DISCLAIMER: Do not believe anything that I say! Test everything that you read below against all verses in the Hebrew Bible (Tanakh/OT) and the Brit Chadashah (NT). Pray for the truth and to be led by the Holy Spirit (Ruach HaChodesh)! I am not your pastor, preacher, teacher, rabbi, or anything else. I am just a guy who has an opinion.
Studying the Word
One of the cornerstones of your walk needs to be reading AND studying the Bible. Yes, there is a difference.
Reading is probably what most of has done every time we went to church. We would read a verse. Sometimes, we would read a chapter or even a book. When you did that, did you really have complete and total comprehension of the verses? If you did, did you understand how those verses related to other verses and other patterns in the Bible? If not, then you were only reading your Bible. That was me for the longest time.
Studying your Bible is another level of comprehension. Not only are you reading the words, but when you study, you will start to understand the meanings of words. You will start to understand the context a little more clearly. You will start to recognize the patterns that are in the Bible.
When you have a deep understanding of a topic or a concept, you are now able to teach that to your family. You have to become their teacher and their leader. That is part of the spiritual leadership that a man has to accept. You have to continually be growing in your faith. As a man, you need to develop the ability to teach your family. They are looking to you. You cannot rely on a preacher or someone you listen to on the radio or TV to become your surrogate leader (At some point in the future, I am going to publish more articles about Spiritual Leadership. That is a topic for another time.)
I won’t go into too much detail now, but it took me well over 15 years to understand how you should study your Bible. No one ever gave me pointers or taught me. I always just saw people reading their Bible. I thought “haven’t you read that before? Don’t you know what it already says?” I tried doing the same thing, but it just seemed fruitless to me. Every time I would read a chapter over and over, I was not gaining any new insight. I truly longed for a better way, but what was it? I had no idea where to start.
Then, I met some people at one of the first Sukkot gatherings (Feast of Tabernacles) we attended. They were using the inductive study method and told me some of the concepts. That was exactly what I was looking for. I will take up this topic in a future article, but suffice to say, it helped me take my study to the next level.
Now, I have a much greater understanding of some Biblical concepts and I did not get these from a preacher I heard on Sunday or on the radio. In business, I like to say “we eat our own dogfood”, meaning, we test everything on ourselves before everyone else gets to use it. It is the same idea here. The reason I mentioned prayer and seeking the Ruach is that that is exactly what I have been doing. I recommend it because it has worked for me. I pray often and within my prayers, I ask for HIS Ruach to lead me into truth.
Before I start to even look at the text in the Bible, I always pray for wisdom and truth. This is HIS word and only HE can truly know what it mean. Why not go straight to the source? Before you start your study of the Bible at any point, stop and pray for understanding and truth. Pray for HIS truth to be revealed to you and not someone else’s truth.
If you do this consistently, you will start to see HIS truth. HE will reveal understanding that will absolutely blow your mind. HE will show you truth that you will never hear in a sermon. The best part is, HE will turn you into the spiritual leader of your home. Your walk with HIM will get much stronger. People will see this. Your spouse will see this. Your children will see this. You will go to sleep at night longing for more truth.
Studying your Bible is not merely reading it. You have to be purposeful in your reading. That is the real difference.