Originally published Friday, 29 January 2016.
Another bible reading.
Skimming. I've read it before.
Half listening. I know what to expect.
Not discovering. I know the punchline.
Does the bible ever fall flat because you have flattened out
and read its pages so many times?
Does your mind have a hard time idling on God's Word,
because the world speeds too fast around it?
I can't seem to keep my heart in the place where the heart of God is - and that is the problem.
This problem, if not addressed, will, before long - stamp and deliver my heart to destinations I never intended to arrive at. Frustrationville or Aggravationmount or some place like that. It could just as easily bring me to Jealoustown or Pridebury. Either way, they are places that reek of self and shame and guilt. Their roads are rocky and tumultuous. Every time, they leave me with a stomach turning knots over itself.
I'd rather not.
So, how do you dive into God's Word, like a fresh glass of lemonade on a hot day? How do you dive into it, knowing that you have had it one hundred and one times, but still, wanting and needing it? Craving and desiring it? Thirsting and salivating over it?
5 ways to make the Word of God come alive:
1. Let your senses sense what the sentiment was.
Imagine being the lead role in the story. See yourself there. Sense your sin and the idea that you or your family has done something terribly wrong. Feel the judgement of the Pharisees upon you. Wonder if God really can and will heal you. Let your heart beat.
After saying this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes. “Go,” he told him, “wash in the Pool of Siloam”. Jo. 9:6
2. Take your part in the redemption story.
Hear the words of Jesus leave his mouth. Feel the mud in your hand. Experience vision. Look amazed at what surrounds you. Set your eyes on Jesus.
Then, see yourself run to the masses to share the glory of the only one who could heal in this way. Take a snapshot of the story with your senses. Know that while this was his story, it is also your story.
He replied, "Whether he is a sinner or not, I don't know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!" Jo. 9:25
3. Ask yourself, "What about this experience is calling me to think, do or say differently?"
When you take a moment to think of all God has done, you can't help but think of all he wants to do. His will makes your will jump up and down just at the thought of serving him.
The (once blind) man answered, “Now that is remarkable! You don’t know where he comes from, yet he opened my eyes. We know that God does not listen to sinners. He listens to the godly person who does his will." Jo. 9: 30-31
4. Believe: He loves you, just as much as he loved them.
Just because you feel less than, doesn't mean that God sees you that way. Believing that you are worthy of his gifts, love and encouragement, will allow your heart to receive them. Rather than keeping up defenses to his Word, you will lay them down and He will enter in.
The once-blind man: "Nobody has ever heard of opening the eyes of a man born blind." Jo. 9:32
5. Avoid boxing God in (and you might just find your way out of your box).
When you believe in you heart, what Jesus did through Scriptures, you'll find in your mind you can conceive the great things he wants to do through your life.
It sounds simple, but simple belief is so often what it comes down to.
Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. Jo. 14:12
When you approach God's Word in this way, you realize you hold living water that is not bitter, old or common. Instead, you taste the fruit of what God has done and is about to do. It fills, it satiates and it refreshes. Like lemonade on a parched day - it's a drink you can't wait to indulge in, lap up and embrace word by word. It is peace and replenishment all in one.
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