July 11, 2019
Slow Down and Listen
“ All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that all God’s people may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17 TNIV).
Friend to Friend
One summer I went to a famous art museum. I recall strolling down the aisles, quickly glancing at first one masterpiece and then another. Finally, I decided to stop and look at one particular painting. I don’t even remember which one it was.
The more I looked at the painting, the more I began to see. It was dark on one side and grew lighter on the other. I noticed the expressions on the faces, the longing of a child, the pain of a man, the approaching cloud in the sky, the hues of the clothes, a bare foot, a torn robe, a clenched fist. A story began to unfold before my eyes and it was if I were beginning to see into the heart of the artist.
This reminded me of reading the Bible. It’s like perusing an art gallery. Sometimes I do it quickly, never really stopping to see what the artist intended. And…I miss the story. Like walking briskly through an art gallery, sometimes I grab the Bible and read a few verses before running out the door in the morning or closing my eyes at night. I wonder if I’m the only one. Do you ever do the same?
But God’s Word is a masterpiece, and He speaks to us through every stroke of the writer’s pen. Oh the treasures stored on each page just waiting to be discovered…if we’ll just slow down enough to hear Him speak.
The Hebrew word for Bible is mikra, which means “the calling out of God.” He calls out to us from the pages and speaks to us through the words. The Bible is amazingly profound and yet simple enough for a child to understand. The more time we spend in the Scriptures, the more God will reveal the truths within.
The Bible tells us that the Scriptures are alive. John calls Scripture “the word of life” (I John 1:1). Peter calls Scripture the “living and enduring word of God” (I Peter 1:23). “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edge sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12).
No matter how long we live, no matter how many times we read through the Bible, God will continue to speak to us through the pages of His Word. His Words are living and bring us life!
So here’s my summer challenge to us all. Slow down. Let’s not read the Bible to just check something off of our to-do list or to stick to a reading plan. Ponder one verse if you need to. Discover the story. Listen to the Artist speak through the pages.
Dear Lord, I pray that You will give us the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that we may know You better and so that the eyes of our hearts may be enlightened in order that we may know the hope to which You have called us, the riches of Your glorious inheritance in the saints, and Your incomparably great power for us who believe” (Ephesians 1:17-19). I pray that the eyes of our hearts will be open to see You through the pages of the Bible and hear Your voice in each and every word.
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
During the next few days, read the book of Esther in one sitting. Then ponder the story just as you were looking at the story of a painting.
Who are the main characters?
Who are the villain and the hero?
What is the conflict?
What is the lesson learned from the story?
Even though God’s name is not mentioned in the story, where do you see Him in the masterpiece?
More from the Girlfriends
I want to hear God, to see God, to experience His presence in my daily life. Don’t you? That’s why I wrote A Sudden Glory: God’s Lavish Response to Your Ache for Something More. For one year I pondered the verse, “In Him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28). What does that mean? How can my life be a fluid movement of living and moving in Christ? How can I experience the majestic in the middle of the mundane? If you want to learn more about how to experience God’s presence, not as a once in a lifetime occurrence, but on a daily basis, then this book is for you! It also comes with a Bible study guide for those who want to go deeper.
And for you married or hope to be married, check out the new The Praying Wives Club! Join women all around the world as we pray for our husbands.
Originally published Thursday, 11 July 2019.