When Thou saidst,
Seek ye My face;
my heart said unto Thee . . .
Thy face, Lord, will I seek.
One afternoon found Lowell and I on the phone with Warren B. Smith, author of “Another Jesus Calling”. During our lively conversation, there was one point he made about the Bible that I have not forgotten. He said this:
“The Word of God reads like the morning newspaper.”
Is this how we read the Bible? Do we go to it for guidance and direction while assessing our current situation? Or is it still just the archaic book that the world says it is? Can we find clear and concise wisdom that applies to every day of our lives?
It got me thinking.
There have been times in my life when I’ve found myself in a deep and mighty spiritual struggle. I can well remember such a struggle when I honestly did not know the next step I was to take. In tears, I fell to my knees and cried out with such a longing that words could not come. The most amazing thing happened! Scripture after Scripture came flooding into my mind that felt like water to a dying, thirsty man. It wasn’t even full verses and there were no references, so I am pretty sure I did not memorize those Scriptures that God brought to my mind.
It was incredible! And it taught me a huge lesson. In my moment of intense struggle and longing, it wasn’t the words of the most popular author or speaker that God brought to me . . . it was words of life straight from Him.
I love the Lord, because He hath heard my voice and my supplications.
This was a turning point for me. I opened up a fresh, new journal and began going to the Scriptures as if I were treasure hunting. I knew there was something in it specifically for me in my current situation. When I have approached my devotion time with this attitude, I have never . . . not once . . . been disappointed!
I know some people are big on using a devotional to read alongside their Bible. And some people think they must read four chapters a day. I’ve done both of those in my lifetime, but neither of them have ministered to my heart the way treasure-hunting has.
[color-box]My reason for no longer using a devotional when I sit down to meet God: anything written by man is not pure like the Word of God.[/color-box]
This world we live in has so many voices trying to get our attention, and they all come with a human view. When I take time out of my day to come before my God, I know I can let my guard down against all the outside voices. I don’t constantly have to be asking myself, “Does this line up with the Bible?”
It is just the King and I.
I am not saying I never read theological books written by Christian authors. In fact, I am still trying to get through Dave Hunt’s book, “What Love is This?”, on Calvinism – and enjoying it. I like reading books that challenge me in my Christian walk. But they are just that: books. Written by humans. I challenge you to do this with every single thing you read on this blog or books I write. I am just human. Take it all back to God’s Word and ask yourself, “Does this line up?”
If you find yourself feeling dry and the Scriptures are less than exciting, I challenge you to pray this every day: Ask God to give you an incredibly deep love for Him and His Word. Ask it sincerely. Ask it with all your heart. And don’t stop asking. I even pray this for my children, for they will need it to make it as a faithful Christian in the world they are living and growing up in.
And then do your part to look for the hidden treasures . . .
As I found myself finding Scripture gems, I needed a place to store them. So this is what prompted the journal. I call it My Promise Book. When I read my daily devotion, I sometimes come across a verse that speaks so directly to me at the moment . . . that it feels like God dropped a piece of manna in my outstretched hand. And so I write it down.
My favorites are many, but of all the Psalms, I think Psalm 130 is the one I will treasure the most. I kept writing down separate verses of it in my journal, but soon realized the whole psalm felt like a dewdrop from heaven. So the entire chapter now resides in my journal.
Out of the depths have I cried unto Thee, O Lord.
What has been the result of drinking deeply of pure water every day?
Joy without reservation.
A deeper love for my Savior.
Knowing He leads me . . . and uses me.
And this . . .
My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the Lord:
my heart and my flesh crieth out for
the living God.”
This is the prayer of my heart until I finally see Him. . .