In school, my English teacher asked the class if they knew what it meant to be persistent. Students nodded, but nobody volunteered an answer. We hadn’t memorized the dictionary definition and were afraid anything we said might be wrong.
“If you can’t write the definition and use the word in a sentence,” she said, “you don’t really know what it means.”
Was that true? No, I had a perfectly good feeling about what persistence looked like. I just didn’t know how to put that feeling into words. I thought of my sister constantly begging, never letting up on Daddy until she got what she wanted.
I wonder how often we have a feeling about God’s words, but if the preacher asked us what a certain verse meant, we wouldn’t know how to answer. “If you can’t describe what those words mean in your life,” he might say, “then they really don’t have much meaning, do they?”
If I’m going to practice God’s presence, I need to put God’s presence into practice. One way I do that is to rewrite Scripture to suit what God seems to be speaking into my life.
King James might turn over in his grave if he knew I was messing with his words, but that’s okay. Bringing the words to life, making them personal, is what gives us life.
Here are a few verses I wrote recently:
2 Corinthians 3:18
- King James: But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.
- Personally: As we focus on the Lord’s presence and behold his glory, all of us are changed into the same image, rising from one level of excellence to the next as the Holy Spirit keeps working in our lives.
- For Writers: As we focus on the Lord’s presence and write for his glory, all who give themselves to the craft are changed into his image, rising from one publishing success to the next as the Holy Spirit keeps working in our lives.
- King James: This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.
- Personally: Let me make this perfectly clear: if you listen to God’s Spirit within, you will seek to please him and to benefit others, not to satisfy your selfish desires.
- For Writers: Please understand, if you listen to God’s Spirit within, you will write to please him and to benefit others, not to satisfy your selfish desires.
- King James: I remember the days of old; I meditate on all thy works; I muse on the work of thy hands.
- Personally: As I remember when you’ve helped me through hard times, I marvel at what you’ve done and think about the greater things that lie ahead as you continue to work in me.
- For Writers: When I ponder what to write about, I remember the plights of my past and why I now give you praise. Then I reveal your glory by showing how you’ve worked in my life.
Instead of just reading Scripture, meditate upon it, consider what it really means to you, and then write it.