To help me better connect with God and His Word, I started asking 6 key questions over 25 years ago (that I learned from George Mueller). Using these 6 questions, I came up with the acrostic ENSPEC. I still use it today; it’s an invaluable tool in helping me understand and learn how to apply scripture in my life. As Andy Stanley once said: “To understand why, submit and apply.”
I don’t ask God to show me an answer to every ENSPEC question. I ask Him to help me understand the passage I’m reading and show me what I need to apply in my life. It’s usually an answer to one of the 6 questions.
There are times when I don’t find any specific applications and that’s fine, but most days there are definite things I can apply to my attitudes, actions or both.
Here are the questions. I suggest you use them as you read Proverbs this month.
E – Is there an EXAMPLE in this passage I should follow?
N – Is there a NEW THOUGHT about God, Jesus, or the Holy Spirit for me to grasp?
S – Is there a SIN revealed in this passage that I need to turn from of and confess?
P – Is there a PROMISE in this passage I can claim.
E – Is there an ERROR revealed in this passage that I should avoid?
C – Is there a COMMAND in this passage for me to obey?
There’s a Proverb for every day of the month and that makes it easy to know which Proverb to read each day. Today – December 3rd read Proverbs 3. On December 4th, read Proverbs 4. If you miss a day, don’t get discouraged, just pick up the next day with the Proverb that corresponds to that day of the month! Satan will do everything possible to discourage you and keep you from reading God’s Word.
Here’s A Sample of What Might Happen Using the ENSPEC Questions with Proverbs 3
VV 5-6 might jump out to me as an EXAMPLE to follow…
VV 11-12 could be a NEW THOUGHT about God for me to understand…
VV 29-31 reveals some SIN I might need to confess
VV 9-10 includes an EXAMPLE to follow and a PROMISE to claim
V 7 reveals an ERROR I should avoid
V 27 may not be a direct COMMAND, but it’s something I should remember that’s not just a suggestion
It’s always great to share with someone what you’re discovering as you read!
When I’m reading and asking the ENSPEC questions and come across a verse that grabs my attention but I’m not sure I fully understand its meaning I do a couple of things
- I read it in context. I read the verses around it again to see if they help give understanding.
- I use Bible Gateway and compare the verse in multiple translations ( I tend to look at the NLT ESV NCV CEV AMP GNT NKJV NIrV and sometimes The MSG Paraphrase
- If there’s a word I’m not sure about I’ll type the word in Bible Gateway under “Word Search” and see how the word is used in other places in Scripture.
- I sometimes use Study Light in looking at the original language of the passage.
- I talk to trusted mature Christians and ask them about it.
- And I have a number of commentaries I read – but this is usually the last resort and used primarily when I’m studying.
If you’re just getting started – you might consider steps 1-3, & 5