Then, one day, God sent a woman named Ruth Young from Chatsworth, GA to knock on my door (one of those "visits" back-slidden Christians hate so much!). She was sent to ask me if I ever read my Bible.
I didn't. But her question intrigued me. So instead of answering her, I asked her a question back.
I said, "Have you ever read your Bible all the way through?"
Her answer blew me away: "Oh Honey, if you read four chapters a day, you will read the entire Bible through every year and the New Testament twice. I have been doing that for 25 years!"
I did the math.
This was earth-shaking, life-changing, and transforming advice for me--because up to that point, I had viewed the Bible as an impossible book to read all the way through (and I am a reader!), and I did not know anyone who had done it.I don't know that I believed my pastors had done it.
Ruth Young's testimony opened up a whole new world of possibility to me as far as a relationship with my Creator was concerned. I was born again at the age of six, but up to the day God's woman from Chatsworth, GA knocked on my door, I had only approached my Savior from a religious perspective...and religion was not working for me.
What I needed was a relationship.
But how can you have a relationship with someone you barely know?
Some will say, "But look at the marital unfaithfulness, abuse, and domestic violence you suffered, for years after that? How can you call that a transformed life?
My response: "Can you imagine what my life would have been like if I had gone through these things without knowing God and being confident of his love and help? No one says Christians will always make the right decisions or never experience abuse or suffering. I know that I would not be alive, today, and serving God with confidence in His Word, His love, and His peace in my heart, had that moment in my life never happened, where Ruth Young obeyed the Holy Spirit of God by making and uninvited (and I felt at the time, unwelcome) appearance at my front door."
It was much more difficult at first than it is now.
At first it was a discipline that I knew my relationship and faithfulness to God absolutely depended on. Some mornings, I felt like reading my Bible and other mornings (probably most mornings at the time) I did not feel like reading my Bible. I overcame this reluctance on morning I just "didn't feel like it," by telling myself that I "needed it even more today," because I didn't feel like it. And that was so true.
Today, my morning-time in the Word of God is like mother's milk. I look forward to it even before I go to be the night before. That is the transforming power of the Written Word of God, when approached as part of a relationship and not a religious duty.
This is a daily--moment by moment, hour by hour, day by day, one day at a time--walk with God. And without fail, after just a few moments, Jesus and I are having a good visit. It is always more than just reading—It really is a deeply personal time that I spend together with my Savior.
For me, it really was as simple as that.
Author and speaker, Jocelyn Andersen, is an eclectic Christian writer. She is a Bible teacher who writes about many subjects including Bible prophecy and equality of the sexes. She is best known for her advocacy in domestic violence awareness. Her book, Woman Submit! Christians & Domestic Violence, has been a staple in the library of resources on that subject.
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