After the Spirit of God has led us to a deeper experience of prayer, he leads us to his written word. He does this because he is the one in charge of our spiritual development. He develops us spiritually so that he can form the real Christ in us. After he leads us to a personal, profound understanding of his written word he leads us to an attentive and obedient listening to vigorous, urgent, life-changing preaching.
How the Spirit leads us to a to a personal, profound understanding of his written word is the topic of this article.
There are two ways the Spirit uses to lead us to his written word. The first is through our experience of ignorance. The second is through our experience of confusion.
The human mind is such that either it becomes ignorant or it becomes confused, unless it knows the real truth.
We are born with the innate tendency and ability to learn. As children we learned to talk and asked our parents, brothers, sisters, relatives and friends a multitude of things: the name of the animals around us, the parts of our body, why certain things behaved this way and not that way, etc.
Then in a few years we went to formal schooling. Some of us might have been bored with school life or our parents could not afford to make us continue in school and so we dropped. Or there might have been other factors that made us quit school, like an accident or a calamity in the area where we lived.
When we stopped schooling, we either learned on our own or we altogether stopped learning what we were supposed to learn in school. Most of us chose the second alternative: we just stopped learning. We dropped into ignorance. As we grew we came to be ignorant of more and more things that we were supposed to know.
But sooner or later we will come to realize that we need to continue our learning. So, we either go back to school or learn things on our own. We want to get out of our ignorance. Sometime during this attempt to continue learning, we may come upon the written word of God. It may have been put purposely by the Gideons in the hotel, or we may be given a tract by a passerby, which tract contains a portion of God’s written word. Unknown to us it was the Spirit who used our desire to know more because of our ignorance who led us into his written word, either in the hotel or by the passerby who gave out tracts.
On the other hand we might have continued schooling and we graduated in college, knowing so much of so many things, so we thought. And we wanted to learn some more, perhaps now about the job we have been given. And we kept on learning. But as this process continued most of us were bound to get confused. Sometimes the conflict was between what we learned in school and what we learned in our actual job. In the school we were taught to be honest. In our actual job this may be difficult to follow, especially when we are surrounded by dishonest people. In the school we were taught not to take shortcuts but to follow the procedure religiously, as in planting grains. But in the actual field, we might find that people are not careful about the seeds of the grains they plant. So, we just plant of the seeds from the previous harvest season.
We can multiply examples of conflicts between learnings in school and learnings in actual life.
These experiences drive us to confusion. Which is which? What we learned in school or what we learned in actual life?
We seek to get out of the confusion. Some people escape confusion by simply choosing what is expedient. Everybody is doing it, so let us do it also – is the way out of the majority.
But there are a few, perhaps too few who really want to resolve the issue honestly. For this they need a norm or basis of learning that is dependable, that is not based on mere opinions of human beings. This is the time when the Spirit comes and reminds them of what they learned in church, in Sunday schools, in their catechism or religion classes. And they are driven to the written word as the pillar and mainstay of truth.
Then they study the written word now more personally and more profoundly. Where before they just memorized certain verses to win a contest or to pass an exam, now they study the written word of God because they have a personal problem to resolve. Where before they just had a passing acquaintance with the Bible, now they turn to it as the sure way to guide them out of their confusion and ignorance.
By Jose Bulao
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