Engaging in scripture isn't always about learning something. Sometimes it's good to just read for the purpose of hanging out with the Author.
Today I had two conversations where I had to explain what my ministry – That You May Know Ministries – is all about. The first was with a pastor I had met very briefly at an event a couple months ago. He had never heard me speak or seen me present. The other was someone in acquisitions at a large publishing house (insert prayer request here). She had heard me speak and tell the story of the blind man from John 9, but was trying to figure out that “one thing” that makes my presentations and teaching unique – and therefore – marketable.
As I unpacked what I am striving to do with my writing, Biblical storytelling, and speaking, it all came down to this one thing:
Everything I do is about helping people fall in love with God’s Word.
Not just study it, internalize it, learn it, know it, or even apply it. All of these are wonderful and necessary. And they are way more fun if we actually love what we are studying, internalizing, learning, knowing, and applying!
For me, I have believed the Bible was true since I was a kid. I didn’t fall in love with it until I was 23 years old. What changed? (Glad you asked.) It all came down to shifting my mindset.
Shift from informational Bible study to relational Bible study.
As I sat with this pastor sipping coffee, we certainly learned information about each other. We learned about our kids, our churches, where we have lived in the past, our common love of sports, etc. However, I didn’t bring a notepad with a list of questions he had to answer and then leave when the blanks were all filled! The umbrella over all of the information was relationship!
How frequently do we open up the Bible with the primary mindset of learning something? There are certainly days when you will learn something. There are also days when you should just read the Bible and realize you are hanging out with the Author. Very, very cool.
Shift from memorization to internalization.
If you have ever heard me speak, you have likely heard me say this:
The goal should always be to know the Word… not just to know the words.
That is the crux of internalization. Whenever I talk with people about memorization, the conversation very quickly moves to answering the question How do I get the words in the right order. Now… a big part of my presentations is quoting whole books of the Bible. I am NOT saying that getting the words in the right order isn’t important. What I AM saying is that it is not the starting point, the ending point, or the main point. Memorization lies somewhere in the middle of the internalization process for the purpose of being able to meditate on Scripture.
What is your mindset when you read God’s Word? Do you love it?