Most of the Christians I have run across would declare a love for the written word of God, as we have in the Bible. It is my opinion that the majority of them are sincere in their profession of that love. We Christians in America have more copies of the written word of God per person, than many congregations in the persecuted world possess between numerous believers. We carry our copies of the word of God proudly to church, as well as other places. We even attempt to sanctify our wireless devices with digital copies of our favorite translation.
We often are proud to be Bible believing, Bible toting Christians and that is not entirely a bad thing, unless we forget what truly makes a fruitful successful follower of Christ: DELIGHT in the word of God so much, that rather than carry it in physical book form, we assimilate it into our life, by meditating upon it day and night (Psalm 1:2). Without a long teaching on scriptural meditation (chewing the cud), it is enough to know that this means we read the word and the Holy Spirit reveals its meaning and how it applies to our life (I Corinthians 2:14). This takes prayerful waiting before the Lord, with a desire to not only understand the word of God, but how to apply it in our life, in obedience to the Lord.
This process is the foundation of our Christian life.
(Matthew 7:24-25) Therefore whoever hears these words of Mine and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house upon the rock: and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat upon the house; and it did not fall, for it was founded upon the rock.
In James 1:22-24 Jesus’ declaration is rephrased “Be doers of the word and not hearers only”. Let us grasp that hearing that is on the surface will never produce committed persevering obedience sufficient to DO. This is a problem for the church in America, because there is a market for those who want to do the “right thing” in reading the Bible. Devotions and Bible apps are designed to get the word to people in chew-able bites, because we have less and less time to eat a word of God meal. Though it may appear a benevolent and necessary “ministry”, it is actually leaving us spiritually malnourished.
Reading the word of God because it is the “right thing” to do, will leave you in a the wrong condition, weakened in the flesh. Remember Jesus wants to come in and dine with us, and He does not prepare fast food. He also does not care about our overly busy schedules, a majority of which He has not called us to walk in.
Watching and praying, being sober and vigilant, as not to fall into temptation or sin (Matthew 26:41; I Peter 5:8), needs proper spiritual nutrition and digestion from Biblical meditation on the word of God. It is for this reason David wrote Psalm 119:38.
(Psalm 119:38) Establish your word to Your servant who is devoted to fearing You.
The word “establish” means raise me up in, prove me with, and make me powerful in your word. It would seem that we can grow away from running to Christ in the secret place, where we are taught by the Holy Spirit concerning the word of God. This leads to weakened resolve and heightens the sensitivity of our flesh; which will lead to less time in God’s presence, assimilating truth.
Remember that David, as inspired by the Holy Spirit, penned Psalm 1 revealing the delight of the man of God, concerning the word of God. He also wrote How a young man keeps his way from sin, by taking heed to the word of God and hiding it in His heart, rather than merely carrying it around (Psalm 119:9-12).
Despite these truths, David still fell and fell hard. Why? “The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak”. In addition to this, we will find from the chronicle of David’s life, that as his duties as king increased, he justified less time before God. Less time before God, being taught of the Holy Spirit, praising God, crying out to God, hoping in God–means greater reliance on whats in your head and the potential for falling into sin.
For those who have followed the Lord and felt themselves becoming less excited about God’s word, this is a call to God to return to being re-ESTABLISHED in the word of God. There are times where we must spend a season in famine from God’s word, in order to understand what we are missing.
- For the foreseeable future, put aside all devotional materials and commentaries.
- In this season, put aside 1 hour to read the word of God aloud to yourself.
- Take the time to write anything new that you see and rejoice in that revelation.
- Take the time to write the command that convicts you of needed change, commit to the change in prayer and rejoice for the revelation.
- If you read something you do not understand, write it down. after writing it down, pray for wisdom (James 1:5) and wait listening for the Spirit of God to speak.
- If you receive clarity write it down and rejoice of the revelation. If you hear nothing, move on after your hour, rejoice for the revelation that will come.
- Do not be concerned with how much you know or read, but with hearing from the Lord.