“Do you understand what you’re reading?” the highly educated and sought-after speaker asked the parking lot attendant.

The man asking the question was part of a large conference of biblical scholars and end times theologians whose purpose was to help pastors and teachers better comprehend the book of Revelation. He was sharing the story—somewhat as a confessional—a few years later as a guest speaker at the church my husband and I were attending.

He had devoted untold time studying this last book of the Bible in an effort to glean timetables, determine which events were to be taken literally or figuratively, and make sense of what had historically confused readers. He also shared he’d arrived at the point where he felt he had it down pretty well. While acknowledging he didn’t understand everything, he was fairly confident as to his expertise and was serving as a keynote speaker for the conference.

As the final session of the event concluded, he went to retrieve his rental car from the conference center’s garage. It was there he came upon a grey-haired attendant who happened to be reading a well-used Bible. It was open to the book of Revelation.

Then came the friendly (but slightly conceited) query:

“I see you’re in the book of Revelation. Do you understand what you’re reading?”

After a respectful, thoughtful pause the seated attendant looked up and said, “Yes, sir. I do.”

Surprised, the speaker asked “Really?” The aged gentlemen responded,

“Yes, sir. Jesus wins.”

* * *

Friend, we will always have portions of God’s Word we struggle to understand this side of heaven—even with prayer and meaningful study. What we can take comfort in, however, is Scripture’s clarity from Genesis to Revelation that God is God, we are frail humans who fall short of His glory, and He made a way for us to be made spiritually clean and whole through Jesus Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit.

And—yes—Jesus wins!

No matter our education or background, we should approach the Bible with an expectation that God’s Spirit will meet us there. Hebrews 4:12 tells us, The word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

Notice what that verse doesn’t say.

It’s not, “If you have perfect understanding, God’s word is alive and active…”

There’s no disclaimer that “Only if your theology is 100% spot on, God’s word is alive and active…”

Clearly, we should not only approach God’s Word with an expectation His Spirit will meet us there, but also with humility. Micah 6:8 is concise and helpful, here: He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

While it’s (very, very) good to get into the details of God’s word, some of us have a tendency to over-complicate it. Perhaps we’d rather study, study, study it more than follow, follow, follow it.

As a dear friend of mine would probably say here, “Ouch! I need some steel-toed boots!” Certainly my goal isn’t to stomp on our toes or make anyone feel badly, but to encourage us—all of us—to simply open the Bible and get into the habit of reading it.

Would I like to fully grasp every facet of Scripture, including those seemingly wild portions dealing with the end times? Absolutely, I would. But there are more days that I just need to lean in on the wonderful truth that…

Jesus wins and I am His.

* * *

Recommended reading:  While the book of Revelation may unearth questions, it should never be avoided. In fact, we’re told early on in chapter 1, “Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and heed the things which are written in it; for the time is near.”  To that end, we’re linking the book of Revelation for you here and encourage you to make time to read it: Revelation 1:1-22:21

Recommended action: If you haven’t already done so, please give your  life to Christ today (John 3:16).  Jesus wins and you, too, can align yourself with His victory and know the glory of being one with Him—now and forever. If you’re not sure what this means or how to go about it, this link will help:   What Is Eternal Life?

June

June

People Lover. Author. Blogger. Speaker. Forgiven Much & Wild About God. Learn about June's latest book on her website.

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