Today we'll be talking about one of my most favorite things: the Word. Just recently, I was with a group of women and personal Bible study/quiet time came up. Many of them confessed that they struggle with consistent Bible reading and prayer time. I've totally been there for sure! There is that feeling that I should be reading and praying, but either I didn't have time, or I didn't feel like it, or both.
Those issues, sadly, are pretty much a norm for many Christ followers. I used to be that way, but I'm not anymore, and lemme tell you, I'm not tooting my horn here, I'm tooting HIS!! There is no way I'd be who I am today if He weren't boss.
In 2000, I sat at the feet of Becky Tirabassi, who (at the time) had met with Christ every day for 16 years. SIXTEEN YEARS! I was amazed. I couldn't meet with Him two days in a row! She said something that changed my life forever,
"Make an appointment with the King and keep it."
Huh, really? That works? It did for me. I didn't make it all the time, but it was the launching pad, no, it was the spiritual hands on my shoulders turning my focus, my priorities, to Him all the time, every day. Those words began my journey with Him and has brought me where I am today.
I've had other people say, "Natalie, you know the Word so well!" To which I say, "I don't know enough, and it's only because my face is in it so often." Again, I tell you this because I want you to know that He is the power, not me. He is the amazing thing, not me. I'm normal with weaknesses, failings, issues. If I don't strive after Him every day of my pea-pickin' life, I would not even be close to what I am and I'm not even close to what He is!
What does this have to do with the Word? Everything.
Take...the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. Ephesians 6: 17
The Word is the weapon of the Spirit. The Word, when we feed our own spirit, becomes that which the Spirit uses to do His job of reminding us of everything Jesus said. The Word, in and of itself, unless fallen on fertile soil of a Spirit filled life, is not just the power. The Word of God, used by the Spirit of God in and on a humble Child of God--that's the fullness of it's power.
Many unbelievers have read the Bible and nothing has happened. Many unbelievers have read the Bible and their lives were changed. What is the difference? A person bent toward knowing Truth. A person, even if it's just a tiny bit, interested in the things of God.
I'm going to stop typing my own words for a bit and let Andrew Murray take the stage. He really says it much better than I do.
It is the Spirit that comes from God, the Spirit that brings life, and through the Word assimilates truth and power in us.
In our study of the work of the Holy Spirit, we cannot be too diligent at gaining a firm hold on this truth. It will save us from error. It will keep us from expecting to enjoy the teaching of the Spirit without the Word or to master the teaching of the Word without the Spirit.
In the Holy Trinity, the Word and the Spirit are intertwined-one with the Father. ...The Holy spirit has for all ages embodied the thoughts of God in the written Word, and lives now for this very purpose in our hearts--to reveal the power and the meaning of that Word. If you would be full of the Spirit, be full of the Word. If you would have the divine life of the Spirit within you grow strong in every part of your nature, let the word of Christ dwell in you richly. ...Think not for one moment that the Word can unfold its life in you, except as the Spirit within you accepts and appropriates it in the inner life.
We must go to the Word with a keen awareness of the work of the Spirit. We need to approach the Word as though God has taken a moment to lean down specifically, every time, and tell us something. And even if you don't "feel" it, that doesn't mean you don't keep going back. We go to it humbly, in expectation of what He will do, not in expectation of what we will feel. Let the wonderful feelings that come with truth be the icing on the cake, not the other way around.
I pray that when we approach the Word of God, we picture ourselves handing it right to God's hands and saying, "Do with this what you will in me, Lord."
Take the time. Do the reading, and wait for the Spirit to guide you into all truth.