Our Greatest Treasure, Part 2
John 5:39-40 You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.
I Corinthians 2:14 But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
Continuing our theme of getting to know God better personally, let’s assume that you’ve told Him in no uncertain terms that you would like to get to know Him better. Recognizing His sovereignty to respond to that prayer any way He wants, we must be open to what He may do in our lives to draw us closer to Himself. Yet in the meantime, we can do some of the same things we would do with a human.
1. Spend time with Him, and be yourself (just like you would with a—dare we say it?—real person!) Be honest with Him about who you are. Pour out your heart. Expect a response. Have a listening ear, just as you would in a human conversation. When He speaks, give it your full attention. Present the real you.
2. Read His book. This is not a legalistic exercise, or something to check off your To-Do List. This is not just a duty, as the Pharisees might have viewed it. Jesus spoke (in John 5) to people who read the words, but never saw Jesus in the center of them, and therefore missed the point of them. This is probably the only book you’ll read with the author actually present with you. He longs to lead you spiritually into understanding what you’re reading—not just with your mind, but also with your heart and spirit. Give Him the opportunity to minister His words directly into you.
This is our book. It’s not written for the world. It’s written for us. It’s written to enlighten us, correct us, and transform us. We can read it quickly, dutifully or intellectually. Or we can read it faithfully, with an open, teachable heart and mind that is looking to know God better.
Remember that His ways and thoughts are far above ours (Isaiah 55:8-9). They are not a higher version of our ways and thoughts, but something completely other, something we need God Himself to help us to even begin to understand (see I Corinthians 2:14 above). Just as we know we can’t really know other people until we’re with them and they talk to us, we really can’t know who He is until we hear and receive His words.
Yes, a lot of the Bible is about what we believe and the history of God’s covenant relationship with His people—and it is good to know this. Yet we can also catch His heart when we read it. His Spirit is eager to show us Jesus as we read.
Prayer: Lord, deliver me from reading Your word carelessly. Or too little. Help me see the love behind it, and help me to be open to Your Holy Spirit as I read it. Open my eyes that I may see You in Your word.