Til I Only Dwell with Thee
"If I flee from greenest pastures
Would you leave to look for me—
Forfeit glory to come after?
‘Til I only dwell in Thee?
If my heart has one ambition,
If my soul one goal to seek,?
This, my solitary vision...?
That I only dwell in Thee." —"Hymn" by Brooke Fraser
I have problems. Many, I'm afraid. Lately, one of them has been finding time to read my Bible. Now, I've tried to read my Bible daily since I was about ten years old. (Usually that meant stabbing my finger into the Bible, reading the verse where my finger landed, and calling it a "study," so my tactics haven't always been the greatest—but I tried.) You'd think I wouldn't have to struggle with keeping faithful in studying His Word. I mean, I've read it for a while. Shouldn't it be habit by now?
What do you do when you can't "find time" to read the words of God? What do you do when you no longer hunger for the Scriptures?
Here's something I've noticed: When my eagerness for God's Word lags, it isn't so much because I'm busy or overtired. Though those are often the excuses I use, they're not true.
The reason I don't read my Bible is because I think life's all about me.
Let's face it. That's the truth. When we don't have time for the Bible, it's not that we need more time, it's just that ... if we're honest ... maybe Jesus isn't that important to us. Maybe He isn't really whom we depend on or the one we love most. Lack of hunger for God's Word is a symptom of a deeper problem. It shows that our lives revolve around other things. Things that aren't Jesus. Things that are about us.
This is what I'm learning: Christ, when He's really at the center of our lives, encompasses everything. If we try to schedule Jesus in and "make time" for Bible study, we may actually be living without Him. Why? Because, above all, Christianity isn't a philosophy or a faith-system or a club to join. Christianity is having a life surrendered completely to Jesus. He steals our hearts; He runs the show. And if He doesn't run the show, then something needs to change.
It's like my dad said once: "You know when you put food coloring in water, how the coloring fills the water and changes its color completely? If Christ is the center of your life, He's going to change everything." The changes aren't going to be immediate. They'll take all of our lives—and we won't be perfectly changed by Christ until we reach heaven. But the point is that Jesus shouldn't be just one of our many priorities. If our hearts are right, He's the One Thing that everything else falls behind.
And if I struggle to muster up desire to read my Bible every morning, well, I have some soul searching to do. See? If we choose to compartmentalize and put work, fun, and God all in different boxes, we must question the depth of our spirituality to begin with. If you are His, then you are His. He claims all.
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