If anyone here is feeling lost because of not knowing so much about the bible yet, may the journey of the Samaritan Woman encourage you. She started out not knowing the bible (as we know it). She just encountered Jesus and shared about it. But God transformed her and used her to draw others to believe in Him!
“From that city many of the Samaritans believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified, “He told me all the things that I have done.”” John 4:39 NASB
[IMPT note to wives: Don’t preach to your husband! Let Holy Spirit do this work!]
Even if we begin only knowing “The Lord’s Prayer (aka “Our Father”),” God can begin to work in us and use us for His purposes. He will meet us exactly where we are and take us to the next step. By faith. And as we seek Him baby step by baby step thru His word, He will comfort/ heal/ equip/ train us according to His good purpose.
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17 NIV
“So is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”
Isaiah 55:11 NIV
When Jesus walked the earth, He revealed Himself slowly to His disciples and as they walked with Him three years, they came to know Him, experience Him. Eventually, they were the ones who shared about Him to others without the benefit of commentaries, YouTube, or books. As the disciples watched Jesus, remembered what He said/ did, and followed Him, they learned. So for those with less wifi access and book resources, God’s written word has what you need.
If you don’t know where to start, try the book of John and then the gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke). In a time of pain, you can savor the Psalms. If you need wisdom, chew on Proverbs. The more you let the Word of God renew and transform your mind towards His wisdom AND most importantly, the more you obey, you will understand God’s perfect will and that you are not limited by daily changing circumstances. The bible is full of treasure that leads to the immeasurable abundant life.
If you struggle to remember entire verses and want to find them, you can enter in an online search engine: “Which verse _____” then fill in key words you remember and lists come up.
If you have the chance, you can join bible studies such as
*Bible Study Fellowship (you can do online study)
*Precept Philippines (with Kay Arthur)
For a life application word study, you can join CCF’s Women Of Worth (WOW) Thursday at Main and Tuesday at Makati wherein you will see how the bible helps us in everyday living even in terms of physical and mental health, fitness, creativity, relationship with God and others.
In my own journey with the Word, I had a season of knowing so much (was a teaching leader at CBSI) but when an atomic bomb trial blew up in my face, the struggle to apply Scripture grew. At first I was overcoming because The Word was my filter. But my mistake was withdrawing from ministry/ fellowship —- partly due to Tampo from God and partly from the misplaced fear that my situation had discredited my testimony (a lie from the enemy that God can not use us in our brokenness; One of Satan’s most effective schemes to defeat us is to isolate us away from encouragement and empowerment in the Word).
I wrongly went to a secular counselor whose job it was to tell me that it wasn’t normal for me to Not be angry. My survival, according to secular principle, would supposedly depend on me going through the natural process of grieving including being angry (which is opposite of what the Bible teaches not to let the sun go down on anger).
The problem was that the anger was a spirit that had a will of its own and little by little, it began to control me. Worse, the spirit of anger has a barkada of bitterness, unforgiveness, self-pity, depression, etc. These would jump out of nowhere and lead to something like post traumatic stress disorder… little remembrances from past made me turn into Incredible Hulk-cum-warlord ninja ready to slay. I lost my joy in the Lord as I wrongly transferred my focus from Him towards my earthly circumstances. Instead of fellowshipping in the heavenly realms with my Savior and Lord, I came crashing back to the the nowhere-cycle of fixing eyes on my pain and idols which cannot save themselves. Psalm 115:18 says that if I trust idols, I will be like them— spiritually deaf mute paralyzed.
Like any strong proactive woman, I tried futile human effort from A-Z, AA-ZZ. Fails. Pinagod ko lang sarili ko. Worse, I was the biggest hindrance to God’s greatest work in me and through me. Praise God for His mercy to break me beyond my capacity to endure that made me depend on Him fully again.
As much as I condemned myself and Satan accused me of my failures and panlalait na hindi ko kaya, God through His Word is full of encouragement to press on towards Jesus. He is the God who Restores, Rebuilds, and able to transform all my messes for my good, for His glory— when I surrender them to Him.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Rom 8:28
Jesus’s words that we “do not live by bread alone but by Every Word That Comes From The Mouth Of God” became real as The Word literally breathed life back to me one verse at a time, giving me a vision of the heavenly realms where Jesus reigns; it plucked me out of the passing painful reality I saw, heard, and felt. While pain in the earthly realm is real, the “higher real” is the spiritual realm where my identity as God’s redeemed chosen loved adopted forgiven blessed child IS “More Than Conqueror…,” which I felt anything but.
The Bible’s Cast of Characters shows that the imperfect person is God’s favorite material. Pwede ako dito! He will be faithful to complete the good work He began in me, that He will never leave me nor forsake me; that Jesus in me is my hope of glory, that I’m the temple of the Holy Spirit, that in Christ I am a new creation, that He has appointed me to be His ambassador, a letter from Christ.
I realised just how much God loves me and accepts me in my imperfection. I did not choose Him but He chose me (God knows why) to bear fruit. No condemnation but rather, so much unconditional eternal love in contrast to the world’s arbitrary love.
His Word will equip me for every good work (Phil 4:6-7). I learned to not overwhelm myself with the past present and future; instead, just obey that one (or however many) Word(s) from God today. He simplifies the task division. My task: Obey Him. His task? EVERYTHING ELSE.
I further realized that we have the best continual trade-in offer from God. Give Him pain. He gives back comfort. Weakness for Strength. Need for Provision. Hatred for Love. Struggle for Peace in obedience. Pride for Humility. Curses for Blessings. The list goes on.
Praise God for the fellowship of mature believers who prayed me through and did not tickle my ears to please me but pointed me back to the Word of God— to the Cross of Christ, who He is, what He has done, His character, that He is Living Hope, The Resurrection, Restorer, Healer, Comforter, Lover of my soul, Guide, Sufficiency, Protector, Provider, Defender, Redeemer, Avenger, Equalizer…
It was not about much how much Word I knew but how much I obeyed the little Word I knew. The Word wasn’t / isn’t for my information. It was/ is for my transformation. #stilllearning #stillgrowing. My task was “without a word” to “live out the word” to people who offend(ed) me. Of course it sometimes feels like “Ikamamatay ko talaga itong spiritual dying to self na ito.” Mahirap not to retaliate. Mahirap to love in action. Mahirap talaga. Fasting helped so God could tuli my unnecessary flesh that constantly wanted to have its way. Fasting while reading God’s Word made me more sensitive to the Holy Spirit and depend on Him for every move.
But in God’s higher wisdom, even with acute learning disability and spiritual dyslexia, nakakagulat makita na obeying His seemingly impossible-to-do commands are doable because the Almighty Triune God is available for Help.
*For it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose. (Phil 2:13)
*In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. (Rom 8:26)
*I can do all this through Christ who gives me strength. (Phil 4:13)
Plus, makikita mo rin na it is the divine ways that lead to divine results.
Thank You Lord for Your Word which is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path!
To start all over again, I would write a verse on an index card and place them on my mirror, closet door, bag, places I would frequently see.
My biggest breakthrough came from this biblical counsel from Tita Thelma:
- If you are still complaining, you have not surrendered fully; therefore God cannot move (until you fully surrender)
- “In everything give thanks for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
When I declared thanksgiving for EVERYTHING I was complaining about, within three days, God moved mightily. The Lord changed my heart. That’s the biggest miracle of all. Then The Lord changed my circumstances. But as the focus had been rightly placed in Him, faith in Him, surrender to Him, it is hard to pinpoint exactly the where when what and how but He ushered me into a season of joy.
My prayer is to remain broken before the Lord, fully depending on Him, fix my eyes on Him, and to finish well.
“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” John 15:7 NASB