To effectively grasp a book, you need to actively engage the Five Fingers. In the same way, to grasp God's Word, the five fingers of your right hand would be required. Hence the fingers stand for: hearing, reading, studying, memorising and meditating on God's Word.
This is one way to learn God's Word. Romans 10:17 says:
“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
You can listen to messages, audio, video and VCDs of anointed men and women of God. It is very helpful, but your knowledge of God should not be restricted to hearing only. Educationalists tell us that we only retain six to ten percent of what we hear. A believer who relies only on messages he or she hears, would be living on a very meagre spiritual diet that will leave his spirit starving.
This is an important way of knowing God. In the Old Testament, any king who was chosen to lead God's people was required to read God's Word every day. Deuteronomy 17:19 says:
“And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the Lord his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them.”
God's Word is the source of our energy. Just as physical energy is generated by physical food, so is spiritual energy generated by reading the Bible. Educationalists say that we retain 20% to 25% of what we read.
World evangelist Dr. Billy Graham suggests reading five Psalms and a chapter of Proverbs daily alongside other portions of Scripture. This way, you will be able to read through Psalms and Proverbs every month. Psalms help us to cultivate our relationship with God, while Proverbs enable us to develop a right relationship with our fellow human beings.
To study is to work at what we read with the purpose of understanding, retaining and utilising the information. We retain about 50% of what we study. In 2 Timothy 2:15 we are commanded to study to show ourselves approved unto God.
There is great depth in God's Word. When you read, you only scratch the surface. But when you study, you dig into its hidden treasures. To study means that you record every fresh revelation you receive while you are busy with God's Word. It also means asking and answering questions when you read it. It means comparing one verse with another, and looking up a topic and learning all you can about it. As you discover the truth in the Bible, take care to put them into practice.
To memorise is to store God's Word in your mind for future use. Doing this has a way of changing your life subconsciously. Psalms 119:11 says:
“Thy Word have I hid in mine heart that I might not sin against thee.”
The Word of God is the weapon with which you can fight the devil and every difficult situation or condition. Many times, when you find yourself at the battle front you might not have a Bible with you. It is the amount of God's Word you have already committed to your heart that the Holy Spirit will reach out for, from your store, to defeat the enemy during temptations and attack. The Word of God is life. How much of God's Word you hide in your heart determines how much of God's life is in you. How much of God's life is on your inside determines how much of God you carry on you.
The Word of God is the means by which you can renew your mind according to Romans 12:2. Through storing God's Word in your heart, you can begin to think God's thoughts and see things through God's eyes.
To memorise, read the verse aloud to yourself. Recite it one phrase at a time until the entire verse is committed to memory. You do yourself a world of good by taking pains to commit memory verses to the store of your heart. Like a few highly disciplined believers, you can go beyond this and commit whole passages and chapters of the Bible to memory, so that you become a walking, talking Bible.
To meditate is to digest God's Word. It is to move the Word of God from your head into your heart, making it a permanent part of your life. Joshua 1:8 says:
“This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.”
Meditation is paying attention to God's Word with the intention of putting it into practice. It means taking out some time to think upon a particular verse or passage, asking questions. Your mind should be open to the Holy Spirit for His guidance. Your focus should not be distracted. And in the process, the Lord could take you on a journey into revelation. Through meditation, you can receive the secrets of breakthrough, success, enduring peace, lasting joy and all-round blessedness.
(Excerpt from The New King James New Testament, Billy Graham Counsellor's edition.)
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