Times of Bounty
I have not always been like this, mind you. Scripture has been a top priority in my life, and I have read through the Bible many times. When I look back over my life, periods of intense delight in the Word of God clearly stand out to me. These periods inevitably followed a time of rededication to God, cleansing of all impurities from my life, and wholeheartedly committing to follow God no matter what. Opening the pages of God’s Word with this dedication in my head and on my heart and coming from my lips and ringing in my ears, I would get that tingly feeling in the pit of my stomach and my fingers would shake—my eyes had no trouble following the words, and my mind had no problem focusing on the meaning. There was adrenaline in my system at the very point of contact with the Holy Bible and the Holy Spirit within me guiding my thoughts and understanding.
“I rise before the dawning of the morning,
And cry for help;
I hope in Your word.
My eyes are awake through the night watches,
That I may meditate on Your word….Princes persecute me without a cause,
But my heart stands in awe of Your word.
I rejoice at Your word
As one who finds great treasure."~ Psalm 119: 147-148, 161-162
Times of Leanness
But then there are times like now. Times where I read my Bible (for school, for family devotions, for church), but I do not have a quiet time of just me, my Bible, the Holy Spirit, and God. Times where I look at my Bible in the morning and make the conscious decision not to pick it up. Does this grieve me to confess? Absolutely—it is a sin, and I cannot pretend otherwise.
I have also learned from times like these, however. I have learned that Scripture reading is not for God—it is for me. You who read the Bible for two hours every single day are not automatically more spiritual than I who have been neglecting my Bible reading, or the poor indigenous human who has yet to have Scripture translated into his language. Reading Scripture does not gain us bonus points in some cosmic game or move us up in some heavenly hiearchy. We are not saved because of our diligence in perusing the Bible, but because of God’s grace. Because I have been saved therefore, and because I recognize my sinful state and my utter dependence upon God, I realize that there is only one conceivable possibility for me to make it through today unscathed by the Devil and my own lusts. I must devour Scripture. I must beseech the throne of God. I must be meditating on passages as I brush my hair and as I drive to teach music lessons. I must offer up constant pleas for help to God.
God commanded the future kings of
Israel to search out Scripture, and what is good for a king of is certainly good for me! Israel
This is in answer to a reader's question a few weeks ago, but it is an issue that I believe all Christians deal with at some point in their lives. Read Part Two here!“Also it shall be, when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write for himself a copy of this law in a book, from the one before the priests, the Levites. And it shall be with him, and he shall read it all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear the LORD his God and be careful to observe all the words of this law and these statutes, that his heart may not be lifted above his brethren, that he may not turn aside from the commandment to the right hand or to the left, and that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he and his children in the midst of Israel.”
Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson,
Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Photo taken by Stuck in Customs