July 27, 2017
“My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you … then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God.” Proverbs 2:1,5 (NIV)
Have you ever felt something stirring in your spirit that wouldn’t go away?
I had one of those things on my heart a few years ago. And it all started with my middle daughter Ashley.
Ashley is a driven and responsible girl. Three years ago, she went off to college and while she had always excelled academically, the same couldn’t be said for her spiritual life.
As her mom, my heart broke over her struggle in her relationship with the Lord. I just couldn’t understand it — she grew up going to church, learned Bible lessons and saw me read Scripture each day.
But no matter what we did or said, we just couldn’t make it connect for her.
If you’re in that place right now with your child or your own walk with the Lord, I understand. I think for Ashley, the Bible felt complicated and disconnected from her everyday life issues.
As I cried out to the Lord on behalf of my daughter, the word that kept coming to mind was poverty. “Poverty” might seem strange for this situation, but when I saw the lack of spiritual nourishment in Ashley, parallels from physical to spiritual lined up.
I chased down this thought a little more — what causes poverty? A lack of opportunity. So many people around the world simply don’t have access to the nourishment they need to survive.
But this wasn’t the case with Ashley. Good gracious, we’re like most Americans with multiple copies of the Bible under our roof. The poverty I sensed was not a lack of opportunity.
So what was it? As I wrestled with this, God brought me to the book of Proverbs.
"My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding — indeed, if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God." (Proverbs 2:1-5)
One word in this passage is repeated over and over: understand! Solomon says if we want the fear of the Lord and knowledge of God, then we’ll crave understanding.
Meanwhile, at school, Ashley found herself in a Bible study, challenged by her leaders to just spend the first five minutes of her day in the Word.
After admitting she hadn’t been reading her Bible and hearing her friends talk about the benefits they were getting, she finally gave it a try. Each day, little by little, her interest in the Bible grew. Her life and attitude was being transformed.
Then one day, when I visited her at college, I could hardly believe my eyes.
She was a completely different girl.
At one point during our time together, I asked, "What finally made following Jesus wholeheartedly click for you?" She said, "Mom, I’ve made friends who love Jesus. I saw a joy in them that I wanted. So, I started doing what they do even when I didn’t want to. At first I thought getting up to read the Bible was unrealistic. But as I kept doing it, the Lord started changing my thought patterns. And when I started thinking about life from the standpoint of Truth, I had so much more joy."
I can hardly type these words without crying.
As Ashley began to share what was happening, I also had a light switch go on. Her spiritual poverty wasn’t caused by a lack of access, but rather a lack of understanding.
In that moment, the burden on my mama heart turned to a vision for a hurting world.
What if Proverbs 31 Ministries could help every mom recommend a tool to really facilitate their kids getting into God’s Word for at least five minutes every morning?
What if we could bring the Word of God to busy college students, parents, business owners and grandmothers across the globe in a way that made the first minutes of every day life-changing? So, the minute they pick up their phones in the morning, instead of getting distracted by other things, they’re invigorated with Truth.
With God’s vision and your help, we created a free app that would help bring life and Truth to the first five minutes of every day. And I’m excited to say we’re now celebrating the two-year anniversary of the First 5 app!
How full this makes my heart.
Two years of providing a healthier alternative to hopping on social media in the first moments of our day.
Two years of equipping people all over the world to better understand the Word of God. Because when we know the truth and live the truth, it changes everything.
What beautiful reasons to celebrate.
If you haven’t downloaded the app yet, I would love to invite you to today by clicking here.
Yes, we must exchange whispers with God before shouts with the world. Instead of immediately checking in with social media with the first moments of our days, we can truly make God first by giving Him our first thoughts.
Dear Lord, I want to get into Your Word and let Your Word get into me. Help me understand and apply what I’m reading as I study the Bible, so I can help others do the same. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Hebrews 4:12a, "For the word of God is alive and active." (NIV)
The First 5 app is celebrating its second year with a five-day birthday celebration! Download the app today and enter to win daily giveaways and get exclusive access to discounts! Click here to learn more.
Find real life encouragement when you connect with Lysa TerKeurst here on Instagram.
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
Each time you sit down to read your Bible this week, ask God to help you understand and apply what you’re learning.
© 2017 by Lysa TerKeurst. All rights reserved.
Originally published Thursday, 27 July 2017.