Amy. We have been friends for many years and can often complete each other’s sentences. Actually, we know each other so well that a common phrase we say to each other is, “You know my heart.” We know each other well because we have spent time sharing secrets and hopes, confessing sin, crying and laughing, and being accountable to each other.
I confess, it’s easier for me, at times, to run to my friend in a time of need. That is, it’s easier for me to run to my friend and think of her first before running to God.
Really, it is easier for all of us, at times, to rely on other things to give us the answers we need, isn’t it? We run to friends, we run to Bible studies, we run to blogs, we run to Christian websites, we run to conferences all in hopes that it or a person will give us the answer we need for our circumstance.
But what does it take for me to see my need for God, the One who has numbered even the hairs on my head, at the first inkling of trouble or excitement? What does it take for me to see that all I need is found in His Word?
Bible teacher and speaker, Priscilla Shirer gave me a glimpse into my heart during today’s True Woman breakout session. Those times for me when I’m tempted to run to other things are usually a reflection of the times I haven’t spent with God. And as Bible teacher and speaker, Priscilla Shirer shared today in order for me to have an intimate relationship with God, in order for me to see my need for God and in order for me to hear the voice of God, I need to meet with Him every single day.
And I can meet with Him with great expectancy each and every day because He has provided His Word for me and for you.
But how do I approach the Bible with an expectancy to hear His voice? Priscilla shared her 5 P’s of Bible Study to help us discern the voice of God in the Bible.
- Position ourselves to hear from God: Approach your quiet time with a spiritual posture. Come to God expecting that He will speak through His Holy Spirit. The Spirit lives in us and causes the Bible to leap up off the page. He makes it alive and personal. Come eager and aware that He will speak. Physically place yourself in a place of silence and solitude (a bathroom, closet, car, office).
- Pore over the passage and paraphrase the major points: To pore over a passage is the opposite of scanning or quickness, rather meditate and settle into the passage. Remember, it isn’t the quantity (how much you read) but the quality. If you read only one passage, that is better than none at all. Then paraphrase exactly what you see. Write it down, and ask what does the Scripture say?
- Pull out the spiritual principles: Ask the Lord, "What do You want to say to me? How does this intersect my life right now? Is there something I’m supposed to be doing?" Don’t go beyond that Scripture. Ask the Lord those questions as it relates to the Scriptures you just read.
- Pose the question: Turn the spiritual principle into a personal question. Questions like: Am I walking in a way that is evident in the text? Do I believe this promise in Scripture?
- Plan obedience and pen down a date to obey: We plan everything from our kid’s schedules to dinner, but we don’t plan obeying God. Determine strategic steps you can take to obey. Find a friend to be accountable to for this obedience.
You may be thinking, “That’s easy for Priscilla to say. She’s a Bible teacher and has a seminary degree, and of course, she knows the Scriptures.”
Priscilla had a word for us about that also: “You and I can become so dependent upon those helping us we can forget that the same Holy Spirit living in them [Bible teachers, friends, theologians, conference speakers] is the same Spirit living in us.”
It’s easy to think that the Bible teacher who can expound on Scripture must have a secret frequency to God’s voice, and the rest of us are just left out. But that isn’t the case. As a daughter of the Most High, you have access to the same exact Spirit! And we have the same access to God’s voice through His Word.
The goal of Priscilla’s P’s for Bible study isn’t to have another to-do list on our ever growing lists of “to-do’s.” Her desire is to make Bible study easier and simpler. Ultimately, it’s because the Creator of the universe, the Alpha and Omega, the One who made the stars and holds them with His mighty right hand has made a way for us to enter into His presence through His Son Jesus Christ. Ultimately, it’s about intimacy with God. He beckons us to come and commune with Him, and He is available to us through His Word and by His Spirit each and every day.
Do you find it easier, like I do, to run to others before God? What hinders you from getting in the Word daily? What are small steps you can take to get in God’s Word every day?