Darling. Sweetheart. Beloved. These aren’t names I get called very often by anyone other than perhaps my wife. But if I ever am in the mood to be called such things, I know where to go. I can just do a women’s Bible study.
Have you ever done a women’s Bible study? If you’re a woman, then I’m not really asking you. But if you’re a man like me, have you ever done one of these? They pass around more terms of endearment than you’d think would be possible. One of the worst offenders (offenders is a strong word…I couldn’t think of a better one) is Beth Moore. She’s a women’s ministry leader, and she speaks to women. And she speaks to women like a woman. She calls them “honey” and “beloved,” and I’m sure she wouldn’t apologize for it for even one second. But she is an amazing teacher…perhaps the absolute best out there right now…and I know I can learn a lot from her. So I agree to do one of her studies with my wife every now and then. I just have to tolerate being called “honey”….and overall, it doesn’t cause too much lasting damage.
The study I agreed to do with my wife this time around is called Here and Now…There and Then: A Lecture Series on Revelation. Any study on Revelation is guaranteed to be crazy, but I knew that if anyone could teach it with clarity and accuracy, it would be Beth Moore.
We watched the first session last night, and one of the things Beth asks the women (and this man) to do throughout the 10 weeks of the study is to journal things that God reveals to them (about Himself, about His Word, etc.). I’ve tried journaling in the past, and honestly I’m just not much of a journal-er. But one thing I’ve done a bit of is blogging. So I decided, heck, why not turn my journaling into blogging. I shall call it “journalogging.” (Other people have thought of this word before me, according to Google, but that’s okay. We’ll pretend it’s a new word that I made up). I’m going to call this series of posts ‘Regular Revelation’ – I hope it will be regular, though I doubt it will be daily, and I hope that God will reveal new truths about Himself to me that I can journalog here.
After watching the video last night, I was laying bed and I prayed that God would reveal things to me as I go through the study. I want to understand the book of Revelation better (everyone does, I think…even experts), and I want to lose some of my fear of the end times. But I also want Him to just reveal Himself to me. I want to grow closer to Him through this study. I asked Him to make sure that if He’s showing me anything (revealing anything to me) that I would definitely know it. Then I went to sleep…cuz it was late.
When I woke up this morning to my wife saying “it’s time to get up” (and then sending my kids to make sure I was awake 10 minutes later, which I was, thank you very much), I got on my phone and perused Facebook. Randy Alcorn, another great Bible teacher I follow on Facebook, had shared the status of Justin Taylor (I don’t know who this is…), who had shared a link to a blog post by the mother of Alex Malarkey. If you don’t know who that is, don’t worry, I didn’t either. But after reading the blog post, you come to realize that Alex is the boy who is the main character of a book written a while back called The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven. Now, don’t get this confused with another book called Heaven Is For Real – it’s a different book about a different little boy. But all the same, it’s about a boy who goes to heaven and, as the title so eloquently tells us, came back.
In the blog post, the boy’s mother, Beth, outright says that the story behind the book is not true. She says that even Alex, the “co-author”, has denied it’s authenticity. He even told a pastor that the book was wrong, and the pastor just told him to let it be, because the book was blessing people. Huh…let a lie continue to spread because people are enjoying hearing it. Interesting.
One of the commenters on Beth Malarkey’s blog post, a woman named Michelle, said “it’s completely incomprehensible to me how people could prefer a lie over the truth.” I totally agree! These heaven experiences that are making millions in book sales and movie proceeds spout some unbiblical ideas about what heaven is like, or more importantly, what heave is all about.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is what I believe was the first thing that God used to reveal himself to me today. The first ‘revelation’ that He made while I undergo the study of His book which we’ve titled Revelation (with a capital-R). That whole idea, that people prefer lies over truth, and that I have preferred lies over truth, was a slap to my face today. The fact that I knowingly, not ignorantly, have chosen to live based on lies even though I know the truth – to borrow from the commenter Michelle, it’s incomprehensible!
Needless to say, I spent some time in prayer today, repenting of this sin. I refuse to let anything – especially my own stupidity – get in the way of knowing God more fully and experiencing His love more deeply. This is what God revealed to me today. May He continue to reveal more…every day, while I’m doing this study, and forever after.