Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long. Your commands are always with me and make me wiser than my enemies.
Psalms 119:97-98 NIV
Have you thought you were smarter than you are? On the day of the final anatomy exam, I walked into the classroom, confident because I’d reviewed the textbook convinced the exam contained questions and diagrams within the book. I sat down and noticed something had changed when the professor stood behind his desk and pointed to a table. He cleared his throat as he said. “You are to identify each bone from the disassembled skeleton on the table.”
In horror, I realized the stand with a suspended human skeleton was gone; he had dismembered it and placed the separate bones on the table. I wiped sweaty palms on my pants before I stood up and walked across the room toward the table. My comprehension didn’t include how to distinguish the left from the right bones. Tests measure how fully you absorbed the material you studied, but I hadn’t studied well and wasn’t ready for the test.
The Bible tells us to study to gain God’s approval, so I wonder how God would grade my knowledge of the Bible, the living Word of God. Perhaps it’s possible to read God’s Word and believe that we discern Him without having studied the scripture or communicated with Him. I yearn to know Him thoroughly, so I ask God to reveal Himself to me, where I lack wisdom.
Both spiritual and worldly comprehension requires a strong desire to learn, and that desire is the energy to continue until you succeed. This desire helps as you search for an accurate understanding and ponder the true meaning of the concept. When studying, ask God for open eyes and ears to receive the godly wisdom hidden within that the Holy Spirit wants to reveal and to recognize Him fully.
The Bible instructs us to study to receive knowledge and wisdom; study requires self-discipline, regardless of our pursuit. We must set aside adequate time to read and memorize what we’ve read. It may involve eliminating old study habits and developing new habits that promote learning. Renewing your mind requires paying attention to your thoughts and actions.
Learning a subject in school and studying the Bible begin with reading. When you read the Bible, it helps to start with a verse that interests you. Break it down into small, manageable sections. Then review and examine it to comprehend it very well. Even when it is difficult, continue to try, and do not allow defeat. Ponder the verse until you grasp the concept.
Wisdom also comes from doing something. The Bible says to be doers of the word; therefore, practice using what you have learned; otherwise, your learning is useless. The more you practice, the greater your awareness.
Father God, thank you for the written Word that teaches us Your ways. Help us be diligent in developing disciplines that foster a greater appreciation of Your ways.
What discipline do you need to develop or strengthen?