Now that I practice Sabbath regularly, I also have “Sabbath books.” (I know, right? Someone who didn’t read at all now has books [plural] that she reads on a regular basis.) I picked up Making Sense of the Bible: How to Connect with God through His Word towards the end of the year, because I was tired of reading what essentially had become an old storybook.
Making Sense of the Bible by David Whitehead
I am very serious about my faith journey, so I want to want to read the Bible. However, when you’ve attended church all of your life, your mom is a Bible Study teacher, your godparents were your pastors, you spent elementary and middle school competing in Scripture memorization for sport, and you spent 13 of your developmental years attending a Christian school—reading the Bible is just a thing you check off the list every morning.
Plus, being a super cerebral and overthinking-type, I’d get caught up dissecting words and searching for historical context. I’d have pages of notes, but no spiritual growth to show for it.
I’d have pages of notes, but no spiritual growth to show for it.Dr. Asha
I had always considered prayer as the primary means of communicating with God. But, to be honest, sometimes that can feel one-sided. I know God can speak to us through people, but then you’re left searching for a “word” from somebody or confirmation regarding what you think God said to you. That whole concept just seemed spiritually insecure to me.
In desiring for God to talk back to me, I had hardly ever considered that He could do so through the Bible. Furthermore, after reading the Bible a bajillion times over the course of my life [as mentioned previously], I had begun to limit the Bible to a collection of stories, advice, lessons, and wise sayings. However, Making Sense of the Bible taught me to see the Bible as a launching pad for conversation with God.
However, Making Sense of the Bible taught me to see the Bible as a launching pad for conversation with God.Dr. Asha
Understanding the different versions and why each exists really scratched my intellectual itch. But walking away with the understanding of knowing what to read when I’m experiencing anxiety or rejection or making a big decision or LIFE, changed how I approach the Word.
For example, I now know that Philippians is a guide for dealing with overwhelming circumstances. So when I feel like I have more bills than contracts, or I just want to stay in bed with the lights off until every problem magically goes away (Sidebar: It won’t), I can go to Philippians and meet God there.
In circumstances like these, I don’t read the passages to see what Paul did or said, so I can walk away with some catchy spiritual saying that I can’t practically apply. I just go there to meet God. It’s kind of like I’m texting God and saying, “I’ve got a lot on my mind right now. I’d like to do lunch at a place called Philippians, so we can talk it out. I look forward to seeing you there.”
Making Sense of the Bible pushed me to expect a more “down-to-earth” relationship with God.Dr. Asha
Making Sense of the Bible pushed me to expect a more “down-to-earth” relationship with God. This is especially helpful when Life seems to be getting the best of me, and I must apply another critical mantra: Christ over crisis.
Christ over Crisis.Dr. Asha
As I prepare for 2019, I smile at the growth I’ve experienced over the past year. How about you? What mantras will carry you in 2019? And what’s on your 2019 reading list?