“The unfolding of Your Word gives light; it gives understanding to the simple.”
Psalm 119:130

There is nothing like seeing God’s Word leap off the pages of your Bible! I love when I read a passage and it immediately touches my heart. But many times when I’m studying, I’ll read a scripture and it just doesn’t come alive for me. I’ll find myself thinking, “Ok, I understand what it’s saying, but what does it mean?” I know…that statement is an oxymoron. But it can be true at times!! Right?

When studying one morning, I realized how desensitized we can become to words in the English language. They can lose their gusto when used everyday! So I began the discipline of highlighting the main words of a passage and looking up their definitions. I then take those definitions and plug them into the passage in place of the original word used and write myself a letter from The Lord. As I incorporated this “word focus” study method into my quiet time, the passages began to come alive and I realized just how specific and personal God’s Word to me really is.

The following is a excerpt from my personal journal written a year or so ago. When I ran across it today, tears welled up in my eyes. I could remember where I was sitting that day as I worked through the passage below.   I was struggling to keep my mind from building fearful scenarios based on the circumstances at hand. I was in a total funk. All I wanted to do was dive into a big bag of puffy Cheetos, with a good Hallmark movie, and make it all go away. But instead, the Holy Spirit literally pulled me into the pages of my Bible that day. It’s the only way I can explain it. But by the time we were done studying, my whole perspective was changed.

If you have a moment, read the passage below and then take a glance at the definitions of some words you most likely know already. My prayer is that you will see this scripture take on new life as you witness God’s personal letter to me unfold – from my pen onto paper – as I plugged those definitions into the light of God’s Word.

 “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God and we take captive every thought and make it obedient to Christ.”

                                                               2 Corinthians 10:5

DEMOLISH: to tear down or break apart the structure of; destroy; to do away with completely; put an end to; to damage severely to the point of losing functionality; to finish; to lay to waste; to utterly ruin

ARGUMENT: a series of reasons presented to support or oppose a proposition

EVERY: each one without exception; all; nothing excluded from the group

PRETENSION: a false or unsupported claim especially to merit, worth or importance; the act of pretending or alleging; hypocrisy

SET UP AGAINST: to put someone or something in competition against another

KNOWLEDGE: the state or fact of knowing; understanding gained through experience or study; the range or sum of what has been discovered or learned

TAKE: to lead or cause to go along to another place; to move into or assume occupancy of ; to use something as a means of safety or refuge; to provide room for; to accommodate

CAPTIVE: something that is forcibly confined or enslaved; kept under restraint or control; restricted; locked up

THOUGHT: your mental consideration; your attention; the act or process of thinking, deliberating, meditating or reflecting

MAKE IT: to bring into existence by shaping and modifying; to cause to exist or happen; to change from one form or function to another; to cause to act in a specified manner

OBEDIENT: dutifully complying with the commands, order or instructions of one in authority; submitting to authority

Thank you Lord for this sweet letter to me:

Dear LeeAnn,

I know you are feeling like you can’t bear anymore of this trial. You are starting to feel like it will never end. However, the truth is, you don’t know what I’m working out, or why I’m prolonging the answers and solutions you desire. But this is where you get to trust. Where your muscles get to build and your spiritual physique is going to start shaping up!

Do you know why?? Because you and I are about to do work! This is boot camp—the spiritual kind—and you are going to feel the burn as we start breaking down strongholds!! If you want to start seeing my will, my answers and your future start to unfold—the one where you are confident that YOUR GOD has a great plan for you—then we start with demolition!

WE are going to tear down or break apart the lies of the enemy. We will tear them down completely. We are going to ruin them to the point of them losing their functionality and then lay them to waste. Satan’s augments are a series of reasons why you believe you can’t have hope. They are constant propositions that go against MY Word. But today, I am going to demolish them—finish his game and lay them to rest. I will lay out each one without exception—all of them with nothing excluded from the group that could potentially straggle behind and trip you up. We will address all false or unsupported claims, unfounded scenarios and any hypocrisy that puts itself in competition against the facts you know from studying My Word through the years. I’m going to bring to your remembrance the massive range and sum of truth you have uncovered while spending time with me. You are going to accomplish this by taking your thoughts captive—which means you are going to lead or cause your thoughts to go to another place—to mentally assume another position. I want you to move your emotions to a place of safety and then forcibly confine or enslave them there. Keep them under restraint or control. Don’t let them run wild any longer. Listen closely, dear one. Your mental consideration, your attention, your deliberations and meditations—all of these things are going to change functions. They are going to shift from running wild and ruling your choices to dutifully complying with the commands and instructions of THE ONE who is in authority over you—and that is Jesus Christ.  

When Satan attacks your faith, combat him with My promises. Put one foot in front of the other and focus on the FINISH LINE, knowing that your story is unfolding. My Peace is obtainable. And My Word alone is the key to unlocking all the power you will ever need to live out a victorious testimony that leads others to desire more of me. Because at the end of the day, my sweet girl, that is what it’s all about.

 And just like that, everything changed. Not only was my understanding of what needed to happen apparent. But my desire to see Christ glorified in the process was renewed. I gained a warrior mentality—ready for victory. And that scripture— to this day—well, it’s never looked flat on the pages of my bible again. It will always be alive and active; sharper than any double-edged sword and ready to do battle on my behalf anytime needed. (Hebrews 4:12-13)

 My prayer is that you give this method of study a try and experience God’s Word in fresh and transforming ways. Until next time, keep your eyes on THE FINISH LINE! You just wait and see! That black and white checkered flag is going to be a beauty!

Shine On!

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