Monday, December 30, 2013

Are You Trying to Find God?

Last night, we found ourselves in the midst of a severe crisis about which I cannot give explicit details. What I can say is that it required both immediate emergency care and the hospitalization of a friend of ours. Prior to this misfortune, I had planned to share with you about our recent mountain adventure. I will, perhaps, relate that story another time, but there are more pressing matters on my heart and mind at the moment.

Grab your Bible and study with me!

People in many circles, even some claiming to be of Christ, believe that getting on the pathway to God requires "goodness" on behalf of the seeker.

It does not. 

People also believe that getting on the pathway to God requires certain "acts of service" (such as attending religious activities) or "acts of sacrifice" (such as self-harm) on behalf of the seeker.

It does not.

Finding God means getting acquainted with Jesus and siding with Him against your corrupt nature. It means admitting your need for Him to be God in your life--not you. It means setting aside your pride; it means admitting that you are wrong. It means turning from your old way of living for yourself and, instead, living for Him.

It also means developing a relationship with God's Word. That sounds like no big deal, but you need to know that the way you read the Word has a big effect on your spiritual (and sometimes mental) well-being. Let's look at a few passages to show you what I mean.

The Bible is described as both a shield (Proverbs 30:5-6) and as a double-edged sword (Hebrews 4:12). If you read those verses, you get a very intriguing picture of God's Word. To those who come to the Bible to learn what God has to say (because they trust Him), it is a shield. But if you are not careful in how you approach His Word, it can cut you. Severely. In fact, the verse in Hebrews implies that It reads you while you read It.

Thus, whatever you are seeking from the Bible, you will find. If you are seeking Christ, you will find Him. If you are seeking self-righteousness, you will find it, too. That is why it is so very, very important to pray before reading the Bible, in order to clear your heart and mind from seeking any selfish ambition or justification for sinful thoughts or behaviors.

Wielding a sword takes practice and skill. Likewise, it takes practice and skill to wield the Word of God. If you don't know how to start a relationship with God's Word, I put several tips in this post. (And, as always, feel free to leave questions in the comments below.)

Above all, I pray that you have a right relationship with the Bible and with the One who authored it. May God bless you today, my friends.