Monday, November 11, 2013
He is a God who makes Himself known. He's not a hider, a player, a manipulator, or an avoider. He's honest and intentional. And that makes me responsible.
Have you ever wondered if you missed His voice? Is the spiritual volume not turned high enough? From the beginning God has communicated about Himself. He walked and talked with Adam and Eve in the garden (Genesis 1:28-29; 3:8ff; 4:6). He interacted with Moses to lead the Hebrew people home (Exodus 3:4-10). He set apart prophets to speak on His behalf (Isaiah 6:8). His Son, Jesus, spoke face-to-face with men and women in the first century (Matthew 9:1-7). And God revealed Himself to the church through the work of the Holy Spirit. Because of the Holy Spirit we have both intimacy with God and a work of inspired texts that are a foundation for our remembrance of Him (John 16:13; Acts 2:1-11; 2 Peter 1:20-21).
God reveals Himself through the pages of the Bible.
Sometimes that truth feels too lofty and theoretical. I sit to read my Bible or pray, unimpressed with God's historical faithfulness. Felt needs, busyness, and circumstances harden my heart to the compassion and closeness of God. Yesterday, I read Psalm 60 and rolled my eyes. It made no sense, and I was tired. I'll read another one tomorrow that I can interpret with emotions rather than the sweat and work of Bible study. And I'll feel wonderfully confident about my closeness to God...tomorrow.
Wow. My spirituality is oozing out in such flattering ways. But I'll apologize later and chalk it up to my flesh struggle. You win, God. I lose. No biggie. No real repentance.
On the contrary, with unmatched grace God made Himself knowable to me! First by the messages of others. Then through prayer. And especially in the Bible. The truths of God accepted by faith can also be acted upon in faith. So am I acting in faith by seeking to know God through His revelation of Himself?
Bible study and prayer are the tools God left me to use as I seek to be in relationship with Him. But Bible study takes work. That's why I sometimes avoid making eye contact with my Bible, why I read lightly and quickly out of guilt and then put my sticker on the chart, or why I get frustrated at someone else who "obviously" isn't reading theirs.
The Holy Spirit faithfully convicted me of my attitude toward Psalm 60. Tonight I rolled up my sleeves and did the work of Bible study. I grew closer to God through understanding the struggle of His people to trust in His sovereign care. I saw God speak directly to them, though He did not fix their immediate difficulty. I learned that God may allow a time of loss while still upholding His sovereign plan for good.
That's truth that I can digest.
If you have difficulty studying the Bible, please ask for help. A treasure awaits!
(C) Kendra Higgins 2013.
Image courtesy of Robin D/ sxc.hu.