Do we believe the Word of God? If we do, then we must see that it is not just letters, words and phrases printed on a page. No sir, it is alive in the Person of Christ.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
John 1:1-4; 14
When we go to God in prayer, whose presence do we enter? Gee, that’s an easy one, the answer is right in the question: God’s presence. If the living Word was one with God, and prayer brings us to the presence of God, why would we think it’s a good idea to leave God’s presence to study His Word?
Prayer and Study have always been taught as two distinct spiritual practices; maybe we should think differently and combine them instead. I presented our look at Prayer in two different ways, one more formal and traditional, and the other less formal and less traditional, although far from new. Both are good and I recommended both of them in concert, and now I’ll suggest combining them with our study time.
So we pray, and then we study. Let’s not forget to ask God to direct us in our study, to open His Word to us, to give us the fullness of His Word.
We read slowly through a passage and come across something that seems odd to us: What is that supposed to mean? We look up other passages, we grab a commentary and look it up or Google it… Did we ask God for the answer? If you’re like me, I probably didn’t, after all, I’m a trained professional and went right to the Hebrew or Greek and applied my knowledge and training and experience… O wretched man that I am!
None of those steps is wrong or bad, by the way, only the attitude is a problem.
Just ask Him!
Even better is this approach: Pray the Word.
Take the actual language of the Scriptures and put it into your prayers along the lines of the prayer approach I discussed in Prayer 4 (Tuesday). Pray it in short phrases, thank God for His Word, praise Him for what you’ve seen, move on and repeat the process and you’ll get the hang of it. As you come across something you are not sure about, just continue on and ask God to reveal it to you. Relax your mind, ask Him again and thank Him for His amazing Word. Don’t be too surprised when the part you weren’t clear about suddenly pops into your head. If it doesn’t, that’s OK, for often there is something else He wants you to see, and the answer to your question comes along another time.
After an answer comes is when I want to go to my study aids to see if I can confirm the answer that popped into my mind. Let’s be honest, sometimes we only get the answer we wanted to hear, and that might just be our minds playing tricks on us. Usually in those cases, I know I’m wrong about it…
With a little practice, you may well find that the Word of God is a much deeper source of treasure than you had imagined; it’s worth a shot in any case.