Last night in our LifeGroup we discussed God’s Word. We discussed it’s presence or prominence in our daily lives, how much we do or don’t spend time in it, and how inadequate we sometimes feel in knowledge of it. One person pointed out that knowing God’s word is not a test, it’s a relationship.
Our pastor said yesterday morning that most people spend an average of 20? something hours a week watching TV. And that it only takes 72 hours reading slowly to read the Bible from beginning to end. I was terribly convicted by this. In my Bible study, a book titled “Crazy Love,” by Francis Chan, I am being challenged to not stop at the conviction but rather to be catapulted into action. So I am placing my schedule before the Lord, to ask where I am misusing my time.
For example: I was reminded of instructions like that in Duet. 6. “These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.” (vs. 4-9)
The question is do I spend enough time in God’s Word to know it well enough to “talk about them when I sit at home, when I walk along the road, when I lie down and when I get up?” NO. A resounding NO. And Satan will not win here anymore. He will distract me from time to time, I know this. But I am asking God for a thirst for HIM, for His Word, for His presence, for His spirit, for His heart.
Francis Chan writes, “God doesn’t want religious duty. He doesn’t want a distracted, half-hearted “Fine, I’ll read a chapter….now are You happy?” attitude. (addition by me, neither does God want us to read a chapter so that we can check it off our “to do” list for the day.) God wants His Word to be a delight to us, so much so that we meditate on it day and night. In Psalm 1, He promises that those who do so are “like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.” (vs. 3)
He continues, “People who are obesessed with God have an intimate relationship with Him. They are nourished by God’s Word throughout the day because they know that forty minutes on Sunday is not enough to sustain them for a whole week, especially when they will encounter many distractions and alternative messages. ”
I have thought quite a bit lately on how we hear God admist the distractions and alternative messages. I know and have been challenged to put into action that one for sure way to hear from God is His Word. His Word is the living breathing word of God – so it always speaks. Whether or not we get anything from it, depends on whether or not we are listening when we read it. God promises us that His Word will not return void. So we must spend time in God’s Word. So that when we “encounter the distractions and alternative messages” during our day we will be able to weed out what is false and know what is true.
Somewhere last week I read, “do you know how to tell how crooked a crooked stick is? You lay it next to a straight stick.” God’s Word is that straight stick that we can use to judge other things in our life to see if they line up.
As I prepare for Africa, please help me listen more Lord, as I truly desire to know you more!