I set out recently to read the bible like a great novel. Really read the stories for what they are and enjoy the Good Book. When I finished Genesis and planned to move on to Exodus, because that is how a book works. The reading plan in the app I was using guided me to Mark instead. That threw a wrench in my plan, so I ditched the app and set out on my own.
If you have experienced God working in your own life, you will know that doing things on our own without His guidance is usually a bad idea. I did pray over this dilemma, then cracked open the second book. I couldn't get more than a few verses in and I just couldn't read it! I'd get distracted by nothing and everything and I just couldn't get into it like I did with Genesis. I loved reading Genesis! There are so many good stories in those 50 chapters! I was so excited to see what happened to the children of Isreal next, but I just couldn't move on!
I prayed, "Okay, God, was I supposed to follow where the plan in the app lead? Was I supposed to skip to Mark? I'll try it that way if that is what You want me to do." So I did. I opened the app, skipped all the rest of the stories in the Old Testament (much to my own sadness) and started to read Mark.
Know what happened? The same thing! I couldn't concentrate, I couldn't get into that book either! What is going on here?!? I put my Bible away for a while and focused on prayer. I asked God to guide me and show me clearly where I should start reading next. I got a very clear answer and it went something like this:
"April, you aren't finished with Genesis. You can't move on yet."
"But God, I finished all 50 chapters of Genesis, when I turn the page, I should be in Exodus."
"Yes, you read all the chapters, but did you really understand? Did you get any of My lessons while you were reading or were you just reading it to say that you had read it?"
Ooh, I guess He got me there.
Sometimes I feel like maybe God is leading me one way or another, but I don't feel 100% convinced it's God and not my brain doing it's own thing. This time I am hearing God's voice loud and clear.
Since that conversation, another Bible study app I have, First 5, has started a study in Genesis and several of the radio shows I listen to have touched on different parts of Genesis. Coincidence? I think not.
I'm going to go back through Genesis and keep studying until God leads me to another book. I hope to tell you all lots of interesting things that I'm learning along the way. I doubt I'll find anything completely revolutionary and new, but maybe we will all gain some insight on God's plan for our lives. Stay tuned!
When is the last time you clearly heard from God?