Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Dig. Plant. Water. (Part 1)

The Holy Bible. God's Word. The Word. Scripture.
It is more than what our human blabbering could ever accurately describe or emphasize to the appropriate degree.

Water for our thirst.
Food for our soul.
Rest for our labor.
Wisdom for our ignorance.
No fail GPS for our directionally deprived selves.
Spirit for our flesh.
Life for our death.

And yet, we all too easily dismiss the very source from which we can glean the answers to all the many questions we wade, swim, flail and even drown in.

I remember the time when I became so overwhelmed with the desire to know God more, yet just couldn't seem to figure out how to get there. I read more books, listened to more sermons, volunteered for more Kingdom driven activities, listened to Christian music, even wrote in my journal and prayed more.
All the while the answer I needed lie in the then silvery lined pages of navy bonded leather that I picked up every Sunday and intermittently during the week.

I never took time to HIDE His Word in my heart.
I never pondered on the truths that He revealed within His Word.

But the time came when I realized that nobody else could have my relationship with Jesus for me.

A quote I read recently expressed it this way:
"There are no second-hand meaningful relationships."

Sadly, so many have settled for being acquaintances with Jesus, rather than entering into the passionate love relationship that He died to have with you.

Once I let this truth penetrate my heart, the breath that I took in my spirit was deeper than any I had ever taken before...the air was pure, refreshing, invigorating...and I had to have more!

And I knew the place I had to go to know Him more, to read His words, to hear His voice, to see His way, to learn His character, to discover His promises for me...to find TRUTH.....


But just like with any deep, meaningful relationship, it is not something you slap at and skim over. You have to intentionally get into the Bible and read and study and ponder on what He places before you there!

I believe one of the greatest strongholds that enemy has on Believers is convincing them that God's Word is intimidating and not understandable for them personally.
As a result, they conclude they shouldn't even bother because they won't get anything out of it anyway.

We get stuck on the HOW and never get to the DO: a powerless purgatory!

Satan knows the power of Scripture...Jesus used it to defeat him in the wilderness! Just look in Matthew 4 and Luke 4!
No wonder the enemy wants to keep it out of our hands!

But more critically, the enemy wants to keep it out of our hearts, minds and spirits and ultimately, our mouths.

So when was the last time the Truths that lie in that Bible in your hand/on your shelf/in your Bible bag/on your ipod/etc. made its way into your heart, mind, spirit-and as a result found its way back out your mouth?

We must be resolved as Believers to store up His Word in our hearts!
But in order to do that you have to get in His Word and take hold of what He gives you there!

A dear friend of mine recently began an effort to increase the awareness for what I believe is a great need we have as Believers to do just that: hide God's Word in our hearts- in particular focusing on memorizing scripture.
So many of us know in our head we need to do it and we may even want to do it...but I realized, that so many ask me for detail about how to memorize scripture yet never embrace it.
So, maybe we need to ask this question first: Why memorize scripture?

If you aren't convinced of WHY then you will never carry out the HOW.

Matthew 12:34 says, "For out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks."

If we say we are children of the One True God, shouldn't we know our Father's heart?
Shouldn't we sound like, speak like, think like, act like, react like our Father?
Shouldn't HE be what flows out of our mouths?

Why guess what He would say? Just get in His Word and actually SAY exactly what He has said, what he is saying, and what He will say!
That is the power and confidence we have in the Word.

His Word is POWER.

2 Timothy 3:16-17
"All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work."
We have to know His Word before we can speak it, think it and live it.
There is so much more to memorizing scripture than simply reciting a verse, because to store it up it in your heart, you have to experience it, you have to dwell on it, soak in it, put it before you!!! Having the verse memorized simply happens as an added benefit!
It cannot be about checking off another thing on your"good Christian" list. That will never affect change in your spirit...and seeing more of Jesus and less of self should be the ultimate goal.
"He must increase. I must decrease." John 3:30
So what do you do?
Dig in the Word and find what the Lord says about the longings, desperations, issues in your heart and life. Do this by reading various through places/books in the Bible, letting a devotional or other Godly topical resource guide you there, or even just looking up a key word in the concordance in the back of most Bibles.
Getting your hands dirty is the first step to getting your spirit clean!
Plant His promises and truths in your heart, mind, soul, spirit! Read the scripture over and over. Write it in your journal. Write about what the Lord is showing your in regard to that verse, Himself, His ways and its application in your life. Study the verse in the context of the surrounding scriptures.
Place it carefully and intentionally...that seed has LIFE!
Water His promises and truths by consistently and constantly placing them before your mind, your eyes, your spirit! Write them out on note cards, place them in spot you look at every day. Write them in your journal repeatedly. Go back and read what you wrote previously about that scripture in your journal. Speak it over and over as you do some monotonous task like brushing your teeth. Say it in your head in place of that negative self talk or thought the enemy throws at you! Whatever keeps it at the fore front of your mind: DO IT!
The seed you nourish is ultimately the fruit you will reap!
This is just a piece of my heart, a glimpse at my passion when it comes to embracing the Word of God.
It changed...no...it CHANGES my life every single day.
The way God will lead you into His Word is different from the next person, but I do believe it helps to share tips, ideas, methods of how we seek to keep His Word before us. I have had a good many of you ask me to share that in detail and that is what I will do in my next post.
Who knows...I may even share some photos!
The BEST advice I have is this: Open your Bible. Read. Listen. Do.
Psalm 119:9-16
9 How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word.
10 I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands.
11 I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.
12 Praise be to you, O LORD; teach me your decrees.
13 With my lips I recount all the laws that come from your mouth.
14 I rejoice in following your statutes as one rejoices in great riches.
15 I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways.
16 I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word.

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