I remember the day when I picked up a Bible for the first time. Can you? I looked at the words on those very thin, easily torn pages and wondered. I thought about and pondered on what I read, but nothing made a whole lot of sense. It was as if it had been written in a foreign language. Can you relate? I put the book back on the shelf and left it there, gathering dust, for a few more years.
One day, as I was reading another book, light dawned. The symbol of a bulb, I was sure, lit the ceiling over my head. Jesus is real, alive, and He died for my sins. I asked Him to take control of the choices I make, and to make me a new creature. He did and the next time I opened that same Bible, I understood every word, clearly.
What was the difference? Verse 45 in Luke 24 says, “Then He opened their minds so they could understand the scriptures.” When we accept Jesus as our Savior, He, through the power of the Holy Spirit who now resides in us, opens our minds. Imagine. He not only saves us, but He provides a companion who gives us clarity of thought when it comes to reading scripture.
I guess that thought shouldn’t surprise us. After all, He did give us the Bible in the first place. He wouldn’t have given it to us if He didn’t intend for us to read it and learn from it. Our gracious Father seeks to make our walk with Him as easy as possible. His Holy Spirit interprets, comforts, and empowers us to follow the Biblical teachings in the instruction manual He provided.
For some, as new believers, it seems a daunting task to live with all the apparent rules that The Sermon on the Mount and other teachings from Jesus seem to indicate. Yet after only a few years, you look back on your life and see the positive changes. They weren’t hard to implement at all. That’s because the Holy Spirit was guiding you along, gently and with love, making changes as you walked beside Jesus.
Trying to do anything in our own power is fruitless. We struggle over and over again to achieve simple tasks when all we need to do is acknowledge that the Holy Spirit is right there to help. God, in all three persons, is a gentle pursuer. He waits to be asked. Seek His face and His Spirit today. Acknowledge that you can’t do this alone and watch how attitudes, habits, tasks, and everything else will change, for the better.
For further study: Rom 1:20; Eph.1:8; Eph.5:17; Phil.4:7; Col.1:9