How can we strengthen our faith to not be swayed? The most important thing is to know the Bible. However, the Bible is so vast that many people start with great enthusiasm but often give up. Nevertheless, before reading the Bible, it will be very helpful to first familiarise ourselves with the overall picture of the Bible and study the background knowledge before reading each book.
When you first read the Bible, you may be in a hurry to understand the content, but taking time to contemplate it will allow you to experience meeting God spiritually. So, when we approach the Bible, what we most eagerly anticipate is getting to know God personally. Just as when we say we know someone well, it’s not just about knowing information about that person but also understanding their character. Similarly, with God, it’s not enough to merely know the content mentioned in the Bible intellectually. While it can serve as a foundation for knowing God, it doesn’t mean you truly know Him.
Truly knowing God through the Bible comes through meditations, or devotions. Just as knowing what someone did during the day is different from meeting that person personally and having a conversation, devotion is experiencing God’s character and His heart through the Bible, which records Him.
Therefore, if you learn how to study the Bible and meditate on it well, you can have a personal relationship with God and always discern His word and His will for you. To briefly introduce the process, it can be divided into four stages: observation, interpretation, application, and obedience. Observation and interpretation are like a journey into the text of the Bible, while application and obedience involve taking that content into your life.
Observation involves reading the text of the Bible multiple times and summarising its content, while interpretation involves finding the original purpose of the text, its main theme. During this process, referring to commentaries and study guides can be helpful. Once you have organised why the text was originally written through the first two stages, you then take that content to heart and spend time seeking the word that the Holy Spirit wants to give you. This time can be called devotions, and during this time, the Holy Spirit will impart messages to your heart. Specific words or meanings may come to you.
This moment is a time of spiritual communion with God through the Bible. It is also a part of the prayer process. During this time, you can ask how you should live your life specifically. Then, you will continue to receive wisdom from Him. By starting to have this kind of personal communion with God every day along with His Word, you can personally receive guidance on who He is and how you should live.
I encourage you to try studying and doing devotions on the Bible this way during your cell groups after each Sunday Service. Since the passages are not very long, you can prepare in advance and study and meditate on the Bible together with the help of your cell group leader. If you continue to study and meditate on the Bible in this way in your personal life for a week, you will undoubtedly nurture a strong and steadfast faith.