The other day, my husband, Mark, and I had a spur-of-the-moment visit from another clergy couple. After getting caught up on the happenings in each other’s lives, we spent time praying for one another’s families and the needs of other families in our community. It was wonderful!
Tidying up the dishes after they left, I congratulated myself for having vacuumed and washed the floors the day before. As my gaze fell upon several inspirational books and yea, verily, even my Bible stacked high on a ledge by the front door, my grin widened. Surely, in addition to recognizing my unmistakeable status as a “Proverbs 31 Woman” (perfect housewife – please don’t hate me), they must have noted my obvious spiritual devotion.
It was just at that moment as my gaze rested upon my Bible that these words floated through my mind, “Sure would be nice if it got cracked open a little more often, though.” Wincing, I leaned my head back and said, “Touchè, Lord!”
Don’t get me wrong, I read my Bible. It’s just that sometimes I am guilty of simply referencing it like a cookbook or a manual for a new appliance. Skimming through it. Searching for a handy piece of information to pass on to others instead of savouring it as a personal love-letter from the One Who knows and loves me best.
Reading inspirational books written by other Christians can be enriching. Listening to knowledgeable and gifted teachers and preachers share their stories and explain Scripture can light a fire under us and encourage us in our faith journeys. However, nothing should take the place of simply sitting down with the Bible, be it a leather-bound hard copy or an app on our phones, and asking God, its Author, to make His thoughts directly known to us.
In Proverbs 1:23, King Solomon records this stunning disclosure made by God, “If you had responded to my rebuke, I would have poured out my heart to you and made my thoughts known to you.”
The amazing thing about this statement is that it isn’t just made to prophets, priests, pastors or preachers. God actually desires to make Himself known to whoever seeks Him with an open and sincere heart. So don’t let your Bible sit there and gather dust like a set of out-of-date encyclopedias – crack it open and ask Your Heavenly Father talk to you.