May 16, 2007

word search

My buddy John was talking recently about why people may or may not read the Bible.

It's a good question... and yet I think the question I want to add is what do you feel when you read a question like that?

When I first gave my life to Jesus I thought that it was part of my duty to read the Bible every day. I think part of this came from a healthy place, while other parts came from unhealthy places. For instance, I'd hear other Christians whom I looked up to talk about their "morning quiet time" and I figured I needed one of those, too, if I ever hoped to become a spiritual giant.

But then I'd fail... and concluded that I wasn't going to become a spiritual giant, let alone a spiritual midget.

Over the years I came to realize that personal pathways with God look different for everyone. For some it means a morning quiet time, while for others it's listening to the Bible while they drive to work... or taking a reflective walk in their neighborhood at the end of the day... or popping in a worship tune that has some amazing truths to it.

In other words, the goal of a "spiritual discipline" is to connect with God, not do the spiritual discipline. In a perfect world, we should be able to get to a place where you don't need the discipline at all.

Which, by the way, is what happens in heaven - all this stuff that takes work (spending time with God, praying, having stuff-free relationships) is suddenly freed up in a-broken-world-that just-got-fixed.

But on this side of heaven, the pathways aren't a bad idea... if we can keep them from becoming checklists.

So I like John's question... because like I said, it's a good one.

My approach isn't to read the Bible daily but to instead meditate on Scripture daily... the whole "hiding it in your heart" concept that involves listening and doing. Sometimes that involves reading, and sometimes that involves going back to the last thing I read and not reading anything new until I fully digest that into application.

So for what it's worth, here's what I came up with and posted to his blog...

When I let myself read the Bible, I often get great insights.

When I let the Bible read me, I often “get” a great God.


Jessica said...

i've also found it useful to try to change the way i look at the bible - something i am suppossed to read b/c it tells me what to do or a story, a personal letter from a lover (if i may use that term) off somewhere (at war, on a secret mission, on a trip, out of state) sent just to me.

it's there to help me know who he is more than what he does or says -he wants me to know his character and not just a list of his attributes that i can rattle off.

of course sometimes that doesn't work either but then all relationships take work and time. i think as new christians or even old we think we should "advance" - pass the test - sooner - not realizing that it's the process, which takes time, that God is after - refining me - making my character like his - and not through a checklist but through if you will a bit of osmosis.

sorry for this long....whatever it is.

irreverend fox said...

I certainly believe we will pray and study the Bible "in heaven"...which is earth...the new earth...where His people will live...

take a look at the book Heaven by Randy's mind blowing...

Tony Myles said...

Maybe the difference will be we'll have the Word instead of the word...

which means I won't need my Christian bookstore pastor's discount to buy the "text."

Brian Eberly said...

Great post Tony. Really got my wheels turning! Read my thoughts here

Katie said...

I agree, such a great question that makes you look at the "why" behind the "what" (on a sidenote I find that many people (myself included all too often) focus on the what and not the why because we don't have a good answer for the why).

I've struggled with meeting other's expectations of what my own relationship with God looks like until I realized that it's MY relationship with GOD. When I realize that (again and again) it seems that my relationship becomes deeper, more meaningful, and more worshipful. And the Bible, or prayer, or meditation, or worship stops being the "thing to do" and becomes "life with Christ".

Thanks for getting me thinking. Always a plus over here at DCMV.

Anonymous said...

you know the bible says that it is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path - it isn't the path
great stuff
thanks Tony

Tanner Ridge said...

So can reading the "Don't Call Me Veronica" blog site count for daily devotional time? huh huh... does it, does it?

Tony Myles said...

Depends on if the guy writes daily blogs or not.