Posted by: deerharas | May 21, 2006

05.21.06

I was fully intending for my next post to be about the bests and worsts of my May-cation (mostly bests), and I still fully intend to post them, but this afternoon I am compelled to choose another topic.

I love my church.  I could list a myriad of reasons, but this morning I felt especially thankful for my pastor.  I am blessed to hear week to week from such a learned yet humble shepherd.  This morning I felt like I was back in Hermeneutics, except this time rather than sitting in a classroom with twenty or so peers, I was in a sanctuary with maybe a thousand people, young and old, all walks of life, all hearing sound teaching about how to read and study the Bible.  What a novel idea, actually teaching people about context and literary forms and their implication for application! 

So I’m sitting there in my pew (actually it was a chair … sadly even my home church in Texas got rid of its pews in favor of plush chairs) agreeing wholeheartedly with the message, thinking that it was about time Joe-Schmo churchgoer heard this kind of thing, but not thinking about any personal implication.  That was until Dennis made a comment something like, “People ask me all the time how they can pray for me.  I tell them the greatest thing they can pray on my behalf is for discipline to be a faithful student of the Word.” 

And there was the personal implication.  I am incredibly privileged in regard to my exposure to Biblical knowledge.  I grew up in church, had close inquisitive relationships with both my youth minister and pastor uncle, went to a Christian university where my parents graciously allowed me to choose Biblical Languages as my major … plenty of exposure.  In a small group meeting last year, I was talking about my background/college major with the high school minister of my church, and he said something like, “So what do you do with a Biblical Languages major other than have super amazing quiet times?”  I explained my intentions to teach after getting a heck of a lot more education, but thought to myself, “You would think that, wouldn’t you?”  I mean, someone like me, with my upbringing and education, I should have super amazing quiet times.  I should be a diligent and faithful student of the Word.  I should be so much further along …

But I am lazy.  I rarely finish what I start.  I haven’t even read the entire Bible … the collection of books I view as my authority and nourishment, and I haven’t even read them all.  Looking at my life, I would have to say that the single most attacked area of my life is my spiritual growth through reading, studying, and applying Scripture.  More than any sin, I am continually defeated when it comes to integrating the Word into my schedule and life.  I have tasted and seen what God does in and through me when I am grounded in His Word, yet I inevitably fail to read, fail to seek.  It doesn’t make sense to me; I am full of questions, full of love for the Lord and His Word, and I genuinely find joy and answers and inevitably more questions whenever I read … it’s an incredible cycle.  Difficult yes, but exceedingly worth it.  So why do I stop?  Why do I choose anything else over that precious and necessary time?  While I am not one to claim the dismissive cliché of “the devil made me do it,” I am neither blind to the battle that wages for our mind, our devotion, our love.

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.  Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.  Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything to stand.  Stand firm then with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.  In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.  Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.  AND PRAY IN THE SPIRIT ON ALL OCCASIONS WITH ALL KINDS OF PRAYERS AND REQUESTS.  WITH THIS IN MIND, BE ALERT AND ALWAYS KEEP ON PRAYING FOR ALL THE SAINTS.”  Ephesians 6:10-18

So on behalf of this saint, like Dennis, I ask that you pray for discipline that I might be a faithful student of the Word.

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