I asked the Lord which book of the Bible I should read next.
Every time I complete a book I go before the Lord to ask this question.
I started the journey three years ago when I started reading the Gospel of Luke. Since then I have worked my way through the Gospels, drinking in the words of Jesus, the life of Jesus, the works of Jesus, the example of Jesus and the relevance of Jesus.
It was perhaps the relevance that surprised me the most.
If you have ever spoken to a Believer who has been converted and filled with the Holy Spirit, this will not surprise you – we speak of how the Bible speaks directly to us, into our lives, our situations, our insecurities. And not in a general way but in a very direct and personal way.
“This book was written to me!” you will hear us say.
And that was my experience as I went in search of Jesus in my Bible. I started an online site which I was inspired to call ‘Finding the Word’ and as I read the Bible I would write and draw and doodle and pray and reflect. I would publish the outpouring of these things as regularly as possible on Facebook and then Instagram, I would also, when I wanted to say more, publish articles on this blog.
It was a thrilling experience! It is a thrilling experience. As the days of my life came and went I was aware of how this Word, this Jesus, my Jesus, my Saviour was walking with me, living these days with me, speaking to me, carrying me, encouraging me – Jesus was saving me.
I am not sure that I can explain what that means. It may be that you don’t yet understand Jesus, perhaps you haven’t met Jesus yet, perhaps you think I am embellishing.
But if you know Jesus, you will understand exactly what I am referring to.
Jesus, I have experienced, is alive! He is present with me. He is interested in me. He is speaking to me. He is listening to me. He is teaching me. He is sanctifying me.
I know that your theology may want to correct me but my personal experience of Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit, brings me before a Father who loves me. I am brought into the presence of this Father of ours. I have come to realize that the promise is real, I don’t have to die to know God’s Kingdom – As we pray ‘Your Kingdom come, Your will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven’ we are speaking to this available presence of God. This has been my experience.
And so I was Finding the Word and I went before the Lord to ask ‘Which Book now Father?’ and in the whisper of the wind, in the quietness of a thought, in the gentle assurance of Faith I knew. It would be the Book of Psalms.
But it was more. When I felt that tender encouragement it came with a gentle instruction – ‘Write the Psalms’. I knew that the Lord wanted me to write the Psalms. I am not sure if you have ever paged through the Psalms or read through the Psalms, but there are a lot of words! This is no simple instruction. God instructed me to write the Psalms.
So I started.
Oh Father in Heaven how can I possibly thank you for that instruction! Oh Father in Heaven how could I ever imagine the blessing those words bring. Oh Father in Heaven how I have found Jesus in those words, spoken so many years before His birth but telling his story and telling my story. Father, this is beyond a blessing. This is a miraculous revelation.
It wasn’t long before I realized why God had sent me to the Psalms.
I found David, screaming, running, fighting, calling, praising God in some of the most difficult situations.
I found that the seasons of David were the same as my own. I was at war on so many fronts. I was at war spiritually, fighting that death-fight with the ‘old man’, the one who had been slain on the day of my conversion, that man who knew his fate but refused to die. This is a deeply spiritual battle we must go through, that old man is mortally wounded but not dead. He continues to fight for time. Sometimes he wins.
I find that to be the saddest part of this journey. When the old man wins, when I am convinced to close my heart to my Fathers instruction.
I am sure you can relate.
Those morning drives to work, asking God to forgive me, again, for the same things, over and over again. Finding the Lords forgiveness every time,yet knowing that I was going to sin again.
I find that sadness to be deeply personal.
“Father, here I am again, your disobedient child. I heard you Lord and I ignored you. Forgive me Father. I am so sorry Daddy.”
God knew, when he whispered in my ear to go to the Psalms, that I needed to prepare for an enemy bigger than I had ever faced, that I needed to speak bigger words, believe bigger, fight harder, run faster, pray, cry, wrestle, hide, be defeated to be victorious.
Where do we find these words, where do we find these promises, where do we find this strength, where do we find victory?
It is in Jesus, it is in Davids shadow. As I wrote these words, the Psalms, I am writing my life story, your life story! Have you read it? Have you understood it? Have you found it? The jewel of Jesus, hidden in plain sight, in me, around me.
There are so many powerful words in the Psalms and as I write them and read them and say them and pray them, the biggest secret is revealed!
They are true!
I hope that you will follow along as the Lord guides me through the Psalms. I hope that you too may be encouraged to write some scripture, learn some scripture, think deeply about some scripture. I hope that you understand everything that is written here – if you don’t why don’t you think about your relationship with Jesus and speak to someone. Jesus loves you and will use the simplest of things. even my words, to encourage you to draw closer to Jesus.
May you be blessed in Jesus name.