Thursday, July 17, 2008

Turning to the Word

The past week has been somewhat interesting for me, spiritually. I've been struggling, honestly, to remain focused in my study of Scripture, and really having to choose to press in with regards to my walk. Yet, at the same time, it has been a fruitful week. God has spoken to me immensely - using Scripture, bringing it to mind in crucial moments when I've been confronted with the blackness o fmy heart.

My entries on this blog have reflected that a bit. Emotions have been all over the place, and God has used that to expose things in me: chipping a little off the surface of my heart here, peeling away some of the fa├žade there, revealing my sinfulness for what it is, revealing my sin for what it is.

And, as I noted, it's been a point of gratitude and, to my surprise, even joy to me.

Yet, as ever, I am not content. The more God pierces me and destroys the old self, replacing it slowly with the image of Christ, the more passionately I am driven to seek Him, to make His glory my all.

I was reflecting in the shower this morning (a common pastime of mine): how important dedication is if we are to be effective ministers of the kingdom of God. Many of us have dreams and visions of what could be, can be, should be - in our lives, in the body of Christ, in the world. And yet, most of us never attain all that we could of our part in realizing those hopes. And the ultimate cause is that, by and large, we lack dedication. We do not have the discipline to press in, even when tired, even when discouraged, to continue to seek after the heart of God no matter what opposition may came.

And it takes great discipline and great fortitude indeed. All those I can think of that have powerfully impacted the world for Christ - the Bunyans and the Wesleys alike - were people dedicated to the pursuit of God, the increasing knowledge of Jesus Christ, the deepening attentiveness to the Holy Spirit. Above all, that manifested itself in every case I know of as a deep and passionate dedication to the word of God: a commitment to study it, value it, know it. And yet the first thing to go for many of us, when we are tired or busy, is our time spent pursuing the knowledge of God in His word. It's absurd.

The witness even of this week, for me, is that God faithfully uses His word in my life. Over and over again, He has spoken through Scriptures that I have memorized or have come across in studying to speak conviction to me, to encourage me, to point me back to Him as my source of life and hope and joy, to remind me that it is not I but He who is the source of anything I can offer to this broken world.

So I challenge you even as I challenge myself: renew your commitment to knowing God as He has revealed Himself. To be certain, He can speak to us in other ways, and I believe He sometimes does. But first and foremost - most reliably, and most certainly - He has spoken to us through His word. Let us not so cavalierly abandon it; let us not so readily set it aside. Let us hold fast to an unflinching commitment to know and understand and believe the word of God.

Then Pilate said to him, "So you are a king?" Jesus answered, "You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world— to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice." John 18:37

Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, who he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. Hebrews 1:1-2

- Chris

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing this encouraging word.
    It is definitely needed.


Got some thoughts? Fire away. Please be polite, thoughtful, and kind! Please provide your name and, if applicable, website. Anonymous comments, along with all forms of spam, trolling, and personal attacks, will be deleted.