Like many people who grew up in a churched family I learned early on to believe in God and to trust that Jesus died for my sins. However, my knowlege of God was fragmented and my understanding of Christianity was marginal.
I assumed the knowledge I had was true because it sounded and felt good and people I trusted had taught me. While I knew plenty of Bible stories, I had no idea how the stories fit together from Adam to Armageddon.
Church was important to me as an adult so I went, I listened, I took my children, I taught Sunday School and Vacation Bible School, I sang in the choir and when I felt particularly religious, I prayed. God seemed to be available when I needed him, but when I didn’t it wasn’t that difficult to tuck him away; out of sight and out of mind.
God let me drift like that until my late twenties and then he allowed a crisis of faith into my life! I found myself caught up in a whirlwind of opposing doctrines and I knew I had to land somewhere. My spirit was in turmoil, and therefore so was my life.
I knew I needed something solid and substantial; something I could grasp and hold onto, but what? I felt like I was trying to hold the wind. I needed a place to plant my slippery feet. In my core I knew I needed God, but I wasn’t sure where, or how, to find him – and if I did, would I find the One True God.
In crisis mode, I didn’t know who to believe. Who would tell me the truth? Where could I find the truth? How could I learn who God was and what he expected of me. I needed to know what I could expect of him.
I shared my dilemma with a friend and she immediately invited me to a Bible study. I had nothing else, so I went. I prayed. I opened my Bible (imagine that!) and within a few minutes, I knew that the very same God whom I had known about for most of my life was sitting with me… and he spoke to me!
Through the Bible, God spoke to my heart. His love lifted me off the pew. His presence filled me with joy and peace. His Spirit poured love into me. His Word fed my starving soul with grace. He kept a promise I didn’t even know he had made.
“Acknowledge the God of your father… If you seek him, he will be found by you…” – 1 Chronicles 28:9 NIV
Sitting all alone in the back pew, as far away from the other women as I possibly could, God opened my eyes to see him, my ears to hear his voice, my mind to understand the truth, and my heart to receive him as Lord of my life.
Suddenly the spoon-fed-baby-cereal theology to which I had grown accustomed was no longer sufficient. I wanted the big fat juicy steak of God’s Word that I tasted at that Bible study and I wanted it every day! I signed up then, and I’m still signing up!
“Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.” – Psalm 34:6 NIV
Bible study opened the box into which I had been trying to stuff God. As I studied, God burst off the pages of my Bible and into my life like an exploding, magnificent, majestic, brilliant firework that illumined the darkness around me. He was brilliant and glorious.
“For great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; he is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the nations are idols, but the Lord made the heavens. Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and glory are his sanctuary.” – Psalm 96:4-6 NIV
I thought I was fairly familiar with the Bible and that I knew God as well as anyone… until that crisis of faith when God showed me what I needed. I needed God – not a lifestyle change, a religion, answers, proof I was right, or anything else. I needed to know God, and he introduced himself to me.
I’ve learned over the years that people attend Bible study for a lot of reasons, and stay away because of a lot of excuses. God chose to reveal himself to us through his written word – the Bible – and through the Living Word, the Lord Jesus Christ. Bible study is not optional for people who want to know God.
How well do you know God? How has your understanding of him and his Word grown over the past decade? The past year? If you want to know God more, then you must study his Word, the Bible.
This is the season when most Bible studies are gearing up. Have you been invited to one? Consider this your invitation! Will you commit to find a class where the Bible is opened and studied so that you see God? There is a class for you, and God is waiting for you there.
To find a Bible study, please call or visit your church’s website.
These organizations also have classes in most areas:
Click here for Bible Study Fellowship, International
Click here for Community Bible Study