This has been a question on my mind the last few weeks. I’m not asking as some sort of plot twist or to be silly. I’m asking you. The reader.
Is Bible study important for us today?
I know we are supposed to be ‘spending time in the Word’ each day. But do you? What motivates you to get up and read a Psalm or Proverb? Do you use a Daily Bread type devotional? Some seasons that is all I can find time for. To read a woman’s devotional that will have a nice verse at the end. I’ll savor the verse and play it around in my thoughts throughout the day. It always amazes me how many times the Spirit will pull that verse into my day.
But if I am not in the word, usually it is a song lyric or a friends words. A graphic on Facebook, or a tweet from a stranger. An encouragement from a forum with like minded friends. A testimony from a friend in a private FB Group. A mid week gathering for prayer.
And it seems to me, at least in our small town, that people like to gather to talk about God, if you are lucky to even talk to God, and then talk about what God is doing in their lives. Is that enough? Is that what the church is after now?
It leaves me feeling a little empty. Without purpose. I want to be cleansed, by the washing of the water with the Word. Eph 5:26. Worship is amazing, cleansing. As is a deep soul searching prayer time. Does the Father still speak to us through the word? Or does He only speak to the ‘man up front’ to pass on nuggets to us?
I have gone through seasons where I took the Bible Study time a bit too far in my priorities. Carving out hours to study Hebrew and Greek. However, before that I spent years in self serving selfish activities, hours and days of nothing but selfish acts. I didn’t become ‘crazy’ until I gave up that life to pursue a life walked in faith.
This week I started a new study with a group of gals that will focus on Gideon. I came to the first study, thinking I’d try it, but really shouldn’t take a morning out of our learning schedule for it. But as the video started, and Priscilla Shirer started to speak from the Word, my heart stirred. That spot where the Spirit quickens to hear scriptures, and starts to sort out what I need to hear, and my mind becomes eager, my heart beats a bit faster, I lean up a bit closer in my chair, as the Spirit pulls me into His Word. His spoken breath.
This leather clad book comes alive. The font and notes on the feathery pages have voice and meaning and breath. I wait. And hear. Listen. Taking it in. And I receive the Word I’ve been waiting for, and answer to an unspoken prayer in our home.
From Judges. The Old Testament, Alive today. It cuts me. Brings me to my knees in repentance and I am dust. “Judges’ role: They were called by God and empowered by God to Unify the people of God to Stand Against the Enemy.” And I am suddenly without breath.
As I walk through my day, decisions to be made. This or that. Brother against brother. Friends and activities. Judging. What will be right? What will be done? And the most pressing continual judgment that I face – Who will get to ride shotgun for a half mile to the post office?
I search my mind, I search the past week. When making these choices, when, could I come up with one time? One stand alone instance? Where I felt Called? Empowered by God? Did I seek Unity of His people? No. I felt overwhelmed. Oppressed. Busy. Doing the next thing, Picking the red or blue pill to just move forward in our day.
And the Spirit started to stir, to direct me away from the accusations of the enemy – and to fill me with wonder and awe that, as a mom, I have a role to play as Judge many times a day. And that –
I am Called by God.
I am Empowered By God.
I am Called by God to Unify my Family
I am Called and Empowered to stand against the Enemies of God.
And those enemies are not brother against brother, the enemy is not my spouse, the enemy is not my friends or acquaintances – I need not stand against them, but rather against the Enemies of God.
Without a viewers guide for this study, I wrote out two pages of notes, encouraging me in that path of Calling and Empowering. I left knowing, that we need to be studying the word, in small groups, soaking it up, and bathing in the wonder, washing ourselves clean.
And so I headed out. And started asking people. “Do you know of any Bible Studies in town?” I have not received one yes response so far. I was even told that we should be doing less Bible Study, and more Bible Doing. And I get that.
I do that every day. My very existence as a Homeschool Mom, Community Volunteer, Active in Congregational Activities, my motivation is ‘Bible Doing’.
Is there a point – where we know enough of the Word, that we no longer need to gather around it?
LOVE this! I for one would love to be there. We could study the Word together every day. 🙂
This is really GOOD, Angie. I’ll be letting your words stir in me. Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom through your gifted writing. I don’t know if the “modern” American way we do things around our church buildings and in the community is always the very best way we CAN do things, but I do know that I love God’s Word. I need it. “He rewards those who earnestly and diligently seek Him. I want to see His face and know His ways.” He has something for me and I don’t want to miss it. For me, Bible study groups are just part of my pursuit of Him. It is my nature to set myself in the center, but His Word should be in the center. In the center of my day, my marriage, my schooling, my family…my whole life. Boy does it take resolve to put and keep it there. But He has the answers I crave and need. The Bible is the True North in which to set my compass. Without a True North, I’m lost.
sorry, one more comment – but asking if Bible study is important is like asking if a car needs oil,gas, or a battery to un on – and studying God’s word is essential – it is not optional – and it is ointment for our soul, the light unto path, Truth, etc. etc. etc. 🙂
I really like how you approach God’s Word – to savor it and really ponder how you incorporate it into your life…. and well, to me – it is the daily nourishment we need for strength and health – and just like someone needs to get water in their body – they can also get water from fruits, foods, and other beverages – and so thankfully we have lots of options for soaking up nuggets of God’s Word- which is a love letter and a sword for us as we live in the world loving others and brining the message of hope to those God puts on out path -loving our families and loving God and His word – but God is a a God of community and relationship too – but I digress,
and I only have one other comment to add- we need to be very careful as to we interpret parts of the Old Testament – some of it is history that does not apply to us – and some of it was written before the HOLY SPIRIT was given to us – so now we have the indwelling presence of God, whereas some of those verses in the OT were spoken from a stance of not having the post-Cross gift of the Holy Spirit.
I would have to say, absolutely yes! My closest relationships are always the ones that are on my mind and in my heart. For God to be our everything and Jesus to be our Lord it has to start with a thirst to know him.
With how many times I have come across the same scripture at a different time in my walk and thought – OH!! That’s what that means! (When it was a different understanding each time) I can’t imagine that there is ever a time that I will just know enough to move on with our lives and not need to be with him every day.
I realize there will be some, and even many that don’t think it is necessary or important to their walk but I can say with absolute certainty that for the walk that I desire to have with him – I can’t get there by just relying on what I have learned in my past.
Not only is study necessary for this goal I realize what a privilege it is to even be in a situation to be able to read his word and I am excited for each new thing that he manages to teach my sometimes less then teachable spirit.
Powerful stuff, Angie. I’m going to be mulling this one over all day.