Reading more than a book.
When I first came back from South Korea, my spiritual life was really exciting. I was spending time praying and learning from the Bible, and not really caring how much time it took, just enjoying it.
Now though… it’s starting to wane. I was listening to one of Kenny Gan’s talks from MEC about spiritual warfare. He goes through quite a lot of stuff but eventually he came to a story about a woman who no longer wanted to go to a prayer meeting because it was boring. He said things can become a ritual; we read our Bible each day not expecting God to talk.
I know many Christians who are inspirational. They are so excited about God, so passionate about Him. They could all say a single day without spending time with God would affect all they did. They’re so close to Him that they begin to see as He sees: they see people who don’t know Him as lost, and go out of their way to talk to them about Him.
Their Christian lives are exciting. There lives are the ones that draw people to Christianity, because they see that the Christian life is supposed to be exciting and new every day. Supposed to be. When could we ever get bored of a limitless God?!
I want to be like that. And slowly, God’s teaching me, drawing me closer to Him.
I’ve had to learn some lessons on the way. My morning devotions were at their peak just before the cable TV was turned on. Then slowly my time spent doing each started to go opposite ways, one down, one up. And I’ve had the constant reminder: “That’s not coincidental, is it, Tuuli?”
No, it’s not. I’ve ended up watching a lot of rubbish and it’s been affecting the way I think. It’s a battle for the mind that I need to win.
There’s other distractions too. There’s the battle for my time: instead of spending time with God straight away in the morning, I’m facebooking, emailing, and when I’ve got things to do that day, they start to creep up on me until there’s only 5 minutes left to get dressed and go.
I wonder sometimes why my Bible looks as battered as it does. I used to be proud of the fact, but knowing that it’s more because it’s flipped open in my bag and the pages crushed by the multiple things in there than because I’ve been reading it so much puts things in perspective.
Enter your Bible reading time expecting God to teach you. Ask questions. Mull over truths in your head, view them in different ways, apply them: Meditate on them. J. Packer says:
“Meditation is the activity of calling to mind, and thinking over, and dwelling on, and applying to oneself the various things that one knows of God… It is a matter of talking to oneself about God and oneself; it is, indeed, often a matter of arguing with oneself, reasoning oneself out of moods of doubt and unbelief into a clear apprehension of God’s power and grace.”
I’ll leave you to it. I’m going to go make myself some tea and read some Word. Have a nice day.