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February 14, 2013
Journey to see God: Bible reading - Holy Spirit way
The 5 am Bible reading meeting came about when a newly Spirit-filled Christian wanted to know more about God Who is Spirit. So another Christian agreed to meet with him daily Monday to Friday initially. Three others decided to join them and soon it was extended to daily Monday-Saturday.
The small group meet and read Bible as the Lord leads them. Each day a new group of passages from the Bible came forth as the Holy Spirit lead them. Often they start reading chapters from one book in the Bible and are led to read chapters in other books as well. As they read, the words speak and their spiritual eyes and ears are opened. The words of God become life and spirit to them. Deep meanings and significance which were hitherto hidden are now revealed clearly.
The only hindrance is they do encounter the common spirit of stupor. One Holy Spirit Christian admits that whenever he reads the Bible (even at home) he just feels sleepy after a short while. Another two also face the same problem in the small group. Often it becomes difficult and tiring to get up in time to gather together to read the words of God. Soon other hindrances like suffering from lack of adequate sleep sets in as well.
The watchman observes that when a person decides to give in to the flesh and miss one session, the act of absence soon becomes a habit without any effort. How does the watchman keeps the session going even when alone? The key to success is the Holy Spirit.
For example, one day he will get up real early and start sweep and mopping the floor, or the courtyard, enjoying the fresh morning air and cool breeze. Another day he will pray in the spirit and sing in the spirit. Today he got up around 2.30 am and walked about, did a bit of house cleaning, getting the place ready, taking a cold shower, reading the Bible, praying for awhile, and soon it was time for the meeting. He does not follow a fixed pattern. He just does what his spirit receives at the moment from the Lord. How does he know what book and chapters in the Bible to read for the day? He prays and asks the Lord. When the others arrive and start asking questions or sharing, they will then know what passage to read. The issues at hand are always met by the Lord Holy Spirit’s choice of the passages.
Today they met after most participants went outstation for a short break attending reunion gatherings with their siblings and parents. During the sharing a common issue came up. They wished their spouses were more spiritually alert when important decisions needed to be made over family matters. The difference is explained in 1 Corinthians 2. The Holy Spirit has declared that the unspiritual man tries to make sense of everything. Otherwise he just cannot comprehend. The answer is therefore to pray and intercede for your spouse to become a spiritual man or woman.
1 Corinthians 2 (J.B. Phillips New Testament (PHILLIPS))
I came to you in God’s strength not my own
2 1-5 In the same way, my brothers, when I came to proclaim to you God’s secret purpose, I did not come equipped with any brilliance of speech or intellect. You may as well know now that it was my secret determination to concentrate entirely on Jesus Christ and the fact of his death upon the cross. As a matter of fact, in myself I was feeling far from strong; I was nervous and rather shaky. What I said and preached had none of the attractiveness of the clever mind, but it was a demonstration of the power of the Spirit! Plainly God’s purpose was that your faith should not rest upon man’s cleverness but upon the power of God.
There is, of course, a real wisdom, which God allows us to share with him
6-8 We do, of course, speak “wisdom” among those who are spiritually mature, but it is not what is called wisdom by this world, nor by the powers-that-be, who soon will be only the powers that have been. The wisdom we speak of is that mysterious secret wisdom of God which he planned before the creation for our glory today. None of the powers of this world have known this wisdom—if they had they would never have crucified the Lord of glory!
9-10a But as it is written: ‘Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love him’. But God has, through the Spirit, let us share his secret.
10b-12 For nothing is hidden from the Spirit, not even the deep wisdom of God. For who could really understand a man’s inmost thoughts except the spirit of the man himself? How much less could anyone understand the thoughts of God except the very Spirit of God? And the marvellous thing is this, that we now receive not the spirit of the world but the Spirit of God himself, so that we can actually understand something of God’s generosity towards us.
This wisdom is only understood by the spiritual
13 It is these things that we talk about, not using the expressions of the human intellect but those which the Holy Spirit teaches us, explaining things to those who are spiritual.
14-16 But the unspiritual man simply cannot accept the matters which the Spirit deals with—they just don’t make sense to him, for, after all, you must be spiritual to see spiritual things. The spiritual man, on the other hand, has an insight into the meaning of everything, though his insight may baffle the man of the world. This is because the former is sharing in God’s wisdom, and ‘Who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him?’ Incredible as it may sound, we who are spiritual have the very thoughts of Christ!
How did this small group become spiritual? By earnestly and diligently seeking the Lord, reading the Bible and praying, asking according to the will of God, just as Jesus has commanded His disciples. There is no shortcut for them. Of course they do things that do not make sense to the natural minds!