“You had your Bible study class last night, didn’t you?” I asked Stan one morning.
“I did,” he replied, “and it was a bit of an adventure.”
“An adventure? In what way?”
“Exploring new territory,” Stan said. “I ran into something I had not experienced before and it was a bit disconcerting.”
“Okay,” I said, “now you have my attention. What was going on?”
“As I think you know,” Stan replied, “I spend a lot of time in God’s word, studying and listening to God’s voice through the Holy Spirit, in seeking to increase my understanding and how I can apply that understanding to my faith walk.”
“I do know that,” I said, “pursuing the eternal life of knowing God the Father and Jesus the Son. But what’s that have to do with last night?”
“In studying God’s word,” Stan replied, “sometimes I think that I am shown things that others may not see.”
“Like from a different perspective?” I asked.
“That’s it,” Stan replied. “And that’s what happened last night.”
“Well,” Stan said, “we were discussing one of the prepared questions. I spoke about something I had seen in a particular verse that no one else in the class had mentioned. The discussion leader asked me where I had read what I just said. I told him which Bible verse I was focusing on, but he said something like that was not what he was asking.”
“What was he asking?”
“He said he had never heard anyone say what I had said about that verse and he wanted to know my source.”
“Did you have an answer for him?” I asked.
“I did,” Stan replied. “I told Him it was the Holy Spirit. The discussion leader then kind of laughed, and went on to tell the whole group that we need to be careful in how we study the Bible.”
“Did that embarrass you?” I asked.
“Not in the least,” Stan replied. “I have been reading and studying the Bible long enough to know the difference between my own interpretation of the Bible, and the divine leading of the Holy Spirit.”
“But,” he continued, “while the leader didn’t embarrass me, I was bothered by what he said.”
“In what way?”
“I believe the Holy Spirit often gives different people different insight into God’s word for the purpose of sharing with others something they may not see. And if I’m not open to seeing what someone else sees, I may easily miss something God has for me through that person.”
“I think I understand how you feel about this,” I responded. “In light of what the leader said to and about you, are you going to continue with the Bible study class?”
“Absolutely!” Stan replied. “There is way too much for me to learn from what others have been shown. If I’m not there, I’ll miss it.”
Bible verses to consider:
And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ. Ephesians 4:11-12.
So also you, since you are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek to abound for the edification of the church. 1 Corinthians 14:12.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for the gift of the Holy Spirt who leads in opening us to see all you have for us to see in your word, and to hear all you have for us to hear from the Holy Spirit. Thank you that you show different things to different people in differing perspectives so we can draw ever closer to you in the personal relationship you intend. Please help me in listening to all that you have for me to hear so I will learn of you from those people you bring into my life. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Think on this: God shows different things to different people about His word. Do you believe that? Why or why not? In John 17:3, Jesus defined eternal life as knowing Him and God the Father. Do you believe it is important to pursue knowing God? Why or why not? Are you open to learning about God through what He shows other people about Himself? If no, and you sense you should be, how is that going to happen?