You . . . worship what you do not know. (John 4:22)

WE ALL KNOW GOD, RIGHT? You know, you read the Bible and you know who God is and then you just worship the God of the Bible. Simple. No, if it were simple we wouldn’t have so many different denominations and sects. (Cults and schisms and wars, oh my!)

So many interpretations, opinions, and horrific theology. Both sides in the Civil War used the Bible to justify their cases for and against slavery. How can this be? Mainly because people don’t dig deeply into their Bibles for themselves. They use someone else’s canned Bible studies and parrot the words of those who “know more than me.”

But there simply is no substitute for digging into your Bible for yourself. Slow down and read carefully, listening for the Spirit to speak to you and minister the words you are reading to your specific circumstances. Instead of trying to read through the Bible in a year, read slowly looking to see who God is. What are God’s attributes? How does Jesus treat people? What verses light you up inside?

Worship God in spirit and in truth. Worship God in your spirit—not just your mind. Let the Spirit engage you and work in your heart and mind. Rather than trying to master the text, let the text master you. Let it grow roots in you and transform you from the inside out.

Let the Spirit teach you to worship in spirit and in truth.

Kathy Bence lives in Idaho with her professor husband, Phil.