Having been born into and brought up in a Christian family for all these years, going to sunday school and now attending cell group and serving in church and all... it's a big shame that i've not read the bible once through cover to cover. I'm not saying that length of time is equivalent to how many times i've read the bible or how well i know it.
But when i bring that up, i'm saying that i realize that at some point along the way, surely i should have been convicted to read it because the simple truth is that it's God's word, and if i really do love God, i'd be hungry in my soul to know, to learn, to do, be and to live.
Being completely honest with myself, my confession is that i've never felt an urgency to read it because i was too tired and jaded to read a book that although looks deceivingly small (at least my NKJ version looks small), it's filled to the brim with tiny words all compressed together in a brain numbing lump... What with the selection of stories of certain individuals and empires in history, and a lot of other bizarre events.
The devotional (a guide book that brings one through verses and to learn lessons) that i was also using for years didn't really give what i was "assigned" to read for that day much meaning, as each day's "lesson" was so distant to me, too deep, too shallow, too fleeting. I saw it all as mundane, excruciating, boring, impersonal.
My walk was often a tiring mountainous one, with sudden high and lows. It was soaring and dipping too much that it became painfully difficult for me to handle: Heartbreaks would happen all too often. I often reached peaks that never lasted and that i knew would not, and those expected times when i crashed and burned, turning my face away angrily, becoming cynical and bitter.
I'm not sure if i've mentioned this in the blog, but i've mentioned this to close ones:
Things have since changed because i've learnt, that the walk isn't meant to be that way. We don't run on emotions, signs and wonders. We run on faith, trusting in and living out God's word.
Life may be the one that throws us around pretty rough, but it is the walk that remains constant, a steady and stable trek. Our walks can only get better when we keep persisting and pursuing. God already promised never to leave us, so it dwindles only when we choose to allow it.
Assimilating this understanding through ministry and my own experience, i have come to finally receive a sense of peace and confidence in God. It feels as if a code has been broken, and that i've gained a precious treasure that i now possess. It settles deep inside my being for safe keeping, and for good. And because of that, i've come to learn about and experience God in ways that i could never have done in the past.
And so, I no longer doubt like i used to. That was one of biggest barriers in my walk, and it has now been overcome. If you were to throw me intellectual debates about my faith, i'll be honest and say that i can't answer nor account for all of history's controversies and questions about God and his ways. (I don't like theorizing on God's behalf and spreading what i think is true.) But yet, i know that my faith in Christ Jesus, in God, will not be shaken.
I wonder if God's trying to gently tell me something at the moment...
For months (it began somewhere at the beginning of this year), i've been having something tell me that i need to read the bible once through. I wouldn't say that "duty" is the motivation, rather it feels more like a gentle but persistent beckoning.
I've not heeded this feeling, and while it has not exactly escalated through the months into a jo-you-better-do-this-right-now threat, i've now begun to feel a sense of holey (or "holy"? haha...) emptiness borne out of an unmet desire and yearning. I'm actually... Beginning to feel an additional WANT, a DESIRE, an INTEREST in reading that wordy book. (new king james version leh. *gulp* Think i'll read my new international version student's bible instead)
I find this all very intriguing because for those of you who know me, you'll know that i don't like reading very much since the days when academic reading killed my patience for reading.
During the times when i open my bible to the new testament, i would encounter the words in red ink (the words that Jesus spoke personally) and find that i hang onto every word he says and delight very much in them all. Not that EVERYTHING he says convicts my soul and breaks me down into tears like some rhema effect thingy but it's more like he's speaking out to me, and to us all, transcending space, time and history with his loving (and sometimes loving rebuke) words that are still refreshingly relevant and filled with wisdom and truth.
I guess this is going to be a new phase i'll be going through, for God to mature me and my walk with him, to teach me stuff. I had better listen and obey. So exciting... :-D
As the bible says, God will continue to mould those of us who love and live for him into the person he wants us to be and he will complete the good work that he chose to begin. Isn't that just beautiful? He cares about tiny little beings like you and me among the billions. In fact, he cares for every little one that make up the billions. :-) Sweet.