You Need Something More Than Studying God’s Word
I'm giving a shout-out to diligent students of the Word. I have a critical announcement to make: You need something more than a thorough knowledge of Scripture!
During the darkest season of our marriage, my husband experienced a crisis of faith. He watched me consistently studying Scripture, but "knowing the Word and loving God" wasn't impacting me when it came to how I treated him. I was one miserable woman to live with.
I had a serious problem. I wasn't practicing reverence during those years.
"Reverence" may not be a word you use often, but it is a biblical word (check out Titus 2:3).
Reverence is a heart action needed when it comes to connecting the dots of Scripture. At the lowest point in our marriage, more than just studying God's Word, I needed reverence.
I was approaching God's Word as an academic student; not as a needy child. That's a hazardous activity. When we profess to know God's Word, but our actions are unaffected, we send a dangerous message to the watching world that says the Word isn't life-changing, that God is not powerful.
According to Titus 2:5, I was blaspheming the Word of God.
If I study Scripture without reverencing God, I can develop a flippant attitude. If I spend time in God's Word and I'm rude to a coworker just moments later, that's a red flag indicating that I'm not reverencing God.
What really brings me to a place of sincere humility and reverence is when I remember this:
The Word I am studying is the breath of God.
If I'm oblivious to that truth when I approach His Word, I miss the point. This is His breath, His living message to me, the reader. This is not ink on paper, or digital images on screen, this is organic communication from my Father.
"All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness" (2 Tim. 3:16).
I hope you didn't run past that familiar verse too quickly. God breathed out His Word as a fresh wind of living truth, igniting a fire of understanding within the human authors who carefully penned down words breathed through their hearts by His Spirit.
Awe and holy trembling are aspects of studying God's Word that are missing when I'm not reverent in my approach. If I come to the Scriptures as an expert, if my heart is hardened—ears and eyes closed to my own need—I will not tremble. I will not stand in awe. I will not be reverencing God.
And I will not be changed.
When I live my life reverencing God, I will joyfully tremble as I feed on His nourishing Word, and that will affect how I relate to others.
How are you approaching God's Word? Are you trembling? How are you reverencing God as you relate to others?
By Kimberly Wagner