Satan knows that the only offensive weapon we have to raise against him is the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God. He can’t keep it from being powerful, but if he can tempt us to think little of it, he knows it will never be powerful in us.
Satan has a frightening scheme under operation in Western Christian culture that I fear is devastatingly effective. I call it “intellectual unbelief”: numbers of scholarly, highly credentialed people in the world of Christian academics who, in an attempt to explain much of what is unexplainable, theologically drain the Bible of its wonder, its divine inspiration, and snobbishly regard anyone who takes God at His Word as uneducated and gullible.
Satan knows that each of us secretly fears proving stupid. I’ll keep repeating this as long as God gives me volume: If in our pursuit of higher knowledge God seems to get smaller, we are being deceived.
I believe in loving God with our minds as well as our hearts. I am committed to growing in biblical scholarship, but if I reduce the Bible to only the facts that demand no faith, I’ve depreciated it to the level of any other religious text. Never let anyone – no matter how smart or impressive – talk you out of thinking huge things about God and His Word!
Actively dialogue with God as you read His Word. God is talking to you through His Word, so start talking back!
My attentiveness to what God is saying is greatly increased when I read a portion aloud. In my daily reading, I find that I absorb more when I read less but really attempt to meditate on the smaller portion. I try reading it and emphasizing different phrases, then I respond aloud to Him. I might ask Him what a portion means then look for Him to give me insight in coming days or weeks through various sources. I might also comment on what I feel like He’s saying to me personally, or I’ll use the portion as a guide for intercession as I pray for others. I am dreadfully far from having all the answers, but these practices help me keep a lively attitude toward my time with God in His Word.
If you have some approaches that work, share them with others! I find that multitudes of believers know what they are supposed to be doing, but they are at a loss to know how to do them effectively and fervently.
Never forget that all Scripture is God-breathed. When God exhales, beloved, inhale!
Excerpted with permission from Voices of the Faithful by Beth Moore, copyright Thomas Nelson, 2010.
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In your relationship with God, is He growing bigger for you? Do you feel more and more wonder and awe? What is your approach to studying Scripture? Come share with us on our blog! ~ Laurie McClure, Faith.Full