This journey is one I hope to continue on for the rest of my life. As I spend more time reading out of the Old Testament, and it becomes more familiar to me, I am starting to enjoy it more and more. The Old Testament is no longer 'intimidating' to me. As I warmed up by studying the popular characters that I had grown up hearing about, I decided at the beginning of the semester to read a book, that wasn't so familiar to me. So I began the journey of reading through the book of Ezekiel. For those of you who have never taken the time to do so, I would recommend it. I think there are so many ways God reveals himself throughout the entire book. Three weeks ago, I finished reading through the entire book. As I finished, I realized that the book of Ezekiel, and a common theme I saw as I read through it, was extremely applicable to my life. A phrase that appears repeatedly throughout the book is one that has stuck with me throughout this semester, 'then you will know, that I am the Lord, your God.' I lost count of how many times God says such a thing to the people throughout the book, but it has to be at least 50. That's right 50 times. So what does that mean to you? Well to me, it meant it was certainly important. God did many things to reveal himself to his people, whether it was through destruction or delivery, he was constantly working so that the people would know that he was the Lord. So, as I do with any scripture I read, I try and relate it back to my life now. Since this summer, I've been making more of an effort to realize what God is doing in my life at this very moment; rather than looking back and realizing weeks later. This semester has been a difficult one, but a good one all the less. I've seen a lot of changes in my life, and more importantly I've grown to recognize that I know God has been at work all a long. When I see success in my new major, I'm reminded and I know confidently that the Lord is my God. He delivered me and carried me through a difficult time when I was trying to follow the plans of my own heart so that one year later I could recognize and know that he is my God. When I see one of my HYPE kids ask a question about the Bible, or remember a Bible verse, I'm reminded that the Lord is my God. You get it. There have been so many circumstances, conversations, and people that helped me to better know that the Lord is my God. So as I read through the book of Ezekiel, I was thankful that as God helped the people back then to recognize that he was their Lord, he is still able to do the same for me today.
Thursday, November 20, 2014
For a long period of time in my life, I used to only open my Bible to the New Testament; the only times I read out of the Old Testament was if I was looking at Psalms or Proverbs. I think my tendency to read so frequently out of the New Testament was because it is easier to me. It made sense, the language was more common, and quite frankly I enjoy reading about Jesus and the New Law. However, last spring after attending the VERGE conference in April, I decided to 'reevaluate' my spiritual life. I began praying that I would know and have a better understanding of what faith was. As I began to pray, I couldn't help but feel the Spirit pulling at my heart strings to examine the faith of the individuals of the Old Testament. So I embarked upon the journey of studying and examining such individuals and the ways that God transformed their faith.