Refuse to Settle for Glimpses of God's Word
The alarm goes off. You reach out and grab it. You slide the bar to hit snooze and think, Hey, my phone! I haven’t looked at you for six whole hours. What if I missed something huge?
And then you start clicking.
Maybe you didn’t miss anything earthshaking overnight (perhaps because everyone else was sleeping, too), but somehow thirty minutes has flown by and you’ve lost the time you intended to spend reading God’s Word.
But you did see that cute pin of a verse with a bird doodled on it. Something about God’s eyes being on the sparrows. That counts, right?
As soon as your feet hit the ground, you feel like you’re running at warp speed on a treadmill. You never open your Bible during the course of the day, but you do wear a T-shirt with a Bible verse on it. You race from task to task until you fall across the finish line (a.k.a. bed) completely exhausted. You have two choices for nighttime reading—your Bible and your phone are both sitting on your nightstand. You’re way too tired to try to wrestle with the mysteries of God’s Word at this point. But you do snap a pic of your Bible (#blessed), and you check out the images of girls with their doodle Bibles. You don’t pay much attention to the actual Scripture, but man those watercolor drawings are ah-maze-ing (#illustratedfaith)!
This script could be ripped straight from my own life. As much as I love the Word of God, it is a battle to force my eyes to look hard at God’s truth instead of at the bombardment of images coming at me through my Insta feed. What’s worse, I can often trick myself into thinking I’ve dug into God’s Word when in reality I’ve only scratched the surface. Because of that, I need near constant reminders of what the Bible is and isn’t. First, the bad news ...
What the Bible Isn’t
When I seek to be satisfied with bits and pieces of the Bible instead of chewing on the whole thing, I’ve forgotten that the Bible can never be these three things.
1. The Bible is not a bumper sticker.
The Bible is not simple, and it is not short. It cannot be condensed into a catchy phrase. It’s way too significant to fit onto a bumper sticker or cute frame, but the Bible is this:
For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart (Heb. 4:12).
The Bible is a living book, capable of doing surgery on our diseased hearts. We can’t boil it down to a thirty-second sound bite or a single sentence. We can acknowledge its complexity and then spend our entire lives digging into it like miners searching for treasure. There’s gold in them thar hills!
2. The Bible is not a happy pill.
The primary job of the Bible is not to make us feel good. The primary job of the Bible is to teach us the story of God.
I love how Sally Lloyd-Jones says it (you may know her as the author of The Jesus Storybook Bible):
When we drill a Bible story down into a moral lesson, we make it all about us. But the Bible isn’t mainly about us, and what we are supposed to be doing—it’s about God, and what He has done!
Yes, there is much in God’s Word to give us hope and joy, but there are parts of it that lead to an unhappier reaction. We are grieved over our sin when we read about Christ’s sinlessness. We are unsettled by our pride when we see Jesus demonstrate true humility. If we just run to God’s Word only when we need a warm fuzzy, we miss the bigger picture.
3. God’s Word is not a color by number.
Yes, God’s Word is truly a work of art. Prepare to be amazed!
- The Bible contains sixty-six books.
- It’s written by more than forty authors.
- The Bible writers comes from all walks of life including:
- The Bible was written in three languages.
- It was written over the course of more than a thousand years.
Compare that to say . . . the Sistine Chapel, a spectacular work of art completed:
- By one artist (with a handful of assistants).
- Over the course of four years.
With that in mind, could a Snapchat image of the Sistine Chapel ever do it justice? Could wearing a picture of it on a T-shirt communicate its greatness? No way! In the same way, when we settle for glimpses of God’s Word, we miss the masterpiece.
What the Bible Is
Don’t miss this! Slow down the treadmill for a moment, and soak this up:
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work (2 Tim. 3:16-17).
Every word of Scripture is breathed out by God and every word of it is useful for your life. Can you say that about anything else you might look at today?
So let’s make a pact, shall we? Go on, raise your right hand.
I (state your name) will not settle for glimpses of God’s Word that come in through my social media feed. Those are just a taste. I want the feast! I will read God’s Word today.
By Erin Davis
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