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Happy Thanksgiving dear readers! How many things can you think of in one minute that you are thankful for? Blue sky, love of family and friends, warm shoes and gloves, a running car, paid bills, full pantry, laughter and hugs. Most of all I’m thankful to God who made the things for us to enjoy (1Tim. chapt. 6) and gave us the heart (Ezk 36) to love Him and one another.
We are continuing into our fourth and final week of ways to study the Bible, and for those who have been following the column. I have said plainly that it is not a recipe of following down a list of ways to study but rather a relational way of living with God. God sharing His life, ways and wisdom with the believer through the Holy Spirit who inspired the writing of the books of the Bible, and who desires to share every part of life together with you. I pray that every reader and their loved ones will receive a deeper understanding of how much God loves you.
The last method for learning from the Holy Spirit, whom the Bible says will teach us all things (John 14), is to do a word and topic study using your Strong’s Concordance. That means to follow a certain word or phrase and learn how it is used throughout the Bible. This can help greatly in understanding New Testament phrases by knowing their Old Testament meanings.
Please explain again how we are studying with the Holy Spirit? How is this possible? Good question. When you became born again through faith in Jesus Christ, the part of you that was born again was not your physical body, or your mind. The part of you that was born again was the inner part of you- your spirit. You became joined to the Lord the moment you believed in Him. Your spirit became perfectly joined to the Holy Spirit.
Your mind, however, must be taught by reading the word, to be re-trained to think of yourself, others and God the way God thinks. Everyone comes to Jesus with mixed up thinking about themselves, others, and especially, God. We have done things to ourselves, others, and God through ignorance, but God is gracious and wants you to have a good life because He loves you, it blesses Him, and it brings Him glory.
So, your body and mind remain the same the moment you were saved, and the spirit part of you is reborn, made one with the Holy Spirit, and the Spirit communicates to your mind through your spirit. For example, when you feel a strong desire to look up the word “thorn” or some other word, and you were in the middle of doing something not related to Bible study at all, that is a good indicator that the Holy Spirit is guiding you toward something. Or, you may be reading the Bible and feel the urge to follow a word through its different uses in the New and Old Testament.
Outside of Bible study, following the guidance of the Holy Spirit works the same way. You may get a desire to do a specific thing without having thought about it at all, more than likely, that is the Holy Spirit and your spirit who are now one, communicating to do what came to mind. Understand that the Holy Spirit is with you to help you and will never tell you to do something that is contrary to the word, the Bible.
As you share your life with God and renew your mind with His word, and follow the leading of the Holy Spirit, you will come to recognize the prompting of the Holy Spirit. Years from now you can look back and ask God “How did I ever get along without You?” The reply will be, “You never did beloved. I was always near you, you just didn’t know it”.
Until next time, God bless you and your loved ones.