The Holy Spirit is God's Translator

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Dear Friends,
The Holy Spirit is God's Translator

I struggled when it came to learning a foreign language at school. I just couldn't get to grips with it. When we had listening tests the words seemed to be spoken so quickly and run into each other that I just couldn't understand. (I guess those who don't speak English probably have the same difficulties with our language!) I also had a lot of difficulties when it came to translating a written piece into English. How much easier it would have been if I had had someone sitting next to me who was fluent in the language and could translate for me so that I could understand.

Do you ever feel that way when it comes to reading the Bible? You read a passage but you just don't understand what you're reading. That it might as well be written in another language for all the sense you are able to make of it.

Well, in a sense, the Bible has been written in another language - a spiritual one.  All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. 2 Timothy 3:16 (NLT) Other translations tell us Scripture is "God-breathed". The Bible is written in God's language.

This means that people who aren’t spiritual can’t receive these truths from God’s Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them and they can’t understand it. 1 Corinthians 2:14 (NLT)

In Acts 8 we have the account of an Ethiopian reading the Scriptures but not understanding what he was reading. The Holy Spirit sent Philip to sit beside the Ethiopian and explain the Scriptures to him. Philip, who was full of the Holy Spirit, explained to the Ethiopian what he was reading. This brought understanding to the Ethiopian and a realisation that he needed to apply what he had just learned to his own life. It resulted in him becoming a follower of Christ. You can read the account for yourself in Acts 8:26-40.

In 1 Corinthians 2:10 we read that the Holy Spirit reveals God’s truth to us. Without him, we cannot know God’s deep secrets. They cannot be learned or understood through human understanding. But it was to us that God revealed these things by his Spirit. For his Spirit searches out everything and shows us God’s deep secrets. (NLT)

In the following verse, we read: No one can know a person’s thoughts except that person’s own spirit, and no one can know God’s thoughts except God’s own Spirit. v11 (NLT)

The wonderful truth is that if we are believers, if we have put our faith in God, then we have his Spirit living in us. 

And we have received God’s Spirit (not the world’s spirit), so we can know the wonderful things God has freely given us. v12 (NLT)

The Holy Spirit is God's translator and he sits with us, explaining the spiritual truths in the Bible, helping us to understand them, accept them and apply them to our lives. As he translates for us, he takes us further in our understanding, he will use it to change us, convict us, direct us, guide us, teach us, comfort us, encourage us, counsel us, and help us.

Whilst the Holy Spirit can translate for us and help us understand the truths that are found in the Bible, I believe he waits to be asked. I find it can be so easy to rush into a time of Bible reading with the wrong heart attitude, just reading as a sense of duty, rather than from a longing to hear from God. When we pause to ask the Holy Spirit to enlighten our minds so we can understand what we read, and come with an open, expectant heart, I believe God will then speak to us through his Word.

Time and time again when I have begun by asking God to speak to me and help me to understand and apply what I am reading, he has answered my request. He opens my eyes to the deep truths that are hidden in his word. It's like digging for treasure, the further I dig, the greater the treasure that is revealed. 

We can pray using our own words, asking the Holy Spirit to help us to understand what we read or we can pray the words of Scripture such as:

Psalm 119:18 Open my eyes to see the wonderful truths in your instructions.

To Think About:
Do you regularly make time to be with God, pray and read your Bible? Is this important to you? What things help to make it a part of your daily routine? 

Do you ask for the Holy Spirit’s help to understand what you read as you open your Bible? Will you take the time to dig for the treasure God has for us within his Word?

If you don't already do so, you may find it beneficial to keep a journal to record what God teaches you through his Word.


If what you read was of interest to you, then you may like to know that my book "Dear Friend...52 Weekly Devotions to Encourage, Challenge and Inspire" is available to buy from Amazon, on Kindle or in paperback. (Its content is material adapted from past blog posts.) To learn more, click on the link below:


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