I believe that in your everyday Bible, God is speaking to you. Yes, I know. Duh. But today we're getting personal. Let me say it again. Over there, in that book, the Creator of the Universe has something to say to you. Actually, you, reading this. And I'd like to talk to you a bit about finding out what that might be. Cause I don't know about you, but when God Almighty has a word for me it means something. Something big.
So we're actually going to be talking about that for the next three days. But today I want to cover a few things before we get to the practical application of this.
I've heard people say things like "I'm claiming that!" and it has bothered me in the past. I used to take the Bible extremely literally. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but in this particular case it hindered me maybe severely. When I would hear promises from God's word, I didn't want to take anything out of context. If it was a promise to Abraham, then great for Abraham, but He wasn't talking to me, personally. So "claiming" a verse spoken to someone else didn't sit well with me. Promises and poetic verses written to Israel are lovely to read, but personally, I am not of Jewish descent, so again, that's not something God is saying to me. Even in the New testament I sometimes had a hard time, because the words were written to specific churches and I wasn't even alive yet.
But over the course of the last couple of years, the Holy Spirit has nudged me towards a feeling that God has healing words for me, personally, too. Not just New Testament stuff, either. I started praying for verses, reading books about interpreting the bible, books about covenant theology, and having conversations with my pastor that I'm sure had him so frustrated. And once it's all come out in the wash, here's what I came up with. Well, actually a lot of other people came up with it first, but let me share.
I'm not Jewish, so when God is addressing Israel and Zion with a million beautiful promises, I might be left out of that love story if I accepted this entirely literally. But here's the verse that changed my life and story. Ready?
If you belong to Christ, then you are Abrahams's seed, and heirs according to the promise.
Did you get that? It's actually HUGE! Abraham's literal seed became the nation of Israel, and we have been sort of adopted or grafted in to that. If we belong to Christ (check), we are Abraham's seed (check) and HEIRS according to the promise. So that now means that when God is speaking to Israel, that's me. Which opens up a whole world of communication between God and myself. I had to reread the Old Testament!
There are gems in the Bible that resonate with us on a personal level, and I had acknowledged those verses and thought "I wish God would comfort me like that", "I wish I had a future like that", "I wish God treasured me like that", and also "I sorta wish I was Jewish". But there are words of comfort, hope, adoration, and affirmation written all over the Bible, and if you belong to Christ, consider them a love letter.
Tomorrow we get to the fun part, communicating with God in such a personal way that you understand when He's got a special word for you. See you then.