Welcome Christian Charity as we consider how God speaks.
2 Corinthians 8:10 Revised Standard Version "And in this matter I give my advice: it is best to complete what a year ago you began not only to do but to desire."
The Bible I tend to read from the most is the Revised Standard Version. It was the first Bible I was given as a child and although I have others it is the one that I carry with me wherever I go. Sentimental value I suppose.
When I go to Bible study class it often has to be followed meticulously as others read from their versions that are worded somewhat differently. And I have to say as I read the above verse from 2 Corinthians my first interpretation of it was probably wrong.
Just recently I have been at a crossroads as to a particular project I had embarked on. I was beginning to have doubts as to whether this was really what God was calling me to do. Naturally I prayed to Jesus to help guide me and as I read verse 10 from chapter 8 it really felt that God was telling me to persevere. It was about a year ago that I first decided on this particular venture and although it has hit some stumbling blocks recently it was still in my heart to try and see it through to the end. God seemed to be speaking and the way I was reading his word I was getting encouragement to carry on.
The danger with taking a particular verse on its own is that the meaning can be distorted. When I looked at other Bible versions and read chapter 8 in its entirety it became clear that the apostle Paul was talking about giving. He was suggesting that what was started a year ago in the way of giving generously should still be continued as the desire should be matched by its completion.
I had gotten the wrong end of the stick because I had taken only the words from the verse which hadn't given me the full picture.
But did that really matter in this particular instance?
Although once I had done my research I had understood the true meaning, I had still been given the idea that I should carry on with my project. God was speaking and he was appealing to my heart rather than my head wasn't he?
God speaks to us in many different ways and I'm sure he must get frustrated with me because he thinks I don't listen. But he does speak and his voice comes to us through other people, through experience, sometimes through gut instinct, and very often through his word as written in the Bible. Many times I have heard people say that they can go over passages from the Bible again and again and get a different message each time. They will see something different, feel something different, their hearts being touched in different ways, and this is God speaking to them in such a way that is relevant to them at the time.