Have you ever spent any time really studying the Old Testament? I used to get frustrated with all of the genealogies, rules, regulations and clans as I read. I couldn’t figure out how any of that would apply to me today, but I was bound to stick with it until the Lord made sense of it all to me. After all, James 1:5 says “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” I certainly was lacking some wisdom with regard to the Old Testament, so I decided I would start asking God to help me understand it.
Now the Old Testament is one of my favorite places to camp out, however, recently I couldn’t help but feel like there was even more to it than I was discovering. Desperate for more, I decided to dig deeper, even if I wasn’t sure how. Then one morning I stumbled across Ephesians 1:17-19a “I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know Him better. I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints, and His incomparably great power for us who believe.” When I read those verses, I realized that was what I really wanted. I decided to take Paul’s words and make them into a prayer. I took the word “you” out and put “I” and “me” in its place making this my personal prayer. I cannot begin to describe how the Lord has opened my eyes to things in a whole new way.
Just yesterday I was reading Number 4. The Lord is instructing Moses to divide the Levites up into different groups and give them each a specific task with regard to the Tent of Meeting. In the past, I would have glossed over it and at first I was tempted to step back into my old ways. Yet, when I asked God to show me what He was saying to me, the light came on. The Lord has plans for each of us [Jeremiah 29:11]. This is true even in the church. He has certain tasks He has equipped us to do for the church [Hebrews 13:20-21]. Now in Numbers, if one of the Levites did something that wasn’t theirs to do, it could bring about their death. I don’t think God will slay us for working in the youth department when He has truly called us to work with hospitality, but there is a lack of effectiveness when we aren’t operating in the giftings He has given us. We need to listen to His instructions and follow them, just like the Levites. To ignore Him will bring about negative consequences.
What have you read recently in the Word of God? Is it speaking to you? Do you see how to apply it to your life today? If not, I encourage you to begin praying Ephesians 1:17-19 before you pour over the Word. You’ll be amazed by what God reveals. He promises us in Jeremiah 33:3 to tell us great things we do not know. It’s time for us to be “in the know.” Are you ready?