An unread book
The other day I came across a book I’d bought. It was the Bloomsbury Good Reading Guide – What To Read And What To Read Next. I’d bought it way back in 2003 because I had a desire to become more widely read. Now over a decade later, I’ve neither read it, consulted it, or used it in any way, shape or form.
Do you have books on your shelf that are unread, or only partially read? What about the greatest Book of all books – your Bible, the Word of God? How often do you read it?
A much-loved and much-read book
Once upon a time, when I first made a serious commitment to the Lord, I had a brown leather-bound King James’ Bible which was so well-used, its pages became dog-eared and fragile. To make matters worse, the binding began to disintegrate and quite a few pages subsequently become loose. I resorted to using sellotape to repair torn pages, causing some leaves to cleave obstinately together from the sticky residue of the sellotape applied.
I loved that Bible and whilst I may not have known the actual reference for a particular scripture verse when quoted, I knew whereabouts in my bible I could find it (i.e. whether Old or New Testament, which book and the general location on page). This old bible was annotated, arrowed, circled, cross-referenced, highlighted, underlined and every blank space (front and back) filled with notes— choruses, definitions, prayer reminders, any valuable nugget I could record. That old bible meant just as much to me as an old favourite toy or teddy bear can mean to a young child and it was a tug for me to finally let it go and move on to a new one.
A neglected book?
Now recently I’ve read various posts challenging and provoking Christians to read their Bibles regularly. As prayer warriors, the spoken Word of God is an essential part of our armour—it is the sword of the Spirit. However, we cannot declare, proclaim, or pray God’s Word with confidence, if we do not know what it says.
If we are going to be effective as prayer warriors, if we are going to reign victoriously over our circumstances, if we are wanting to appropriate this abundant life that Jesus Christ paid such a dear price for us to have and enjoy, then we need to be familiar with, and understand God’s Word. The onus is therefore upon us to read, meditate upon and study the Bible.
Going back to the Bloomsbury guide referred to at the beginning of this post, I’m sure there are dozens of books this guide could point me to, which would enrich my reading repertoire and thus assist my aims and ambitions as a writer. Whilst it remains on my bookshelf unread however, I cannot avail myself of its commentaries, editorial suggestions and literary expertise.
Likewise, as Christian believers, as prayer warriors, our ability to become intimately acquainted with God, our ability to know His will, plan and purpose for our lives, our ability to withstand the lies and wiles of the Enemy, to pray and intercede effectively, is dependent upon how much of God’s Word we know, understand, put into practice and stand upon in faith.
And so fellow believers, if you are guilty of habitually neglecting God’s Word, please be aware that you are walking around with a blunt sword. Please be aware that a vital element of your armour has become useless. Please be aware that without the complete armour (as described in Ephesians 6:11-17), you will not have the spiritual strength to resist Satan’s schemes and strategies unleashed against your life and against the lives of your loved ones.
The last word
Women of Warfare followers and visitors, if Jesus has the words of eternal life (John 6:68), if God’s Word is to be effective as a lamp to your feet and a light to your path (Psalm 119:105), then I would encourage you to take stock of your personal engagement with God’s Word and if deep down in your heart, you know it to be lacking, then make amends. Don’t delay, don’t ignore, don’t make excuses. It could be a matter of life and death—the health and vigour of your spiritual life and the putting to death of carnality!