Imitating the habit of my mother, I read the Bible for more than fifteen years before Jesus revealed Himself to me and made me His child. Soon after, my sister who had met Christ earlier, told me to read the Bible each day, stopping when God showed me something I did not know, then write down the passage and my new understanding of it.
From this, I’ve stacks of journals, and now many computer files. This type of Bible reading is devotional, not doctrinal, but out of it comes understanding of who God is, who I am, and what God has done for me. He also guides me and gives important thoughts for each day.
Chambers’ “My Utmost for His Highest” is called a devotional however his thoughts come from lectures he gave and that were compiled into this popular book. Sometimes they seem over-edited, even a bit disjointed. I know how difficult it would be to put an entire lecture into three hundred words or so.
Today’s reading is another one that takes a leap from a narrative to an application that is sound, yet it is related to the narrative only by the author’s connotative thoughts. He used this verse at the end of Mark’s account of the transfiguration:
And as they were coming down the mountain, he charged them to tell no one what they had seen, until the Son of Man had risen from the dead. (Mark 9:9)
Chambers extrapolates. He writes that no one is to say anything about Jesus until He dominates their life. Jesus does that as He speaks to us through His word, bringing those who cannot bear a particular truth to a place where it can be borne, understood, and obeyed.
He adds that no one can understand without that initial revelation of Christ and without the Holy Spirit living in us. I agree. For seventeen years, I could not understand Scripture at all, but when Jesus came into my life, I began to get it. He unfolded the meaning of His Word to me.
The process of seeing His truth is gradual as is the process of being transformed by it. At times I’ve wished He would just ‘zap’ me and I would be instantly like Him, but that would be unbearable, not only to me but the people around me.
While the transformation is slow, there are wonderful lessons along the way. One that I already know has been reinforced today — unless I know a truth by revelation from God, I should not say anything about it. Much harm has been done by the ‘supposing’ of people who assume this or that about the Bible, but have not had any enlightenment from the Holy Spirit. Without Him, I know nothing and ought to say nothing.
The other reminder is that His teaching never ends. How important to keep on reading, keep on listening for the voice of God, and keep on allowing Him to transform my life.